5 Signs Your First Aid Instructor Is Not Teaching to Ontario Standards

How do you know if your first aid training provider is delivering the Ontario required first aid
curriculum to your employees? Most employers will assume that if they pay a company a fee
for the delivery of first aid training, that their employees are getting the information that is
required. However, this is not always the case.

Five signs that your first aid Instructor is not teaching to Ontario First Aid Regulation 1101
standards and therefore, not giving you what you paid for:

1. Shorting the Course
WSIB requires 6.5 hours of instructor – student contact time (not
including breaks and lunch) for Emergency First Aid certification. For
Standard level certification, 13 hours is required. It does not matter if
there is one person in the class, or 18, the time requirement is still the
same. If your instructor tells you they can teach the course in half the
time, they are not providing the complete program as per the certification guidelines.
Exceptions include the Standard First Aid Renewal course and Blended Learning formats,
each have specific requirements that must be met but time requirements are adjusted

2. Skipping content
Have you heard this in your first aid class? “We are not going to go
through bandaging because we are in a 911 area and the response
time is 6 minutes. Paramedics will take off all the bandages you put
on anyway.” Bandaging is required content for Emergency and
Standard certification, so skipping the content is against the standards. Besides, what
happens if the employee is off site and in a remote area? 911 may not be so readily
available which means those bandaging skills could be a life saver.

3. Story Teller
First Aid Instructors may have employment backgrounds in fields
where they have a lot of first aid or medical aid experience. While
personal experiences can enhance some of the first aid principles
being taught, too much time on personal “stories” takes away from
the program.

4. Too much information
Some Instructors have a great deal of knowledge and experience and get
carried away with putting too much content into the course leading to
students feeling overwhelmed and confused. Too much information
reduces the time required for covering required first aid principles and
diminishes a student’s confidence.

5. Imperfect Practice
Instructors should be simulating the practical training as closely as
possible to what students will need to do in a real emergency
situation. Practice that is realistic will effectively develop muscle
memory for the response, helping a student to be effective even
when they are panicking emotionally and having trouble thinking
through the situation. If students are told to “practice breathe”
instead of real breathing into a CPR manikin, or asked to similarly compromise the
integrity of the skill practice required in the course, the student may respond to a real
emergency ineffectively.

The guidelines for training that first aid providers are expected to meet in order to be able to
certify first aid participants in Emergency or Standard First Aid are clearly laid out in the
document, First Aid Training Criteria, available for download in pdf form on the WSIB website at
www.wsib.on.ca. Don’t be afraid to hold your first aid training instructor accountable to their
delivery of the training you expected and paid for.


Dianne Rende is the Executive Director of St. John Ambulance, Peel Dufferin Branch. As
Canada’s leading authority in first aid, St. John Ambulance is dedicated to improving health and
safety at work, at home and at play.

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