Coronavirus (Covid-19) new guidance

Frequently Asked Questions Good practice Planning and Preparation

As more information has become available about the implications for educational visits of Coronavirus (Covid-19), we have now turned our original FAQ – 6t FAQ: Coronavirus – into a new guidance document 4.4k Coronavirus.

The new document provides links to Government guidance, sources of information about the options for continuing outdoor learning, and some advice on how to plan and manage local activities if you decide to do so.  It also discusses planning visits for the future.

You can download the new guidance document here.




Emergencies and Critical Incidents


We have completely revised the suite of documents in section 4.1 of National Guidance that covers emergencies and critical incidents.  Some documents have been merged with each other, and some have been renumbered.  If your own guidance includes links to these documents, we recommend that you review the links.

The new suite of documents is as follows

4.1a Avoiding Accidents and Emergencies

4.1b Emergencies and Critical Incidents – Overview

4.1c Emergencies and Critical Incidents – Guidance for Leaders

4.1d Emergencies and Critical Incidents – Guidance for Establishments

4.1e Emergencies and Critical Incidents – Guidance for Employers

4.1f  Emergencies and Critical Incidents – Guidance for First Contact

4.1g Model Emergency Procedures for Visit Leaders

4.1h Model Emergency Plan for Establishments

4.1i Model Critical Incident Plan for Employers

We have also made minor amendments to a number of other documents to update the links to emergency documents.


First Aid

Good practice Planning and Preparation

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Government has temporarily modified the requirements for first aid qualifications in Early Years Foundation Settings.  We have therefore updated the National Guidance document 4.4b First Aid to refer to that.

We have also taken the opportunity to update the guidance about ensuring that any medication is within its expiry date, and about recording and reporting.

You can download the revised document here.

First Aid etc. Certificates Nearing Expiry Date

Good practice Planning and Preparation

The Health and Safety Executive have released the following statement:

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is aware that people holding Offshore Medic (OM), Offshore First Aid (OFA), First Aid at Work (FAW) or Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) certificates nearing expiry date, might experience disruption to access to requalification training as a result of events or circumstances generated by the coronavirus pandemic.

HSE’s current guidance on the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981: here and the Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (First-Aid) Regulations 1989: here is that those holding an OM, OFA, FAW or EFAW qualification should undertake retraining before their original certificate expires and HSE strongly recommends that employers, and individuals holding those qualifications should plan for requalification training well in advance of expiry dates.

If however requalification training is prevented for reasons associated directly with coronavirus or by complying with related government advice, it is reasonable and practical to extend the validity of current certificates by up to 3 months. Anyone taking advantage of this extension should be able to describe clearly their reasons for delaying requalification training, and demonstrate steps they have taken to undertake the training, if required.

This guidance comes into effect for certificates expiring on or after 16th March 2020. HSE will review this matter over the coming months and will issue further statements as necessary.

The Department of Education has commented as follows:

The Department for Education supports the HSE statement regarding the extension of first aid certificates during coronavirus emergency and that it can be applied to paediatric first aid certificates held by staff in early years provision.

Safety Training Awards (STA) have stated that other qualifications that they issue may also be subject to extension for these reasons.  See their statement here.

External Providers and Facilities

Good practice Planning and Preparation

National Guidance document 4.4h Using External Providers and Facilities had become unwieldy as a result of covering such a wide ground.  We have therefore split it into a new document 4.4g Selecting External Providers and Facilities, covering the selection process, and a revised document 4.4h Using External Providers covering monitoring and the respective roles of establishment and provider staff.  As a result we have also made a minor amendment to 4.4f Assessing a Provider Checklist.

You can find all three documents in the Good Practice Section (section 4) of the National Guidance website.

Overseas Visits

Specialist activities and visits

We have amended document 7r Overseas Visits.

The sections on Passports and Visas and Health have been updated, partly to include information about possible changes following Brexit.  The section on Parental Consent has also been revised, and addresses the fact that visit leaders have occasionally been asked to provide evidence of consent from all those with parental responsibility for some children when crossing borders.

You can download the revised document here.