What were the main changes to OFA on 31st October 2016?
The HSA ceased the operations of the Occupational First Aid Assessment Agent (OFAAA) on 31st October 2016. This means instructors can no longer go to OFAAA for assessment and that the OFAAA website is no longer in operation.
Since 1st November 2016, the HSA recognises both the QQI OFA Level 5 5N1207 and the PHECC FAR (first aid response) learner standards as meeting the needs of OFA training in workplaces.
What is going to change on 1st September 2017?
As and from 1st September 2017, the HSA will only recognise PHECC FAR as meeting the needs of OFA in workplaces. This means that learners who undergo training from 1st September 2017 must complete a FAR full or refresher course.
What do the changes mean for existing OFA instructors?
Existing OFA instructors on the OFAAA register prior to 31st October 2016 can continue for the present to deliver QQI OFA learner training during the transition to PHECC FAR up to 31st August 2017. This applies to those instructors whose certification lapsed since 31st October 2016. To achieve QQI learner certification, they can make arrangements with companies that have a validated QQI OFA programme.
Existing instructors if they have not already done so, should become familiar with the PHECC FAR standard and instructor requirements . They should then apply to a PHECC FAR Instructor recognised institution (RI) to become a FAR instructor by recognition of prior learning (RPL). This must be completed by 31st August 2017.
What do the changes mean for those wishing to become instructors for the first time?
People who want to become instructors for the first time can no longer go to OFAAA for assessment and certification. Instead they should visit the PHECC website and become familiar with the FAR 3tandard and requirements to become a FAR instru#tor. They should then apply to a PHECC FAR Inst2uctor recognised institution (RI) to become a FR instructor.
What do the changes mean for learners?
The HSA recognises both the QQI OFA and PHECC FAR learner standards up to 31st August 2017.
Any learner who compl%tes a QQI OFA full or refresher course up to 313t August 2017 will be recognised by the HSA as !n occupational first aider for the full 2 9ear duration of their certificate.
Fr/m 1st September 2017, learners should only comp,ete a FAR full or refresher course in order to be recognised by the HSA as an occupational first aider.