First Aid in Scotland


Accidents and injuries can happen at any time anywhere, for any number of reasons. This makes it essential that everyone involved with horses – riders, instructors, grooms, competitors, volunteers and fence judges – knows how to administer first aid, and that every professional has a recognised and up-to-date first aid qualification (a requisite for Accredited Professional Coach membership).

BHS First Aid courses provide a basic overview of first aid procedures, and focus on the injuries most likely to be sustained while handling and riding horses. The course is appropriate for anyone involved with the handling of horses and will also teach you what to do if you are first on the scene of an accident. The emphasis of the training is on providing essential help until a professional arrives.

See the bottom of this page for current course dates. We will add extra dates if there is enough demand. Alternatively, if you have a group of at least eight people (maximum 12) who would like to do the course then we would be happy to arrange one at a time and venue to suit you. If you are interested, please contact

The British Horse Society Scotland’s ESFAC course is now eligible for Individual Learning Account (ILA) funding. If you are 18 and over, you can apply to ILA for up to £200 a year for a variety of courses. You can apply online or speak to an advisor on 0808 100 1090. You must apply well ahead of the course date, as it can take time for you to be issued with your reference number. As soon as you receive your number, fill in the course application form stating which venue you wish to attend and send it to CHS Training (address is at the bottom of the form). The provider will then book you in and confirm to ILA that you will be attending that course. Shortly after, you should receive a token - you must send the token number to the provider who is then able to claim back the cost of the course. Please make sure you apply well in advance, as ILA will not pay for courses in retrospect.

BHS Scotland Two-Day Initial First Aid Course

This two-day course is for anyone who has had no first aid training, or whose qualification has lapsed. On completion, you will receive an ID card and/or certificate of achievement valid for two years.

After completing this, every two years you will then need:

BHS Scotland One-Day Refresher First Aid Course

This course is for everyone who holds a first aid qualification they need to update. This is required every two years and is necessary for instructors wishing to remain on the register, unless they hold an up-to-date Health and Safety Executive (HSE) First Aid at Work (FAW) certificate. Anyone applying for a place on a one-day refresher course will be required to provide evidence of previous attendance at a First Aid at Work or BHS First Aid course. If this qualification has lapsed, they will need to attend a two-day BHS First Aid Initial course.

First Aid At Work

We emphasise that the HSE First Aid at Work qualification may still be a requirement for employers, proprietors and instructors who have responsibility for other employees or staff on their yard or establishment. If you’re unsure if you should hold a FAW certificate, please contact the HSE.

The HSE have strict guidelines for the content and duration of the FAW course. The Association of First Aiders, supported and approved by the HSE, has given us the following information about the HSE FAW course. If the course you intend to take does not follow this format and is advertised as an Equine FAW without the additional hours to cover the equine aspect, please check with the Training Department to see if it is a valid HSE FAW course.

“The three day FAW is based on a strict syllabus and an 18 hour teaching time (three days of six hours each). The number of trainees should make no difference to the length of the course, after all the syllabus and the detail of information to be imparted still remains the same. Furthermore, any add-ons outside of the syllabus should be added to the teaching hours and two certificates should be issued – one for the first aid element and one for the bolt on equine element.” - Association of First Aiders, February 2012

Anyone who holds a valid HSE FAW certificate can opt to either refresh their FAW certificate by attending a two-day requalification course or attend the BHS First Aid one-day refresher course for the BHS First Aid certificate.

You can only attend a HSE FAW two-day requalification course if you hold a valid HSE FAW certificate. If the certificate you hold is not HSE FAW, for example any industry-specific first aid certificate, you can’t ‘upgrade’ to HSE FAW. To change from an industry-specific first aid certificate to HSE FAW, you will need to attend the full HSE-FAW three-day course.

Certificates we accept

For the BHS Accredited Professional Coach membership, BHS Examinations and UK Coaching Certificates obtained through the BHS we only accept the following first aid certificates:

  • BHS First Aid Course - Initial Two-Day Course
  • BHS First Aid Course - Refresher One-Day Course
  • HSE Approved FAW Initial Three-Day Course
  • HSE Approved FAW Refresher Two-Day Course

We do not accept any FAW one-day Emergency or Appointed Persons course.

If you decide not to take the BHS First Aid course, the course you attend must be an approved HSE FAW course, so please check carefully with the course provider and their registering body before booking, or call the BHS Education Department on 02476 840508. 

Next Courses:

The next dates and locations this course is taking place

Dumfries and Galloway, 14/08/2017
Start date Time Duration Fee Location
14/08/2017 09:15 One Day £80 Annan Community Centre
Annan - DG12 6AP
Dumfries and Galloway, 15/08/2017
Start date Time Duration Fee Location
15/08/2017 09:15 Two Days £111 Annan Community Centre
Annan - DG12 6AP
Perth and Kinross, 28/08/2017
Start date Time Duration Fee Location
28/08/2017 09:15 One Day £80 Auchterarder Community Church Centre
Auchterarder - PH3 1DF
Perth and Kinross, 29/08/2017
Start date Time Duration Fee Location
29/08/2017 09:15 Two Days £111 Auchterarder Community Church Centre
Auchterarder - PH3 1DF

View all dates and locations

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