How Many First Aiders are Required at a Victorian School
We often get asked the question “how many first aid trained staff do I need?” We understand that this can a confusing and difficult question to answer.
This advice is based upon the Department of Education First Aid Risk Assessment Form. The form provides some identified ratios however there are a number of other elements that also must be addressed.
Below are some scenarios where a first aid trained staff member must be present:
- Any school trip/excursion where the students will be travelling to a location without first aid facilities
- Example 1: a group of year 9 students travel to the city for a city experience day, as they will not be in a location with set first aid facilities they must have first aiders present to meet the ratios
- Example 2: a group of students go on an excursion to the Melbourne Zoo. As there are first aid facilities available there is no mandatory requirement to have a first aider present
- Given the increased risk associated with camps all staff going on a camp are recommended to have first aid qualifications
- Due to the increased risk the following areas should have immediate access to first aiders: science laboratories, workshops, anywhere where students are interacting with power tools, chemicals or machinery.
- All sports activity should have immediate access to a first aider
- Any activities that are taking place in a area of a campus that is isolated will require first aiders present
- All staff who are allocated a first aid kit should be trained in first aid
Notes on the identified numbers:
These numbers identify the number of first aiders required at any one time, not the total number trained. Therefore if you had 850 students and employees at a campus with 10 trained first aiders you would not be meeting ratios if one of those first aiders were sick, left the campus on an excursion or was otherwise unavailable.
Using that same scenario if you had 50 students go to a local park for a sporting activity you would require 2 first aiders with the group to meet ratio but that would leave you with only 8 first aiders for 800 meaning you would fail to meet the required rations back at the campus whilst this activity was underway.
It is also essential to note that the required course code for First Aid in a school is HLTAID003 – Provide First Aid and for that to be recognised the CPR component (HLTAID001) must remain up to date.
The Department of Education documents are located at: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/hrweb/safetyhw/Pages/firstaidohsms.aspx
Further information can also be found at: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/principals/spag/health/Pages/firstaidneeds.aspx
We also find the OHS Advisory Line a great resource for clarifying the more confusing elements of these policies 1300 074 715 although this is primarily designed for use by Government Schools they will provide guidance to any party in relation to the Department of Education policies and procedures.
Please note that this information is only intended as a guide and all schools should refer to governing policy and procedures to make their own judgement and determinations.