Do we have to pay for first aid training?
Can an organisation ask the first aid officers to pay for their own first aid training? And is it compulsory for first aid officers to complete annual CPR training in SA, Victoria and NSW?
The starting point for this answer is that the employer has a duty to ensure that there are trained first aid officers. This usually means. as a practical matter, that the employer has to pay for the training as they usually request volunteers to be first aid officers.
The legal requirement for the employer to pay for first aid training is not covered by health and safety legislation but rather will depend on any applicable modern award, enterprise agreement or contractual provision related to first aid compensation.
For instance, some modern awards and enterprise agreements specifically provide for a first aid allowance, which may include a requirement for employers to remunerate certain employees for first aid training. It should be noted, however, that if an organisation directs such employees to attend a first aid course then this will be deemed as paid time. This is because the employee’s role will be for the benefit of the organisation, which is not within the scope of the employee’s usual work routine.
In relation to your second query, this will depend on the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) that an employee has received their training from and its individual requirements. In saying this. most RT Os’ CPR component is valid for 1 year, which will need to be updated annually for a first aid officer to keep their certification current. As employers need to ensure that the qualifications of first aid officers are current, it is good practice to remind and encourage such employees to complete their annual CPR refresher training.
Some jurisdiction recommend that CPR training should be completed yearly by adopting the national Safe Work Australia Code of Practice First Aid in the Workplace: Code of Practice, which may be accessed at the health and safety regulator website in your jurisdiction.