Further to the advice regarding first aid training that was issued on 15 April 2020 by the Australian Industry and Skills Committee (AISC) Emergency Response Sub-Committee (Communique), the AISC wishes to advise Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) of updated advice in relation to the delivery of first aid training:
- RTOs delivering cardiopulmonary resuscitation within the associated First Aid units must ensure a risk assessment is completed before delivery and comply with State and Territory Health requirements and any local restrictions as advised.
- In areas where no local transmission of COVID-19 has been reported, RTO’s who wish to resume training and assessing breaths directly into a manikin may do so. RTOs, however, must follow all manufacturer’s instructions regarding the cleaning and infection control processes, including any specific guidance on their use during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- In local areas where community transmission of COVID-19 has been reported, or where an area has been declared a hot spot, RTOs are permitted to continue providing “reasonable adjustment” during the CPR assessment process and have students perform breaths to the side of the manikin.
- Assessors are to use their professional judgement in assessing the competence of a student’s capacity to perform CPR under these circumstances.
- RTOs must still assess students against all other aspects of CPR as per the unit of competency requirements set out in the HLT Training Package. All other Assessment Requirements, including the Assessment Conditions, must also be met.
- RTOs who decide to resume training and assessing breaths directly into a manikin must allow reasonable adjustment, as outlined above, for students who choose not to provide breaths directly into a manikin because of concerns about COVID-19
RTOs should also consider:
- State, Territory and Federal Health authority’s advice (www.health.gov.au)
- Australian Resuscitation Council's recommendations and guidelines (www.resus.org.au)
- Safe Work Australia advice (www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au)
- Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 (www.asqa.gov.au)
- These flexibility provisions will be reassessed, and further advice provided pending the COVID-19 vaccination roll out.
Other Industry regulators
- If an RTO advertises and delivers a training product to lead to an occupational or licensed outcome with an industry regulator, the RTO must ensure that delivering with these adaptive measures will continue to enable a student to meet industry regulatory requirements.
- RTOs should also contact industry regulators, where appropriate, regarding any additional changes to their requirements around first aid training during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Further information may be found as follows:
- The First Aid Companion Volume on page 11 states that reasonable adjustment can be made to assessment procedures and RTOs should ensure that “the integrity of the unit of competency and/or qualification must be upheld.”.
- In the case of ventilations used while performing CPR, the ARC guidelines ANZCOR Guideline 5 – Breathing are specific in the need to provide ventilations.
- RTOs should comply with the Australian guidelines for the prevention and control infection healthcare-2019 and support the use of resuscitation barriers and other personal protective equipment as required.