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First Aid and First Response

(Published December 2016 replacing version December 2015)

If you are a trainer of first aid to members of the Scout Association we hope that you will be aware of the changes that need to be made from the UK and European Resuscitation Council by January 2017. Working with Girlguiding a guidance sheet about the changes has been created to be used in conjunction with the current First Response resources. To download a copy of the guidance sheet click here.

In addition to the changes in consultation with Girlguiding we have created some resources that that can help trainers deliver the First Response course with the changes.

First Response
First Response Information Slides
First Response Training Plan

First Response Refresher
First Response Refresher Information Slides
First Response Refresher Training Plan

Training Resources
Training Resources Quiz
Training Resource Multiple Choice Quiz
Arrival at an Incident Activity Cards
Condition Cards
Scenarios Cut Out Sheets
Scenarios Discussions

Resuscitation Council Update Information Sheet

Information Sheet

Module 10 - First Response

Leaders, managers and supporters in Scouting must hold a current first aid qualification at the time of gaining their Wood Badge and at the appointment renewal. However, they are encouraged to keep their qualification up to date at all times. The minimum standard for this qualification is First Response, but higher levels of qualification are needed if delivering first aid training or leading certain kinds of adventurous activities. This provision will ensure a minimum standard of first aid knowledge and training across the Movement.

The below chart outlines everything you need to know about the differences between a First Response and Full First Aid Certificate.


First Response Certificate

Full First Aid Certificate

Who needs this certificate

  • All adults in scouting holding a Leader, Manager or Supporter appointment.

  • The First Response Certificate is designed specifically for adults in The Scout Association and Girlguiding, based on the situations and issues that occur within those roles. It is not, therefore, externally recognised.

  • Certificate must be valid when Wood Badge is issued and appointment renewed.

  • All groups undertaking adventurous activities in Terrain Two must have immediate access to someone holding a relevant and current Full First Aid Certificate.

  • In order to run a First Response course, the trainer is required to be either an externally qualified First Aid trainer, or hold a Full First Aid Certificate and The Scout Association’s Presenting and Facilitating modules.

Length of course

  • 6 hours

  • 14 hours/ two days

How do I refresh my learning

  • Two hour refresher course every three years. This is designed for those who have already completed the 6 hour First Response course.

  • The two hour refresher course can only be completed twice. After the second time, the 6 hour First Response course is required again.

  • There is no refresher course available for the Full First Aid Certificate. Adults are required to carry out the full 14 hour/ two day course every three years.

Recognition of certificate

First Response courses can be run by any externally qualified First Aid trainer, or by adults in Scouting who hold a Full First Aid Certificate and The Scout Association’s Presenting and Facilitating modules.

Must be set by a reputable body such as St John Ambulance, The British Red Cross, British Canoeing, etc.

Criteria for course

All courses must cover the below criteria. The level of detail and time spent on each subject will vary, depending on whether it is a First Response or Full First Aid course.

  • Principles of first aid and initial response (arriving and managing an incident)

  • Initial response to a first aid situation

  • Management of an unconscious casualty (child or adult)

  • CPR, including technique for children and an explanation of what AED is and how to use it

  • Shock

  • Causes and treatment of unconsciousness

  • Bleeding

  • Heat exhaustion, heatstroke, dehydration and hypothermia

  • Burns and scalds

  • Fractures (ambulance imminent and non-imminent) and soft tissue injuries

  • Minor injuries (for example cuts, grazes and nose bleeds)

  • Meningitis

  • Anaphylaxis (use of Epi pen)

  • Spinal injury

Alternative courses

Any course that is set by a reputable body, and covers the above criteria, recognition and length requirements outlined above can be considered as a suitable alternative to a First Response Certificate.

Any course that is set by a reputable body, and covers the above criteria, recognition and length requirements outlined above can be considered as a suitable alternative to a Full First Aid Certificate.

In some cases, alternative courses do not cover all of the listed topics, particularly environmental conditions such as hypothermia and CPR for children – what should I do?

Adults should take the time to make themselves aware of the signs, symptoms and treatment of these conditions, or undertake additional training in order to cover them. it is often possible for participants to request additional topics to be covered during a First Aid course that they are attending.

Adults should undertake additional training in order to cover them. In the case of First Aid requirements for activity permits, the District Commissioner should be satisfied that the cause, diagnosis and treatment of these conditions are known.

The wearing of badges
There is no badge available for the completion of First Response for Adult and members of Scout Network.

Young people completing First Response would be able to wear Stage 4 of Emergency Aid Staged Activity Badge.
Explorer Scouts, members of the Scout Network and Adult Members of the Movement who hold a full First Aid certificate or equivalent may wear the badge relating to the award which they hold on their
Members who hold an equivalent full First Aid qualification for which there is no nationally awarded badge may wear The Scout Association’s badge designed for this purpose.
Only one badge may be worn.

Professions with First Aid experience

The Scout Association does recognise that some professions by the nature of the job will have a first aid element; for example Nurses, Midwives, Police Officers, Medical Practitioners, Members of HM Armed Forces, Ambulance Care – Assistants/Paramedics/Technicians, etc. to exempt these profession from undergoing more first aid training, they are required to provide evidence of an up-to-date qualification which should meet the criteria for what is considered our minimum standard (as listed above). With regards to ‘evidence’, this can be a certificate or an official letter confirming the necessary areas have been met.

 Scouting for all
The Scout Association has a robust Equal Opportunities Policy, which outlines our commitment to ensuring that the Movement is open and accessible to all. Within this policy, we also have a commitment to make reasonable adjustments for members with disabilities to equally access Scouting.

This is applicable to The Adult Training Scheme. For any adult who may be physically unable to administer first aid eg. provide CPR, move someone into the recovery position, a suitable reasonable adjustment for an assessor would be that the learner demonstrates they are independently able to successfully instruct/ direct another adult (without the skills or knowledge) to physically provide the care on their behalf.


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Charity Numbers 306101 (England and Wales) and SC038437 (Scotland).
Registered address: The Scout Association, Gilwell Park, Chingford, London, England E4 7QW