Skip to main content

First Aid Qualification Levels Explained


First aid is a crucial skill that can make a significant difference in emergency situations. When accidents or medical emergencies occur, having individuals with proper first aid training can be a lifesaver. 

In the UK, different first aid qualification levels are designed to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to respond effectively in different scenarios.

What is First Aid?

First aid encompasses a range of basic medical techniques and procedures that can be administered by a layperson or bystander before professional medical assistance arrives. It includes actions like CPR, wound care, and managing choking incidents, among others.

Being prepared and knowledgeable in first aid can mean the difference between life and death in emergencies. It can also prevent further injuries or complications.

First Aid courses in the UK are taught at levels 1, 2 or 3, with each level representing a different depth of training. First aid course attendees can start at any level, completing the previous levels of training is not necessary.

First Aid Level 1

First Aid level 1, often referred to as basic first aid, is entry-level training that introduces participants to fundamental first aid principles. The primary focus of level 1 courses is to provide individuals with the skills needed to respond to common emergencies.

Skills Taught on Level 1 First Aid Courses

Participants in a level 1 first aid course can expect to learn basic life support techniques, how to manage bleeding, and how to provide initial care for injuries such as burns and fractures.

Who Should Take It?

Level 1 first aid is suitable for individuals who want to gain basic knowledge and skills in handling everyday emergencies. However, workplace first aid training qualifications usually start at level 2.

First Aid Level 2

First aid level 2 builds upon the basics of first aid. It covers a broader range of medical emergencies and provides participants with a more comprehensive skill set. These are in-depth and comprehensive courses that will cover a broad range of first aid scenarios and emergencies.

Our Emergency First Aid at Work and Basic Life Support courses grant level 2 qualifications.

Skills Taught

The skills taught in level 2 first aid training really depends on the course itself, but generally includes advanced techniques for wound care, dealing with unconscious casualties, the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and handling medical conditions like heart attacks or epilepsy. Level 2 courses also provide training in first aid fundamentals such as the priority of treatment, primary and secondary assessment, and basic hygiene in first aid.

Who Should Take It?

Level 2 first aid is ideal for those who want to acquire a higher level of first aid knowledge and skills. Level 2 courses are great for those in low-risk working environments, as well as the general public who want to learn first aid to a good standard.

First Aid Level 3

First aid level 3 builds on the skills developed in level 2 and equips participants with extensive knowledge and skills, making them capable of responding to a wide range of medical emergencies. Level 3 courses give candidates realistic scenarios and practical exercises that will allow them to practise first aid and test their knowledge and understanding of  situations that can occur in the workplace.

Our First Aid at Work, Outdoor First Aid and Emergency Paediatric First Aid courses are all taught at level 3.

Skills Taught

As with level 2 courses, the specific skills taught in level 3 depends on the course, but will generally cover more advanced injuries and medical conditions, such as fractures and spinal injuries, head injuries, diabetes and asthma, as well as the legalities, responsibilities and reporting procedures surrounding first aid incidents in the workplace.

Who Should Take It?

Level 3 first aid is typically pursued by those who want to become designated first aiders in their workplaces, as well as those who work in higher risk environments such as construction or manufacturing.


The first aid qualification levels in the UK offer a structured approach to gaining the necessary skills to respond effectively in emergencies. The level of course you take should be determined by your job role and your interest in the world of first aid, but whatever level you choose, remember that first aid training is a valuable asset that can make a significant difference when it matters most.

To book a place on one of our courses, please get in touch.