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First Response Emergency Care qualifications position statement for HPA




The First Response Emergency Care (FREC) qualifications were designed to focus on the knowledge and skills required to provide patient care within the prehospital environment. The qualifications start with the QA Level 3 Certificate in First Response Emergency Care (RQF) and progress up to the QA Level 5 Diploma in First Response Emergency and Urgent Care (RQF). The qualifications are progressive in terms of level of difficulty, duration, content, autonomy and skills and knowledge.

The QA Level 3 Certificate in First Response Emergency Care (RQF) provides Learners with a foundation level of prehospital care knowledge and skills to deal with a range of prehospital care situations. This qualification is suited for people who have a specific responsibility at work, or in voluntary and community activities, to provide prehospital care to patients requiring emergency care/treatment. This qualification is currently undertaken by Learners from a variety of different employment sectors including heavy industry, high risk workplaces, patient transport, security sector and event medical providers. It is also used by organisations with a requirement to provide an emergency medical response including the military, ambulance (combined with a recognised qualification as an emergency response driver), police and fire and rescue services.

The QA Level 4 Certificate in First Response Emergency Care (RQF) qualification is for people who have a specific responsibility at work, or in voluntary and community activities, to provide prehospital care to patients requiring emergency and urgent care/treatment. It is the ideal baseline for those looking to progress their careers within the ambulance services as an emergency care assistant, intermediate ambulance practitioner, event medical provider, associate practitioner, healthcare assistant and supports specialist medical roles within the military, police and fire and rescue services. Although this qualification provide Learners the ability to meet a licence to practice requirement that allows them to act within their scope of practice to administer safe, prompt, effective prehospital care in situations which can arise when providing emergency and urgent treatment and/or management. It is important to highlight some sectors require specific training to fulfil a role, for example in the ambulance sector to be an emergency care assistant are required to undergo training in safeguarding, information governance, moving and conflict resolution.


Ambulance Technician 

The QA Level 5 Diploma in First Response Emergency and Urgent Care (RQF) qualification is to benefit Learners by enabling them to attain the knowledge, skills and practical competencies needed to deal with a wide range of prehospital emergency and urgent situations. The qualification is designed to act as proof the Learner has undergone a programme of learning and assessment to demonstrate competency in the area of prehospital care. It is ideal for those looking to progress their careers within the ambulance services as an associate practitioner, event medical provider, healthcare support role in a medical facility and supports specialist medical roles within the military, police and fire and rescue services. As part of this qualification Learners must undertake placements in their clinical practice in order to achieve this qualification. It is important to highlight some sectors require specific training to fulfil a role, for example within heavy industry, security close protection and ambulance sectors specific training is required to operate in order to comply with regulatory requirements.

- Statutory and mandatory training is additional to FREC 5 and must be kept up to date.