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Is there a requirement for CPR courses to be refreshed every 12 months?

Q: St John’s Ambulance recommends providing CPR refresher training every 12 months, but say this isn’t a requirement and that it’s up to the company and what we think we need. Is there anything in the regulations that says certificates have to be renewed and how often this should occur? Is there a requirement for CPR courses to be refreshed every 12 months? We are located in WA.

A: In WA, the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 and the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 do not require any specific first aid training in workplaces.

Regulation 3.12 simply requires an employer to provide such first aid facilities as are appropriate, having regard to:

  • the hazards in the workplace;
  • the risk of those hazards; and
  • the number of persons in the workplace.

In addition, employers are required to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, that trained first aiders are available to give first aid in the workplace.

The Code of Practice First Aid Facilities and Services (the Code) suggests that regulation 3.12 can only be met while a first aider’s qualifications are current. The Code suggests that the first aid competency unit ‘Perform CPR’ is only valid for 12 months and must be renewed after this time.

Codes of practice in WA are not mandatory; however, they can be used in a prosecution as the standard to assess methods and practices in the workplace. We therefore recommend adopting the standards set out in the Code.

The WA Code of Practice First Aid Facilities and Services is available at www.commerce.wa.gov.au.

Please note: The answer is correct at the time of publishing. Be aware that laws may change over time. Refer to First aid for current advice.

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