Police first aid training significantly bolstered to save lives

The first aid training for police officers is to be increased significantly with a greater focus on saving lives. 

The new College of Policing programme will mean officers now receive at least 12 hours of first aid training and a refresher course every year. 

Learning and recommendations following the Manchester Arena Inquiry are in the new First Aid Learning Programme. This includes the management of catastrophic bleeding and the ability to assess the seriousness of a person’s injuries within 10 seconds so the officer can help those most seriously ill first. Using the NHS’s ten second triage will bring policing into line with other emergency services. 

A more in-depth focus on recognising and managing acute behavioural disturbance (ABD), an umbrella term for complex and potentially fatal conditions, is also included. ABD is a medical emergency and the new training will better equip officers to spot it.  

Alongside the additions there is still training on dealing with stab wounds, acid attacks and giving CPR. 

Superintendent Gaynor Wardle, Head of Specialist Operations at the College of Policing, said: “The first duty of all police officers is to preserve life and on a daily basis officers are keeping people safe and responding to life threatening incidents. Our improved first aid training will make sure officers have the skills and knowledge needed for their challenging and complex role. 

“Many brave officers respond to serious incidents every day and do their upmost to save lives but we know they have sometimes not been as well equipped as they should have. This new training will mean officers have a specific input that equips them, as first responders, with the skills they need to keep people safe. 

“The feedback so far has been incredibly positive and we’ll continue to work closely with forces as the new training is rolled out.” 

The College’s new curriculum must be used in forces by the end of April 2025. 

Improvements to the first aid training are part of an uplift in the standard and quality of training provided for frontline policing. It follows previously announced increases in personal safety training for officers. 

Updated first aid training for officers | College of Policing - YouTube 

Contact Information

College Press Office

College of Policing

020 3837 0435


Notes to editors


  • The current First Aid Learning Programme requires nine hours initial training and four hours yearly refresher. This will change to 12 hours initial training and six hours yearly refresher. 
  • The review of the course was underway before the recommendations from the Manchester Arena Inquiry. However the recommendations have been incorporated in the new programme. It also includes recommendations from the IOPC and Coronial Inquiries. 
  • The College of Policing and National Police Chiefs’ Council will support forces to introduce the new course. This includes a College development event held for officers on 24/10/23. 
  • The College of Policing announced increased and improvement personal safety training for officers in April.