What is a First Aid Certificate?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 01 October 2019
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A first aid certificate is a document that shows an individual has successfully completed training for certification in first aid. These certificates are typically awarded to people who are not employed in a medical field. To earn a first aid certificate, an individual completes instruction and gains practice in delivering first aid for not only minor injuries, but also those that are potentially life threatening. Upon completion of training, an individual is usually prepared to help a sick or injured individual until emergency medical help arrives.

There are many organizations that provide first aid training that leads to certification. In the United States, organizations like the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association provide training programs. In the United Kingdom, the British Red Cross and St. John Ambulance are among the organizations that provide training and certification. In Asia, a person may earn a first aid certificate through a regional Red Cross organization or a similar entity.

Some people go directly to a health organization to find local training courses. Others contact recreational centers and community organizations for training opportunities. Sometimes employers arrange first aid training for their employees. Such training is often offered to the company’s workers free of charge.


A person interested in earning a first aid certificate may have many different types of courses available to him. Some people choose to start with a basic first aid training course. This course usually covers such things as helping victims who are unconscious and performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). It may also cover emergency techniques for helping a choking victim. A first aid training course usually teaches students how to provide first aid for shock, burns, bleeding, and muscle and bone injuries as well.

In addition to first aid techniques, a training class may teach students how to protect themselves at the scene of the injury or illness. For example, a student may learn how to protect himself from bodily fluids that are capable of causing or spreading disease. He may also learn when to move a victim to prevent further accidents and injuries and when it’s best to keep the person in place until emergency medical help arrives.

As part of training, a first aid student is typically observed and assessed while practicing the first aid techniques he learns. This type of evaluation is necessary for the instructor to determine whether the student really has developed the skills necessary for certification. In most cases, a certification course can be completed in a matter of days, and the successful individual receives a first aid certificate that is good for a number of years. Certified individuals have to seek renewal once the certification expires.


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