Dekra Institute of Learning: embracing change to make a difference and offer QCTO-accredited First Aid training

The Dekra Institute of Learning (IOL), a leading adult-based education and occupational skills training provider, has achieved a groundbreaking milestone by achieving Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) accreditation for First Aid training.

Christopher Mörsner, Head of Training and Consulting at DEKRA IOL, highlights the importance of this accreditation: “This is not just a recognition of our team’s efforts over the past two years, for which I am immensely grateful!

It also demonstrates the importance of proactively embracing the new over the old: that is, many regulatory and accreditation changes which have characterised the training environment recently. It is furthermore a strong capability and reputational endorsement – and an indication to our clients that their confidence and faith in us is justified.”

In addition, this QCTO accreditation reaffirms the IOL’s commitment to making a tangible difference by growing people through skills and occupational training and development, enhancing their employability and reducing South Africa’s high unemployment rate.

First Aid’s importance and history

“Driven by the modern mandatory requirement for trained First Aid responders – regardless of company size – across all industry sectors, First Aid training is crucial for workplace safety. However, few stop to think of why this training is so essential, what its primary objectives are, and what its origins are,” Mörsner comments.

He explains that First Aid is primarily there to prevent death – or serious injury from worsening. The key aims of first aid can be summarised with the acronym of ‘the three Ps’:

  • Preserve life: The overriding aim of all medical care which includes first aid, is to save lives and minimise the threat of death
  • Prevent further harm: Prevention of further harm includes addressing both external factors, such as moving a patient away from any cause of harm
  • Promote recovery: First aid also involves trying to start the recovery process from the illness or injury, such as in the case of applying a plaster to a small wound

“It is however crucial to note that First Aid is not medical treatment and cannot be compared with what a trained medical professional provides,” Mörsner emphasises.

First Aid has its historical roots in 1870s European military, when the concept was first formally introduced to the military, and the term ‘First Aid’ was coined. In 1872, the Order of St John of Jerusalem in England established a system of practical medical help, including the establishment of the UK’s first ambulance service.

“Also in the UK, First Aid was introduced in the British Army. First aid training spread through the British Empire thereafter, through organisations such as St John, including in high-risk, industrial sectors such as in the maritime and rail industries, from which our modern First Aid practices and training arose,” Mörsner advises.

A proactive approach

The IOL’s proactive approach in obtaining the QCTO First Aid course accreditation positions the company well ahead of its industry competitors, providing Dekra IOL’s clients with a clear strategic advantage in delivering fully accredited First Aid training which meets regulatory requirements.

The IOL was also part of the technical committee which contributed to shaping the new QCTO-accredited First Aid curriculum – along with emergency response and other healthcare professionals and subject matter experts.

“Furthermore, by facilitating workshops and providing clarity for the South African adult-based education industry on the transition from legacy unit standards to QCTO standards, we have empowered industry to navigate these changes effectively – reinforcing our dedication to fostering a culture of safety and skills development, in line with the ethos of our 99 year-old parent company Dekra. We remain steadfast in our mission to empower individuals and organisations with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in today’s dynamic and demanding work environment.”

A rigorous process and impactful training

The QCTO accreditation process involved rigorous evaluation and assessment of Dekra IOL’s First Aid course curriculum, to ensure its alignment with the stringent criteria stipulated by the QCTO. As such, the IOL has demonstrated its capability to deliver comprehensive, high-quality occupational training which meets the needs of today’s workforce.

The IOL’s QCTO-accredited First Aid course has been carefully structured to deliver accessible and yet also impactful practical, in-person training which prepares participants to respond effectively to real-life emergencies. The former First Aid level 1, 2 and 3 training is now known as Basic, Intermediate and Advanced First Aid Responder training. This is equipping learners with the essential skills and knowledge required as first aid responders, who are the first line of defence in preservation and saving of lives.

“By offering this QCTO-accredited First Aid training, we are effectively empowering people to make the most important difference of all: preserving and saving lives, and thereby ensuring safer environments – ‘at work, on the road and at home’, as our parent company DEKRA Global’s safety mantra goes.

As the expiration deadline date for legacy qualifications and singular unit standards – 30 June 2024 – swiftly approaches, DEKRA IOL’s First Aid course accreditation by the QCTO provides a strong assurance to companies seeking the highest quality basic, intermediate and advanced training for First Aid responders,” Mörsner concludes.