First Aid Qualifications

Under the Education (Early Childhood Education) Regulations, Early Childhood Education (ECE) services are required to have a person available at all times with a recognised First Aid qualification.

To meet the First Aid requirements under 46(1)(a) of the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008, ECE services must meet the requirements outlined in the licensing criteria (HS25 for centre-based and kōhanga reo and HS22 for home-based) which states:

HS25 – Centre based ECE (including kōhanga reo)
There is an adult present at all times for every 50 children attending (or part there of) that:

  • holds a current First Aid qualification gained from a New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) accredited first aid training provider; or
  • is a registered medical practitioner or nurse with a current practising certificate; or
  • is a qualified ambulance officer or paramedic.

If a child is injured, any required first aid is administered or supervised by an adult meeting these requirements.

HS22 - Home-based ECE
"There is an adult present at all times while children are attending who either:

  • holds a current First Aid qualification meeting the training requirements outlined by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority; or
  • is a registered medical practitioner or nurse with a current practising certificate; or
  • is a qualified ambulance officer or paramedic.

If a child is injured, any required first aid is administered or supervised by an adult meeting these qualification requirements.

Recognised First Aid Qualifications

The Ministry of Education recognises any First Aid qualification from courses that:

  1. are delivered by a trainer employed by a registered education organisation granted consent to assess first aid unit standards by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA); and
  2. cover the outcomes of the core health unit standards 6401 and 6402; or the first aid unit standards 26551 and 26552; or if you are operating a home-based ECE service, first aid for young children unit standard 25459; and
  3. meet the New Zealand Qualifications Authority’s First Aid as a Life Skill - Training Requirements for Quality Provision of Unit Standard-based First Aid Training; and
  4. are evidenced by a certificate issued by the First Aid provider that is valid for a period of up to 2 years following qualification; and
  5. require a refresher course to be completed every 2 years to maintain the certificate as current.

The Ministry recommends that ECE services and kōhanga reo consider unit standard 6400 (first aid in emergency situations) for their first aiders, in addition to the mandatory unit standards of 6401 and 6402 or 26551 and 26552.

NZQA maintains the list of education organisations (first aid training providers) with consent to assess the required first aid unit standards.

First aid training providers with consent to assess against the unit standards 6400, 6401 and 6402 can be found on the Core Health page of the New Zealand Qualification Authority’s website.

First aid training providers with consent to assess against unit standards 26551, 26552 and 25459 can be found on the First Aid page of the New Zealand Qualification Authority’s website.

Upon successful assessment against the first aid unit standards, results must be reported to the NZQA for uploading onto the learner’s Record of Achievement. First aid training providers are responsible for reporting the results of unit standards gained by learners to the NZQA.

The Ministry will accept international first aid qualifications as alternatives to New Zealand requirements on the basis of the NZQA’s assessment of their content. All holders of NZQA's approved overseas qualifications would be required to undertake a refresher course every two years after completing the original overseas qualification.

Services under the 1998 Regulations

Anyone holding a current First Aid Qualification that meets the requirements of a recognised First Aid qualification (as detailed above), or a previously recognised qualification, can therefore be included in the count towards meeting 1998 regulation 25(3).

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know whether my First Aid qualification meets the 2008 Regulations?

To meet the 2008 Regulations, your First Aid training provider must be registered by NZQA and hold the appropriate consent to assess against the core health or first aid unit standards. In addition, your first aid course must meet the requirements of First Aid as a Life Skill – Training Requirements for Quality Provision of Unit Standard-based First Aid Training.

Recognised First Aid qualifications are either:

  • the core health unit standards 6401 and 6402; or
  • first aid unit standards 26551 and 26552; or
  • for home-based ECE services only - first aid for young children unit standard 25459.

The Ministry recommends that ECE services and kōhanga reo consider unit standard 6400 (first aid in emergency situations) for their first aiders, in addition to the mandatory unit standards of 6401 and 6402 or 26551 and 26552.

A first aid training provider must be registered with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and have appropriate consent to assess for the required unit standards.

First aid training providers with consent to assess against the unit standards 6400, 6401 and 6402 can be found on the Core Health page of the New Zealand Qualification Authority’s website.

First aid training providers with consent to assess against unit standards 26551, 26552 and 25459 can be found on the First Aid page of the New Zealand Qualification Authority’s website.

Is my current First Aid Qualification valid?

Anyone holding a current First Aid Qualification meeting the requirements above can be included in the count towards meeting 46(1)(a) of the 2008 Regulations.

My First Aid Qualification needs to be renewed; can I use the same First Aid course provider?

Early childhood education educators who need to renew their First Aid qualification are required to obtain their new certificate through a provider registered by, and with appropriate consent to assess, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and whose course meets the New Zealand Qualifications Authority First Aid as a Life Skill – Training Requirements for Quality Provision of Unit Standard-based First Aid Training.

To ensure your First Aid provider still meets these requirements, visit the NZQA website to view the list of providers with consent to assess the relevant unit standards, or use the links below.

First aid training providers with consent to assess against the unit standards 6400, 6401 and 6402 can be found on the Core Health page of the New Zealand Qualification Authority’s website.

First aid training providers with consent to assess against unit standards 26551, 26552 and 25459 can be found on the First Aid page of the New Zealand Qualification Authority’s website.

Will my overseas First Aid Qualification be accepted in New Zealand?

The Ministry of Education accepts first aid qualifications gained overseas as alternatives to New Zealand requirements on the basis of the NZQA’s assessment of their content. If you have an overseas first aid qualification, contact the Ministry of Education who will work with the NZQA to determine if the qualification meets New Zealand requirements.

All holders of a NZQA approved overseas qualification are required to undertake a refresher course every two years after completing the original overseas qualification.

I don’t currently have a First Aid Certificate; where can I find a list of courses?

Early childhood education educators currently wanting to get a First Aid Qualification are required to obtain a certificate from a first aid training provider offering First Aid training and assessment that is registered with the NZQA.

First aid training providers with consent to assess against the unit standards 6400, 6401 and 6402 can be found on the Core Health page of the New Zealand Qualification Authority’s website.

First aid training providers with consent to assess against unit standards 26551, 26552 and 25459 can be found on the First Aid page of the New Zealand Qualification Authority’s website.

Am I required to have a First Aid Certificate?

You may be required to hold a First Aid qualification if you work in an early childhood education service.

If your service is licensed under the Education (Early Childhood Centres) Regulations 1998 then:

"The licensee of a licensed centre must ensure that there is at the centre, at all times while children are attending, at least 1 staff member who holds a current first-aid certificate, or some other qualification recognised by the Secretary for the purpose."

If your service is licensed under the Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008 the licensing criteria for your service type state:

HS25 – Centre based ECE (including kōhanga reo)

There is an adult present at all times for every 50 children attending (or part there of) that:

  • holds a current First Aid qualification gained from a New Zealand Qualification Authority accredited first aid training provider; or
  • is a registered medical practitioner or nurse with a current practising certificate; or
  • is a qualified ambulance officer or paramedic.

If a child is injured, any required first aid is administered or supervised by an adult meeting these requirements.

HS22 – Home-based ECE

"There is an adult present at all times while children are attending who either:

  • holds a current First Aid qualification meeting the training requirements outlined by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority; or
  • is a registered medical practitioner or nurse with a current practising certificate; or
  • is a qualified ambulance officer or paramedic.

If a child is injured, any required first aid is administered or supervised by an adult meeting these qualification requirements."


Last updated: 13 June 2014