Online Vs In Person First Aid Training – What’s Better?

Alot of instructors on a tight budget will ask us this – especially those setting up a club for the first time. What’s better; in person first aid training or online e-based learning?

The answer is fairly simple and much as you would expect. It seems hard to find any situation in which online first aid training is going to be more effective or potent than in-person training. That’s the simple truth.


First aid is an interactive subject. Learning how to deliver rescue breaths and chest compressions requires a specialist resuscitation doll (which cost upward of £900). Understanding how to roll a casualty into the recovery position requires a willing subject, and the expert guidance of an instructor. Much as you wouldn’t rate martial arts training that’s purely online, first aid training really does require that personal touch. For this reason, we wholeheartedly recommend in-person training.

When might online training be appropriate?

Whilst it’s true that an ‘in-person’ course is going to be the best option wherever possible, there are a few instances where vocational or online based learning might be appropriate. Much as we mentioned the example of not learning purely online for martial arts, we can all recognise the value of supplementing our on the night training with some vocational video tutorials. Online first aid training can be a great refresher if you’ve already completed a first aid course in person previously.

It’s a great refresher, and can really help you recap the key tools and delivery methods for various types of treatment.

Our Verdict

We’ve been campaigning to improve standards in martial arts for years. Our #martialartsdoneright campaign via our Charitable Foundation has been making the case for more accessible, martial arts specific first aid training too. The truth is, we recognise many clubs don’t have the funds for ‘in-person’ training days, nor sometimes the inclination. The latter isn’t good enough, but funding can be a huge barrier to learning. We would rather a club undertake online training rather than nothing at all – but that’s very much a worst case.

We always champion CPD accredited in person training for any instructor whom will be teaching without supervision. Without it, you could really find yourself in a fairly desperate situation if a member of your class falls ill or picks up an injury in session. It’s really important you check carefully any insurance requirements set by your association or insurer surrounding first aid requirements too. Whilst it’s not always obvious, most will want you to hold first aid training to an ‘approved level’ (although it’s not always clear what this is).

We can sign post clubs toward recognised in-person training and we can provide discounted access to CPD and insurer-approved online training too. You can learn more about our first aid provisions from here.

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As with all of the guidance and articles shared throughout our website, this information should not be considered professional advice and is for informational and discussion basis only. You must always take your time to ensure any provisions made at club level are correct and accurate to their intended needs. Only you can do this. We’re available to talk if you’d like to learn more.