The qualifications required to teach accredited mental health first aid awards and become a mental health first aid instructor have changed over the last couple of years. You can no longer teach accredited mental health first aid handling awards such as RQF or SCQF Qualifications with just a mental health trainer award, as this will not be accepted by any of the UK awarding bodies.
First and foremost if you want to be a trainer you will need to have an entry-level teaching qualification. The PDLSG – Planning and Delivering Learning Sessions to Groups Award or the ETA – Level 3 Award in Education and Training qualification gives the teaching award accepted by all awarding bodies. This course is nationally accredited and by its conclusion will allow the successful candidate to teach any subject they have experience in.
Mental Health First Aid Qualification
Ok, so you now have a teaching qualification either PDLSG or ETA that proves your competence as a trainer. What’s next is to match it up with some relevant experience. The easiest way to do this is to obtain the Level 2 Mental Health First Aid, but also you can do a CPD mental health first aid award. Holding the teaching qualification and current experience will allow you to teach the following courses:
- Understanding First Aid for Mental Health in the Workplace (RQF/SCQF)
- First Aid for Mental Health in the Workplace (RQF/SCQF)
It’s best to also complete at some CPD course before you attend the mental health first aid trainers award.
Trainers will require public liability insurance to gain an approval from awarding bodies but also to protect them in case a member of the public blames you for causing damage or injury. Also on insurance a trainer is advised to take out professional indemnity insurance in case a member of your class accuses you of making a mistake, which they then taught and caused injury. Both of these insurances are around £120 to £140 per year.
In manual handling you don’t really need much specialist equipment, its more training equipment you require. The below list of equipment is everything you will need:
- Mental Health First Aid PowerPoint (some companies will give this free on trainer courses, otherwise it can cost up to £90 )
- Projector for Powerpoint presentations
Mental Health First Aid Trainer Courses with Teaching Award
If you don’t already have a teaching award such as PDLSG or the Education and Training Award, then you can attend courses with Abertay International Training, QualSafe or First Aid Awards etc. For example courses from Abertay provide everything you need just click the link below to become a Mental Health First Aid at Work Trainer with includes the PDLSG teaching award. There are also trainer courses by distance learning on Zoom so no need to travel or spend further on Hotels etc.
- Teaching Qualification
- Experience or Qualification in Mental Health First Aid
- Insurance as stated above
- Equipment as listed above
Accredited Mental Health First Aid Certifications
Now that you have followed the above and are now qualified as a Mental Health First Aid Trainer, how do you gain accredited certification. Mental Health First Aid England or MHFA provide accredited awards, but are expensive for trainers compared to the awarding bodies, that offer trainer courses to deliver awards on the RQF/SCQF qualifications framework. Qualsafe provide a trainer course but is quite expensive at near 1000 pounds compared to the SafeCert Awards registered award at around 450 pounds. Both will allow you to teach accredited mental first aid awards on the qualifications framework.
Once you have all the above, you then need to apply to one of the awarding bodies to apply to become an approved centre so that you can gain accredited mental health first aid certifications for the candidates you then teach. There are many awarding bodies out there but one of the most reasonable for costs is SafeCert Awards. They cost 295 for centre approval with mental health certification at around 9 pounds each. There are also Highfield for centre approval 450 plus vat and certification costs at at around 18 pounds. With awarding bodies all will require an annual spend and therefore cost you around 250 to 350 per year, but we included SafeCert Awards as there is no annual spend requirement. Before selecting your awarding body do your research, you can search for awarding bodies for mental health first aid awards on google for more information.