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IRC advice on First Aid training

Many RTOs have raised concerns about the ongoing delivery of First Aid training during the COVID-19 pandemic. RTOs must comply with State and Federal Health Authority directions. RTOs should perform a risk assessment when deciding whether or not to continue to provide First Aid training, taking into account the following:

  • State, Territory and Federal Health Authorities’ advice (
  • The Australian Resuscitation Council's recommendations and guidelines (
  • SafeWork Australia’s advice (
  • ASQA’s advice (
  • Specific concerns have also been raised about the transmission of the virus while performing ventilations on mannikins. The potential for transmission of the virus is significantly reduced if proper infection control procedures are followed, which involves excluding anyone who shows symptoms of the virus. The Assessment Requirements are clearly stated, and the performance of compressions and breaths must be demonstrated on a mannikin in order to make a determination of competency. It cannot be a demonstration of compressions only.

    A reasonable adjustment may apply where a student states they will not put their mouth on the mannikin during breaths (even with a barrier device in place), in which case the student is required to demonstrate all aspects of giving breaths (i.e. head tilt and blowing to the side of the mannikin) while not actually blowing into the mouth of the mannikin. This reasonable adjustment is to only apply at this time of the COVID-19 pandemic and only if the student requests exemption (i.e. on an exception basis only).

    Further information may be found as follows: