NZQA Unit Standards FAQ

First Aid — What you might be asking about the new unit standards

1. What are the requirements for workplace first aid training in New Zealand?

Some workplaces have greater risks of injury and illness because of the work they do. Circumstances that can affect your training requirements include hazards like dangerous chemicals, machinery used, heights, number of employees and how far away you are from medical help. Think about how your workplace is covered for all shifts and prepare for absences. For guidelines refer to the Departments of Labour’s First Aid For Workplaces – A Good Practice Guide.

2. How do I know if an organisation advertising first aid training services is legitimate?

First aid training towards a workplace first aid certificate must be done through an Education Organisation that is registered as a training provider with NZQA and has consent to assess first aid unit standards. A list of registered Education Organisations who can assess first aid standards is available at

3. What first aid courses currently being offered meet the minimum requirements for workplaces?

Courses based on either unit standards 6400, 6401 and 6402, or their replacement unit standards, 26551 and 26552 represent the core skills and knowledge a workplace first aider should gain. The 6400 series of standards have had their expiry date removed, and are currently under review with NZQA and a Project Advisory Group. The decision on these standards will be known by December 2015. People currently holding these unit standards will remain trained first aiders and can attend refresher courses based on unit standards 26551 and 26552.

Where there are specific hazards in a workplace that are not adequately addressed through the minimum skills covered by 26551 and 26552, then a tailored course of training may be required. Employers should conduct a Workplace First Aid Needs Assessment to determine what skills and knowledge their employees need training in, over and above those covered in 26551 and 26552. The employer should then find an Education Organisation who is able to offer a tailored course that covers these additional skills.

4. I have noted that some Education Organisations are advertising first aid courses based on a combination of old and new NZQA first aid standards. I thought the new standards replaced the old ones?

At present Education Organisations are permitted to offer courses based on any mix of first aid standards they feel meets a market need. However, employers and employees should be aware that a course based on 26551 and 26552 alone represents the core skills and knowledge a workplace first aider should gain.

5. Training providers are offering courses of varying duration. What is the minimum length of course I need to attend?

For courses based on unit standards 6400, 6401 and 6402 there must be a minimum of twelve (12) hours training and assessment. For courses based on unit standards 6401 and 6402 or 26551 and 26552 there must be a minimum of eight (8) hours training and assessment. For the practical components of these courses (e.g. CPR skills), the training and assessment must be done face-to-face between learner and assessor.

The theory or knowledge components of these courses can be completed using distance learning methods if desired. If distance learning methods are used then those components should be sufficiently resourced and instructionally designed to ensure valid learning and assessment outcomes. Minimum hours for training and assessment do not apply where assessment is being conducted as part of a formal Recognition of Current Competency Programme.

6. I completed my initial first aid training in Australia. Are Australian first aid courses recognised in New Zealand?

Yes, Australian first aid qualifications are recognised in New Zealand. Under the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997 (TTMRA) a person who is registered to practice an occupation under an Australian law is entitled, after giving notice to the local registration authority for the equivalent occupation, to be registered and to carry on the occupation pending registration.

This means that a first aid qualification gained in Australia can be deemed broadly comparable to one gained in New Zealand. To maintain currency in New Zealand, a person holding an Australian first aid certificate need only attend a biannual refresher course. This must be done within two years and three months of either the original course or the last refresher course.

7. What is TriEx’s NZQA External Evaluation and Review (EER) category?

NZQA places non-university providers into one of four provider categories on the basis of external evaluation and review (EER). This includes institutes of technology and polytechnics, wānanga, private training establishments and government training establishments. EER produces two NZQA statements of confidence in a tertiary education provider: one about its educational performance and the other about its organisational self-assessment. TriEx has a Category 2 EER: two Confident judgements, or a Highly Confident judgement in self-assessment and a Confident judgment in educational performance.

8. What if I have a complaint about my course?

Any course participants that wish to lodge a complaint may do so in writing to: The First Aid Manager, Gallagher Bassett NZ Ltd t/a TriEx, PO Box 9225, Tower Junction, Christchurch 8149. TriEx will investigate all complaints lodged in complete confidence, with any findings or outcomes being passed back to the complainant. Course participants also have the right to write a complaint to NZQA if they think that any issues with unit standards and the way they are being taught breech NZQA protocol: NZQA, PO Box 160, Wellington, Ph 04-802-3000.

If there is a specific First Aid Training question that you would like answered, please email with your query and we’ll be in touch!

Links to Department of Labour and NZQA requirements and guidelines