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First Aid Course Guidelines

The following information aims to help clubs when deciding which first aid courses are suitable for their volunteers and coaches.

The RFU does provide an Emergency First Aid Course that meets all the criteria for an Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) qualification and is specifically designed for rugby volunteers assisting at matches and training sessions, but a wide range of alternative courses are available so the following guidelines suggest what to take into account when considering alternative courses.

General Points

  • The number of people trained and the level to which they are trained should be determined by a risk assessment of your club and its facilities 
  • Any courses should have a quality assurance process (shown by an accreditation mark from a body such as the Health and Safety Executive) and a refresher training programme

Finding a Suitable Course

The following questions should be asked to determine if a particular course is suitable for your needs:

  • Does the course cover both common rugby injuries (such as concussion) and rare but serious injuries (such as spinal injury) in sufficient detail?
  • What experience and qualifications does the trainer have? (e.g. medical background, years of tutor experience, knowledge of rugby)
  • How may people will be in the training session? (suggested maximum: 16 per trainer)
  • What insurance does the trainer have? (e.g. personal liability cover)
  • What resources are provided for out of course learning? (e.g. training manual)

Emergency First Aid at Work Courses

These courses should cover the following topics:

  • Legislative background
  • General first aid
  • Basic life support
  • Wounds and bleeding

But please ensure that training is also undertaken regarding child resuscitation and choking.

First Aider Courses

A full First Aider course (two to four days tuition) should provide progression for those who have done an EFAW course and contain at least the following topics:

  • Responsibilities, legal and ethical framework
  • Basic anatomy and physiology of musculoskeletal system
  • Injury - basic concepts, causes and principles of management
  • Wounds and bleeding
  • Sports injuries; muscle/ligament strains and sprains, limb fractures/dislocations, concussion, head and facial injuries, chest injuries, spinal injuries
  • Medical emergencies
  • Basic life support  
  • Injury prevention