FAIA was established in 1999 to represent private first aid (emergency response) training organisations and since its foundation has had a strong history of effective advocacy on behalf of its members. Many first aid training organisations, then and now, are oblivious to the activities of FAIA, (originally ECPA), and have benefitted without even being aware of the work being carried out behind the scenes.
GST and First Aid Training
The original purpose of FAIA was given impetus by the introduction of the GST and the fact that certain training organisations were being given an unfair advantage by being exempt. A well thought out strategy to amend this piece of legislation was successfully carried out and the result was a more level playing field.
A Case Study
A significant development by the NSW government (WorkCover) planned to hijack the entire first aid training market in that state. The proposal was that WorkCover would:
- Provide training to trainers and thereby approve trainers
- Approve the organisations to deliver the training
- Decide on the curriculum
- Issue certificates
… thereby effectively controlling our industry.
Once again a strategic plan was formulated to destroy this initiative. Most providers would not be aware that their industry was threatened. If not for the action of FAIA, there may well have been a very different landscape today.
Yet another federal government endorsed program, led by an opportunistic private provider in attempt to set up a de-facto registration body. The AEDDR website ignited a flurry of activity to understand the business model of the site, the impact on our industry and subsequent FAIA strategy to expose and diminish the perceived authority of this organisation.
VET Activity Data Collection
In 2012, FAIA provided a detailed submission on the Regulatory Impact Statement for the COAG Consultation on Total VET Activity Data Collection.
Continued efforts by FAIA in concert with those of like-minded organisations led to qualified exemptions for first aid, fire or other emergency service training and achieved a lengthy transition period with reduced data reporting for short courses.
CRICOS: Review of the National Code
In 2017, FAIA made a submission to the review of the National Code of Practice for Providers of Education and Training Services to Overseas Students. The national regulator had been insisting that providers had to be registered under CRICOS to deliver first aid training to overseas students. The draft code circulated in February 2017 did nothing to dispel the regulator’s interpretation of the legislation.
FAIA played a leadership role in convincing government that the intentions of the Educational Services to Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act) were in relation to full-time qualifications and that it should not apply to short workplace health and safety training such as first aid. The arguments for excluding first aid prevailed, and the new National Code for 2018 makes explicit that the CRICOS scheme applies only to full-time study.