This article has been written to highlight the differences between a Regulated and a Non Regulated First Aid course and to help you choose which you need.

Executive Summary

A Regulated course means that an Awarding Organisation Quality Assures 4 Minutes and therefore you do not have to do any due diligence checks on us and can trust that our relevant courses meet HSE requirements. Regulated courses usually cost more to run than non Regulated as there is a cost to this monitoring. For 4 minutes this is an additional £10 per student.

A non Regulated course means that you are responsible for checking that 4 Minutes has qualified trainers and that its syllabus complies with National standards. As long as it does, this is an equally valid course and is usually cheaper than a Regulated course. 4 Minutes has produced a handy guide that lists the questions that the HSE recommends you should be asking, along with our answers and you can use it to demonstrate your due diligence. And yes, we do comply.

For 4 Minutes First Aid courses, the course content is the same and either Certificate is equally valid unless you are required to hold a Regulated Qualification


Before October 2013, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) approved First Aid Training providers and their qualifications. As of 1st October 2013 the HSE no longer approves First Aid training, qualifications or First Aid training organisations. This means that businesses have more flexibility in how they manage their provision of first aid in the workplace but also means that it is the employer’s duty to ensure that any training provider that they select for the purposes of First Aid training is competent to deliver that training. It needs to carry out due diligence on the Training provider to ensure that it is competent to deliver First Aid Training and that it has the relevant Quality Assurance systems in place. There are three main ways that you can use an External Provider for your course, according to the HSE.

  1. Using a Training Provider that offers Regulated Qualifications
  2. Using a Training Provider operating under a voluntary Accreditation Scheme
  3. Using a Training Provider operating independently of an Accreditation Scheme.

1. Regulated Qualifications

Regulated qualifications are delivered by Training Providers recognised by a Regulated ‘Awarding Oorganisation’ (AO). These AOs are Regulated by the National Qualification Regulators (Ofqual (England), SQA (Scotland) or Qualification Wales) against standards for the design, delivery and award of Qualifications. As part of the Regulated Standards, AOs must have dedicated Quality Assurance processes to approve and monitor their recognised Training Centres. Also, the Qualifications Regulators stipulate that AOs and their Training Centres must work in compliance with the Assessment Principles for First Aid Qualifications.

If your Training Provider offers Regulated Qualifications then you do not need to do anything further to ensure the competency of the training provider. Attending a Regulated First Aid course may be more expensive due to the cost of the regulation.

4 Minutes offers Regulated courses through our Awarding Organisation, ITC First.

2. Voluntary Accreditation

If your trade body defines First Aid Training requirements then you need to satisfy yourself that an external Training Organisation can meet the requirements of that qualification. This will usually include a discussion with the Training organisation and supply of any syllabus for them to comment on.

Unless there is any industry-specific training, then 4 Minutes will normally be able to tailor a course to your needs.

3. Independent Training Organisation, not working to an accreditation scheme

A Training Provider  that works independently of any Accreditation or Regulatory framework can be perfectly capable of delivering your First Aid Training, however you need to carry out due diligence to show that you have checked the competency of the Training Provider. The HSE has published a checklist (PDF that opens in a new tab) that assists you in this. You should ask these questions of any Training Provider that you intend on using and keep a copy of its answers to demonstrate your due diligence. The cost of the course may be cheaper than a Regulated course.

4 Minutes offers non-Regulated courses as well as Regulated courses.

What is 4 Minutes’ position?

4 Minutes offers both Regulated and non-Regulated courses. The course material, teaching and qualification validity is exactly the same in both cases, however the certification will have different wording and the Regulated Certificate will also have the name of the Regulator (Ofqual, SQA, WA) on it. All our processes for administering the course are the same apart from the additional steps to register a Regulated course and process the regulated paperwork/issue certificates.

If you specifically need a Regulated Course, we can deliver that for you, just ask us when enquiring or Booking. If you do not then just attend our standard course. To help you demonstrate your due diligence, here is our list of answers to the HSE questions that you can download and save.