News

Easter FREC!

Complete all 10 x 2hr Modules with a Tutor via Zoom and still have time to enjoy the holiday. Details here

Not again! Lockdown 3. Frec 3 Blended Learning. New Dates

The blended learning for First Response Emergency Care (FREC 3) is going well. As we are now on another lockdown we have more dates for the FREC 3 Theory by Zoom with a Tutor. You will be able to complete the two full dates practical on-site when safe to attend:  we will have more guidance on this on 6th January.

The chart gives you an overview on dates and you can either send an email with your preferred dates to info@highpeakfirstaid.co.uk and we will organise payment with you.  Alternatively you can book here

Outdoor First Aid Blended Learning

Due to the increase in both COVID cases and demand for courses, we are offering blended learning for Outdoor First Aid courses. You can see the booking page here. I have been providing Outdoor First Aid or as we call it, Wilderness First Aid for 24 years and have seen significant change in this time in best practice.

My priority is your safety and well being. High Peak First Aid has its own training facility and we are the only ones who use the building. I am quite proud of our efforts on keeping the building clean. You can read more about it here.

Over the last few months I have received many calls and emails from people who need to requalify on their first aid courses. There have been extensions given by the HSE for Emergency First Aid at Work, First Aid at Work, Paediatric First Aid and for FREC (First Response Emergency Care): NOT REC (Rescue and Emergency Care). However, Outdoor First Aid does not get a mention. Some people have a genuine need to get qualified to go to work or lose income; not all sectors are furloughed or receive grants.

I have been providing blended learning for FREC 3 courses for a number of months now and it is working really well. I wanted to extend this to Outdoor First Aid so contacted a number of Governing Bodies and almost all were in agreement. I became quite vocal when one Governing Body presented their rationale (lack of) on blended learning, this led to yet another conversation with the IOL (Institute for Outdoor Learning). The outdoor sector has many stake holders and serves a diverse sector: therefore, it is almost impossible for everyone to agree on how to proceed with blended learning. The IOL issued a statement that in summary says, that as long as your provider meets the IOL requirements, First Aid Awarding Organisations Forum and HSE then blended learning is accpetable under the current COVID restrictions. However, none of these have stated what is the correct split for Outdoor First Aid.

I have spoken at length to the IOL about this. High Peak First Aid meets requirements now and we have opted for a 50/50 split. This would be:

  1. 4hrs on Zoom with a Tutor using short videos (a lot of them are our own made specifically for the outdoor sector), quizzes and discussions.
  2. There will be four hours of learning material on our website portal for you to access before the practical day and over the next three years, with the most up to date guidance on CPR and current best practice available.
  3. I can also prove to anyone that you have met all standards.

On completing the High Peak Wilderness First Aid 16hrs outdoor course, you will have received the theory in the comfort and safety of your own home, spent another 4hrs learning on the portal with our engaging, interactive videos that I have produced and one full day on-site when you can attend. If for any reason you cannot attend due to restrictions we will move you to another date with no financial penalty. It is a great opportunity to get started and demonstrate to an employer you have taken all resaonable measure to be qualified in accordance with HSE guidance. Also, if you need accommodation we have found some places who will take you as you are here for education and work.

So, if we have you attend for half the time, it should be half the price? Firstly, teaching via Zoom is not just a chat and looking at PowerPoint. I have completely revised our presentations to meet the learning outcomes I have sent to the IOL. I make our own interactive videos that gives you the option to pick the outcome for the patient. Our learning portal knows how long you spend on it and monitors your learning. For safety, we cannot have you interacting as much with other participants as we used to so we have a full-body, advanced life support mannequin who speaks when spoken to. In addition to overcome the social distancing, I also installed an immersive classroom on-site so we can put you into any environment where you have to interact with a constantly evolving and dynamic scenario to make up for the lact of interaction with other participants. That all costs a lot of time and expense, coupled with the fact we only take 6 per course to give you more attention and keep you as safe as possible.

We could do the whole course outside. I did that about 15 years ago. In the Summer on a nice day it’s a great experience, but we still lose learning potential. Some people like to take notes, read, see a video, discuss AND do practicals. Luckily our training facility has a wide screen TV and immersive classroom located within private wilderness terrain. Ouside in the winter under a tarpaulin incase it rains: we did that years ago, and not for long as nobody likes the Tutor yelling above the wind on the theory behind asthma or listening to how to use an auto-injector with rain seeping into your jacket or wondering when you can go home as you are so cold (face masks are pretty useless when wet as well). Participants on our outdoor courses attend with good quality clothing but after a couple of hours in the cold, even moving about, start to lose the will to learn. I know because I have asked people.

I am not going to provide a course where you just meet assessment criteria on the day. I want you to meet the assessment criteria and retain it. So much, I put myself through an MSc in Risk Crisis and Disaster managment with a thesis on improving and retaining knowledge in scenario based learning. We are not the cheapest but we are always busy and I have now personally trained over 36,000 people.

COVID is serious, but you know that. I won myself a bout of COVID before Christmas on frontline ambulance work as a student Paramedic – even with the appropriate PPE. I see photos of outdoor courses being provided on the internet and have mixed emotions on people’s interpretations of what is and what is not COVID safe. COVID will not just stop overnight, even with the vaccine and when the warmer weather comes and you need to go back to work, there will be a rush to attend courses as there was last Summer and there will be more spikes of COVID cases.

I believe blended learning is the best current option to keep you in work, keep you as safe as possible and provide the best learning experience. This is a constantly evolving situation so we will look to extend this as long as is needed.

Another lockdown on the way? Our FREC 3 promise.

We have been providing our blended FREC 3 courses over the past few months. This consists of 10 x 2hr Modules via Zoom for theory with a Tutor.  The theory is a mix of videos, quizzes and discussions followed by two days on-site for practical work and assessments. We have completed a number of courses this way now and it is a great way to get started.  Theory is theory and has to be done and far better if your own home, with a cup of tea and snacks than sat in a classroom wearing a mask.

The other bonus is that if you live more than a daily drive away from our centre in the Peak District, you only have two days of accommodation to pay for. COVID restrictions and lockdowns change rapidly, so at least you get the theory done at home and if you cannot make the two days on-site for practicals and assessments we move you to the next date. You have twenty weeks to complete the FREC 3. We promise to leave nobody behind, so if you start with us we will ensure you complete the training.

Below is an overview of the January dates. More will be added for February onwards. If you cannot make our advertised dates, please email as we can accommodate you. The next two dates on-site are January 23-24 and February 13-14.

If you need to spread the cost, each module is £59.40 and when all ten are paid for this also includes your two days on-site.

You can book each module here

Alternatively, please email info@highpeakfirstaid.co.uk with your dates and we will send over our bank details. We are not closing over the holidays so all emails are replied to every day and evening.

Additional FREC 3 dates

Blended learning for FREC 3 has been going ahead over the last couple of weeks and has received positive feedback. Participants have stated they appreciate the pre-course preparation on our learning portal, the short, tutor lead sessions and then having the opportunity to receive the module material on the learning portal. So in effect, three opportunities to cover the information. We make our own videos, so they are relevant and to the point. We also use other media such as YouTube where appropriate.

You can spread the modules out over a number of weeks. I have put an overview of the additional and new dates below. Each module is £59.40, so you pay for them all at once, of if needed, you can pay as you go to spread the cost. The cost of the two days on-site for the practicals and assessments is already paid for within the 10 x 2hr theory modules.

We have to do theory as part of FREC 3 and under the current situation, staying at home, meeting other via your PC and learning is a great option.

You can see the table below to check against your diary. Bookings and more explanations are here