First Aid requirements


  • All groups undertaking adventurous activities must have immediate access to someone holding a relevant and current first aid qualification. This need not be the permit holder. The detail of the first aid skills required will be identified by the risk assessment, but the minimum qualifications (or equivalents) are:
  • A full first aid certificate as defined at FS120052 is required for all remote activities (not just hillwalking), where travelling time is 3 hours or more (in the method of travel being used) to a point of refuge including;
    • a road which carries a normal road-going ambulance
    • a building which is occupied (such as a farm or harbour);
    • or another means of calling help (such as a  telephone box)
  • First Response is required for all other adventurous activities.


The Appointment Process in POR states

  • To confirm which roles require First Aid please refer to POR The Appointments Process  Table 1 on pages 14 to 26
    • First Aid training must be completed within 3 years of the role start date recorded on Compass. Thereafter, for as long as the adult is in a role that requires a Wood Badge, the training must be undertaken again no later than 3 years after the last recorded First Aid training completion date on Compass.
      • NOTE: Rule 4.9e First Aid within the Appointment Chapter is now for implementation by Counties by 31 December 2020. During this time, where the revised processes have not yet been implemented locally, reference should be made to The Appointment Process – 5 Reviewing Appointments October 2018 version of POR.
      • Note that all adults in roles (other than Trustee roles) which require an Appointment Review are encouraged to gain a first aid certificate (minimum of First Response) and then to renew it every three years.
  • The relevant Commissioner and the Appointments Advisory Committee, acting together, may end or not renew anyone on one or more of the following grounds:
    • The adult has not met the training requirements of the role
      • The appointee has failed within the time limits satisfactorily to complete Adult Training appropriate to the appointment including the Getting Started and training obligations. For Trustee appointments, the appropriate Chair must be part of the decision process.
      • The adult does not hold a current first aid certificate (a minimum of First Response) if they hold an appointment that requires a Wood Badge;
      • The adult has not met their on-going training requirements, including safety and safeguarding. For Trustee appointments, the appropriate Chair must be part of the decision process.

Which courses taken outside of Scouting are acceptable and which are unacceptable?

  • The factsheet for Full First Aid can be accessed here.  There is a long list of courses that are acceptable to Scouting but essentially, they need, to:
    • Set by a reputable body, such as NYA, BCU, St John Ambulance, HSE etc.
    • Involve at least six hours of training
    • Cover the main areas of the First Response syllabus.
    • Delivered by an adult holding a full First Aid qualification.

But the factsheet then goes on to say:

Note: It is important to note that no external course will cover the exact syllabus of First Response. Topics such as meningitis, anaphylactic shock and heat exhaustion, heat stroke, hypothermia and CPR for children and infants are often not covered in external courses. 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.

For anyone who has completed a First Aid course outside of Scouting there is now a Check Your Knowledge quiz that may help. Anyone who has undertaken an outside course can take the quiz and then either print off the page or save a copy of the result at the end to show to their Training Adviser for validation. Confirmation of completition of this test can also be obtained from Julia Pich County Training Manager.


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 professions 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. Please note though that many of these professionals will only have undertaken Basic Life Support training and not First Aid training. To validate their training, they should consider taking the Check Your Knowledge quiz as above.

First Response Refresher

Occasionally County will run First Response Refresher courses but attendance is limited to those who have undertaken a First Response course previously, the certificate is still valid and the candidate has a copy of their certificate. In addition candidates need to Check their Knowledge via this form 


This is all summarised on the Scouts website here

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls