When considering their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) plan for the year, an often overlooked but very important part of a therapist’s portfolio is health and safety training, including first aid.

In many cases, therapists work alone with their clients. In our 2016 Member Survey, we learned that over 60% of our members practice privately. This means that risk assessments, monitoring of safety hazards, and ensuring safe working conditions are solely their responsibility. They have a responsibility to their clients to ensure that the environment in which they are conducting therapy is safe, including thinking about other elements such as safety in the local environment, accessibility, and appropriateness for the service provided. This is so important that it forms part of the National Counselling Society’s Code of Ethics.

Therapists should also be aware of what to do in a first aid emergency, so it is vital that their health and safety training also includes first aid, or that they undertake a standalone first aid training course. Most first aid training courses will last for 3 years, at which point they will have to be taken again. This is because it’s important to refresh your memory (bearing in mind you hopefully will not have had cause to use your training on a regular basis), and also because some of the best practice guidance provided may also have changed.

For their own peace of mind, and their clients’ safety, it is therefore incredibly important that therapists include regular health and safety and first aid training as part of their annual CPD portfolio.

While the Society cannot recommend any particular health and safety training or training provider, we suggest conducting an internet search for training in your local area. Always take the time to ensure the companies that you choose are reputable and of good quality by looking at their certifications, reading independent reviews, or word-of-mouth recommendations.

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