First Aid for Outdoor Pursuits

Outdoor pursuits are generally fairly low risk activities particularly when done as part of a professionally led activity session. The risk that the participants are exposed to is largely perceived risk rather than actual risk. It is a widely held belief within the outdoor pursuits industry that participants staying at residential activity centre are actually more likely to sustain an injury whilst going about normal everyday tasks in the centre than they are whilst out on activities. Nevertheless, as with all industries, incidents can and do occur and workers within the outdoor pursuits sector need to be trained and prepared to deal with these situations.

A professional outdoor instructor typically must have the skills to deal with a wide range of injuries and illnesses when operating in areas remote from immediate emergency service intervention. The first aider can, in some cases, be required to look after a casualty for a number of hours before being relieved by ambulance crews or rescue teams. Individuals undertaking adventurous activities with friends or club members could also find themselves facing similar circumstances and it is therefore prudent for them to gain the necessary skills also.

The Outdoor First Aid course that we offer was designed from the outset for those working and playing in the outdoors and has been one of the leading qualifications for professional outdoor pursuits instructors for a number of years. It is also currently the only Outdoor Specific First Aid course that is externally regulated and meets the standards to appear upon a national qualifications framework.

NPTA is also a member of the Institute for Outdoor Learning and our courses exceed the standards laid down within their Outdoor First Aid Training Framework.

 Designed For

  • Outdoor Instructors

  • Activity Leaders

  • School Teachers

  • D of E Supervisors

  • Scout Leaders

  • Guide Leaders

  • Outdoor Activity Club Members

Solutions For You

North Pennines Training are able to offer a range of training courses and services that are relevant to the sector:

This is the most basic of our first aid courses and its value within the sector is somewhat limited as in its standard format it is designed for a low risk environment in an urban setting.

It does however cover basic life saving first aid therefore it can be used for administrative and housekeeping staff with the outdoor sector who tend to remain in lower risk, indoor environments. Their skills can then be used to support and supplement the more in depth first aid skills of instructional staff.

Duration:  6+ hours (plus breaks) – usually delivered over 1 day.

Lifespan:  3 years

Requalification: Attendance at another EFAW course.

This is the most comprehensive of our standard workplace first aid courses.

It is possible, with an extended course to combine the First Aid at Work syllabus with the Outdoor First Aid course.

The longer duration allows for a more detailed insight into many of the issues facing first aiders in this environment.

Duration:  18 hours – usually delivered over 3 days. (This does not have to be 3 consecutive days)

Lifespan:  3 years from the last day of the course


If the original qualification is still valid or a requalification course can be completed within one calendar month beyond the original qualification expiry date then it is posible to attend a 12 hour (2 day) First Aid at Work Requalification course.

If the original qualification will have expired by more than one calendar month then you must attend the full 18 hour (3 day) First Aid at Work qualification.

The content of this course is exactly the same as the full 18 hour (3 day) first aid at work qualification but it is covered in a shorter 12 hour (2 day) course.

It is only possible to attend this course if it will be completed no more than one calendar month beyond the expiry of the original qualification.

Please check before booking that the current qualification is of the correct type and validity.

The early versions of this course were originally developed for the outdoor activity sector and as such were designed from the outset to cover outdoor specific first aid.

This is an excellent course which meets the first aid requirements for a number of National Governing Bodies within the outdoor sector including;

  • Mountain Training
  • British Caving Association
  • British Cycling
  • RYA
  • British Canoeing

The course can also be delivered in such a way that multiple certification can be achieved to include where necessary:

  • Paediatric First Aid – an ideal combination for forest school leaders
  • Emergency First Aid at Work
  • First Aid at Work Refresher

This is a highly practical course that covers a great deal of topics in 2 days.

Duration:  16 hours – usually delivered over 2 days.

Lifespan:  3 years

Requalification: By attending another 16 hour Outdoor First Aid course.

NPT have a highly qualified and experienced team and therefore the possibilities are endless:

  • CPR & AED (Defibrillator)
  • Catastrophic Bleeding
  • Oxygen Administration
  • Anaphylaxis and Adrenaline Auto-Injectors (e.g. Epipen)

We can work with you to design and deliver the precise training that you require.

The HSE suggested course content for annual refresher training includes:

  • Acting safely, promptly and effectively in an emergency.
  • Dealing with an unconscious casualty
  • Administering CPR
  • Dealing with bleeding
  • Dealing with shock

These subjects can be amended or added to depending on the risks identified in the workplace.

They can also easily be incorporated into site based training exercises.

A robust emergency plan is an important part of professional outdoor activity provision. Workers in these industries will typically either be faced with:

a) A longer wait for the emergency services to arrive on scene


b) Conducting at least some of the casualty evacuation themselves

North Pennines Training can assist with the design and implementation of emergency plans and also conduct training to test (and practice) emergency plans.

Due to the nature of our work we get to play with a lot of kit. We also hear a lot of feedback on our courses about which kit has worked really well and which should be avoided. Based on this knowledge we have selected particular items of kit that we know work well and we can now supply these items to our clients. These include:

  • Bespoke AED (defibrillator) kits designed for harsh environments
  • Trauma Dressings
  • Blizzard Casualty Protection Blankets
  • Celox Haemostatic Dressings

Contact us for details.

Satisfied Clients……………

North Pennines Training have a great depth of experience in the delivery of first aid training to a wide variety of organisations.

All of the instructors involved in delivering first aid training to the outdoor sector have worked within the sector, hold national governing body awards in various activities and are active rescue team members.

A process of continual improvement combining the the most current thinking in pre-hospital care with feedback collected from every candidate that attends our courses  means that our courses are very highly regarded.

As a result of this approach our client list currently includes some of the key organisations in this sector in the North of England and throughout the UK.

Thanks again for providing a very thorough and informative course yesterday. Having done numerous EFAW+F courses over the years this was comfortably the best to date. The feedback I have received from the other attendees was universally positive

Tom Clark, Forester & Secretary of British Deer Society (SW Scotland Branch)

Instructor combined knowledge and passion with humour and patience. By far the best training delivery I have received in recent years

L.N., Sinderhope

Excellent delivery. Great not to just have someone reading what was on the Powerpoint. Best of many, many courses I’ve attended.

A.J., Annan

The course was excellent, well explained. Alistair has so much knowledge and nothing is a problem. Will recommend him and his company. Cheers.

M.W., Alston

Having been on 17 first aid courses over the last 40 years this was one of the best.

K.S., Annan

Best first aid course I’ve attended. Clear instructions and explanations. Thank you.

K.S., Bellingham

The most informative course (lots of background and some sound understanding of physiology) that I have attended.

B.H., Wisbech

Very informative course that was delivered by someone who understood the specifics of deer stalking and was able to steer the lecture in a direction that kept us all interested. Well done & thank you.

A.B., Isle of Man

First time that a first aid course has been interesting for the entire day. Well Done.

Y.K., Bellingham

Your Next Step

Contact us directly if you are interested in a group booking for your company or organisation.

We need a rough idea of when you would like the course, the location and the number of people.

We are happy to discuss your requirements to provide a course that precisely fits your needs.

Alternatively have a look at our open course dates to see whats available in your area.

Interested in a Group Booking
Check out our Open Courses