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First Aid Guidance

Introduction

Woodcraft Folk has a responsibility to protect its staff, volunteers, young members, and anyone else participating in its activities. It is therefore important that Woodcraft Folk leaders consider the need for first aid provision as part of planning and risk assessing activities.

Despite the voluntary nature of Woodcraft Folk’s provision, the principles of the First Aid At Work regulations apply to the organisation’s activities. Group Co-ordinators, Local Health & Safety Leads and group leaders must work together to ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place to provide first aid in the event of an accident or injury to participants. 

Basic Requirements

  • Volunteers must be able to provide adequate first aid cover for every group session, camp, residential or other activity
  • Appropriate first aid supplies and equipment must be available at every group session, camp, residential or other activity
  • First Aid Needs Assessments must be completed to determine what level of provision is required for any given activity
  • Records must be kept of any treatment given, shared with parents/carers where appropriate, and stored securely

Considering Risk

Woodcraft Folk activities do not all carry the same level of risk of injury, and so the required level of first aid cover will vary between activities. An assessment of need should take into account:

  • the nature of the activities
  • the duration of the session or activity
  • the location
  • the number and age of participants

You should document the assessment you make of your first aid needs, either in your local/event safeguarding plan, or as a separate document.

Levels of Cover/Training

Depending on the outcome of your assessment of need, you should determine which of these is most appropriate to your planned activity:

Appointed Person

This is the lowest level of cover and must be in place for all group nights where risk of injury is low and help can be readily summoned in an emergency. An Appointed Person is a named individual who will take charge in an emergency, administer first aid and/or ensure the emergency services are called if required.

An Appointed Person must also ensure that a suitably stocked first aid kit is also available for each activity, whether this is provided by your group or at your meeting venue.

An Appointed Person does not need formal First Aid training, though organisations such as British Red Cross provide basic courses to help Appointed Persons respond to an emergency. These will include skills in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), sometimes known as Basic Life Support (BLS).

Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW)

A first aider trained to EFAW standard will be appropriate for camps and residentials where the activities being undertaken are not hazardous and help can be summoned easily in an emergency (e.g. a site with good mobile phone coverage close to a town).

EFAW courses typically take a day to complete (or the equivalent spread over several sessions), and cover a range of emergency situations. This is the minimum qualification expected of a first aider, and certification lasts for three years.

If your group works predominantly with young people aged under 12, you should consider taking an equivalent course in paediatric first aid.

If volunteers have been trained to this standard as part of their employment, they can use this certification to act as first aiders when volunteering at Woodcraft Folk.

First Aid at Work (FAW)

The higher First Aid at Work standard may be necessary for longer residentials or those in more remote locations.

First Aid at Work qualifications typically take three days of training, and participants will learn to manage and respond to a wider range of injuries and emergency situations.

Certification lasts three years, and can usually be renewed via a shorter refresher course.

 If your group works predominantly with young people aged under 12, you should consider taking an equivalent course in paediatric first aid.

If volunteers have been trained to this standard as part of their employment, they can use this certification to act as first aiders when volunteering at Woodcraft Folk.

Higher Level Qualifications

Groups planning adventurous activities in remote locations, especially those where a mobile signal cannot be relied upon, should consider undertaking specialist adventure first aid training to provide adequate first aid cover. Courses, typically offered by specialist providers, will provide additional skills and knowledge relevant to remote locations, such as caring for a casualty for an extended period while help is summoned.

Alternatively, groups wishing to run such activities may use specialist activity instructors who hold suitable first aid qualifications themselves. Group leaders should enquire about this when selecting activity providers. 

Selecting Training Providers

There are a wide range of organisations delivering first aid training and qualifications. Woodcraft Folk groups are responsible for ensuring that any training provider they use is competent, and the training provided is suitable to their needs.

Where possible, groups are advised to undertake training provided by recognised voluntary first aid organisations (British Red Cross, St John’s Ambulance, St Andrew’s First Aid), or an Awarding Organisation (AO) that is regulated by Ofqual, SQA or Qualification Wales. The independent monitoring of the quality of these providers means you do not need to ask further questions to gauge their suitability.


If you choose to use another provider, you should satisfy yourself that the training is of sufficient quality by using the due diligence checklist provided by the HSE. 

Additional Needs

The collection of information about participants’ needs, including disabilities, vulnerabilities and long-term medical conditions, is important in determining how best to manage risk of illness or injury. Groups should undertake additional training or increase the level of cover provided for activities based on this information, e.g. training in the use of EpiPens where a participant has severe allergies.

Record Keeping

You should keep a record of any incidents or accidents that require first aid treatment. A standard form is downloadable from this page – this is preferable to an ‘accident book’ for reasons of data security. Copies of completed forms should be provided to the parent/carer of any young person who receives first aid treatment at a Woodcraft Folk group or activity. Forms should be retained by the Group Co-ordinator or Local Safeguarding Lead for three years from the date of the incident, and then disposed of securely.

Any incidents or accidents that require follow up from a health professional must be notified to Folk Office. First aid forms and incident reports need to be sent to safeguarding@woodcraft.org.uk where:

  • advice is sought from 111
  • a 999 call is made, whether an ambulance attends or not
  • the casualty attends A&E
  • a follow-up appointment is made with a GP or outpatient clinic

Serious injuries, or incidents resulting in multiple people attending A&E must be notified to the Chief Executive as soon as possible, and in any case within 48 hours, in accordance with Woodcraft Folk’s Serious Incident Procedures.

Contents of First Aid Kits

Your First Aid Needs Assessment should also consider what first aid supplies need to be available. As a minimum, a first aid kit which meets British Standard 8599-1:2019 should be available, appropriate to the size of the group and nature of the activity:

Risk LevelParticipantsSize of First Aid Kit Required
Low<25Small
Low25-100Medium
Low>100Large
High<5Small
High5-25Medium
High>25Large

Kits should be kept in a dedicated box or bag, marked clearly with a white cross on a green background. The minimum contents specified under BS 8599-1:2019 include:

ItemSmall KitMedium KitLarge Kit
First aid guidance leaflet111
Medium dressing246
Large dressing234
Triangular dressing234
Eye dressing234
Adhesive dressing4060100
Sterile wipes203040
Microporous tape123
Nitrile gloves (pair)6912
Face shield123
Foil blanket123
10cm burn dressing122
Clothing shears111
Conforming bandage122
Finger dressing234

Completing a First Aid Needs Assessment

A first aid needs assessment does not need to be lengthy or complex, but should identify what level of training and equipment is required for any given activity (or type of activity) that your group undertakes.

For your regular group nights, you could include this assessment as part of your Local Safeguarding Plan for ease of reference, though a separate assessment should be completed for camps and residentials, with due regard to the location, ease of access, likelihood of serious injury and duration of the activity. 

A template suitable for use in Woodcraft Folk groups is attached to this page.

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