There are many different types of first aid courses spanning over different time periods and age groups. This can cause some confusion when selecting the correct type of first aid course. Use the below guide to break down the options and then select the right type of course for yourself.


Full time and part time childcare workers should always select a paediatric first aid course. This typically applies to ages 0-8 and will suit their needs the best. Childminders and nursery school workers should enrol on the 12 hour paediatric first aid course to cover the full range of topics. Nannies, babysitters and au-pairs can take the shorter 6 hour qualification.

Helpful hint - You will still learn useful information on a paediatric course that can be applied when helping adults

Just Adults

When working with only adults or a mixture of adults and teenagers it’s best to complete a first aid at work course. These courses will give you the relevant practice of performing CPR on an adult and moving a full sized body into the recovery position.

Peadiatric topics may still be covered but the practicals will focus on full sized mannequins to help replicate the real working environment.

Low Risk

Low risk industries should enrol on the emergency first aid at work course. These include the following types:

  • Shops
  • Offices
  • Gyms
  • Restaurants 
  • Hotels

This is a one day course that will cover the typical accidents and illnesses that may arise on a day to day basis. This course presumes that the ambulance will arrive to you within 20 minutes and the first aider will just need to cover the time gap in between.

High Risk

High risk industries should always enrol on the 3 day first aid course. These include the following types:

  • Construction
  • Factories (with dangerous machinery)
  • Hospitality including events
  • Lone workers

The 3 day course covers the full plethora of first aid topics. Better equipping the first aider to deal with life threatening bleeds, crushes and major illnesses. Many of the topics crossover with the one day course, but the extra time / practice is recommended for high risk working environments.

Remember - High risk industries should have one 3 day qualified first aider to every 50 people on the premises

Big Groups

It is recommended to have one 3 day first aid qualified staff member for every 100 people on your premises. This includes staff members, visitors and even pupils within a school. 

Scenario - Jack has organised a grand wedding within the grounds of some private land. In total 450 people will be attending and will be on the facility at any one time. Jack also has 50 staff members who will be overseeing the entire day. How many first aiders does Jack require?

The answer is that Jack will need at least 5 people trained in ‘3 day first aid at work’. This complies with the ratio of one first aider to every 100 people in low risk situations.