QA Level 3 Certificate in First Response Emergency Care (RQF)

Qualsafe’s Level 3 Certificate in First Response Emergency Care (FREC) course gives you the knowledge and practical competencies needed to deal with a range of prehospital emergency situations.

If you provide prehospital care to patients requiring emergency care/treatment – perhaps because of a specific responsibility at work, or in voluntary and community activities – this qualification will provide you with the practical skills and underpinning knowledge to do so safely. Examples roles are event medical responder, emergency care support worker and more.

The Level 3 Certificate in First Response Emergency Care course shows you how to use the contents of our orange emergency oxygen & red ambulance / first aid bags.
Ambulance / first aid bag with oxygen containing the equipment you’ll be trained to use on the FREC3 course

This qualification and learning outcomes are based on the guidance of:

Our FREC3 course fulfils the competences set out in the Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine (PHEM) skills framework at descriptor level D.

This course is also based on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) training standard for delivery of First Aid at Work (FAW) courses for the purposes of The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981.

Our Level 3 FREC course is recognised as a first aid qualification by the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

By the end of the course, you’ll be able to demonstrate the practical administration of safe, prompt, effective prehospital care in situations which can arise when providing emergency treatment and/or management.

Upcoming Level 3 Certificate in First Response Emergency Care courses

We provide our courses for groups of 4-6 people at your own premises. Each day runs from 0830 – 1700 (approx).

If you have 4-6 staff members interested in this qualification, please email or call 03333 445442 to discuss.

These courses are provided by our training partner, STC Training Solutions, a Qualsafe Awards Registered Centre No. 0907391.

Level 3 Certificate in First Response Emergency Care qualfication details

This qualification contains 3 mandatory units with a Total Qualification Time (TQT) of 150 hours. This is made up of 35 Guided Learning Hours (GLH); the time your are being taught and assessed under the immediate guidance of a trainer/assessor. The additional 118 hours are what you will reasonably spend preparing & studying and towards assessment, directed (but not supervised) by a trainer/assessor, and in applying your practice.

The credit value for this qualification is 15 credits at level 3.

Topics covered

On the Level 3 Certificate in First Response Emergency Care course, you’ll first learn the roles & responsibilities of a first aider. An important part of all emergency care is incident reporting and completing patient report forms.

We’ll teach you how to assess patients, manage airways and perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on adults, children & infants. You’ll learn the procedures for the return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) and when to provide emergency oxygen.

In addition to covering medical emergencies, the course looks at traumatic injuries such as catastrophic bleeding, burns & scalds, external & internal bleeding and neck, spine & pelvic immobilisation. You’ll also learn when & how to safely remove helmets.

We look at shock, poisoning & intoxicating substances, environmental exposure and minor injuries, too.


You must complete all assessments & skills tests in the unit successfully within the registration period to achieve the qualification. The minimum time to complete this qualification is 3 weeks and the maximum is 20 weeks.

Assessment of performance is carried out on a 1:1 basis.

14 x practical assessments:

  • Adult cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillation (AED) (FREC)
  • Airway management
  • Assessment and treatment of trauma (bleeding)
  • Burn severity
  • Child cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) (FREC)
  • Choking patient (FREC)
  • Circulatory system
  • Infant cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • Management of fractures (FREC)
  • Medical emergencies
  • Patient report form (PRF) (FREC)
  • Respiratory system
  • Secondary survey (FREC)
  • Unconscious patient

3 x theory assessments:

  • Unit 1 First Response Emergency Care (multiple-choice question (MCQ) paper) – 30 minutes – pass mark 14/20
  • Unit 2 First Response Emergency Care of Trauma (multiple-choice question (MCQ) paper) – 45 minutes – pass mark 21/30
  • Unit 3 First Response Emergency Care of Medical Conditions (multiple-choice question (MCQ) paper) – 45 minutes – pass mark 21/30


  • Level 2 in literacy (ie GCSE English grades 4-9 or equivalent)
  • Level 2 in numeracy (ie GCSE Mathematics grades 4-9 or equivalent)
  • Be at least 17 years old on the first day of the training

You won’t need any prior medical/healthcare knowledge to access the course content, though a basic understanding of first aid is desirable.

QA Level 3 Certificate in First Response Emergency Care (RQF) certificate

You’ll receive your Qualsafe Awards Level 3 Certificate in First Response Emergency Care (RQF) e-certificate soon after your results have been submitted. We’ll also post a printed certificate within a few weeks of the course ending.

We’ll issue you with an interim ecertificate confirming what you have been assessed on to cover the time from our Internal Quality Assurer (IQA) confirming your have met the requirement for the award until your certificate is issued. You can show this to employers pending the certificate from the awarding body.

Recommended reading

You can prepare for this course and support your learning by reading Ross & Wilson Anatomy and Physiology in Health and Illness (ISBN 9780702072765). The JRCALC Clinical Guidelines (ISBN 9781859596555) is extremely useful for the treatment protocols for medical emergencies & trauma.

We’ll provide a copy of each of the above texts for you to use during the course. You may take them home between sessions to support your self-study.

You’ll also receive Ambulance Care Essentials (ISBN 9781859598528) to keep on the first day of the course. This will support you in your career to put your knowledge into practice.

You may also enjoy reading Generic Core Material – Prehospital Emergency Care Course (ISBN 9780954621377), which provides a comprehensive overview of delivering safe prehospital critical care to seriously ill or injured patients.

In addition, First Aid Made Easy (ISBN 9780955229404) is a comprehensive first aid manual and reference guide providing in-depth, yet easy to understand information on key first aid principles and procedures.


Your QA Level 3 Certificate in First Response Emergency Care (RQF) certificate is valid for 3 years. This is dated when you achieve the final unit.

You need to retake the qualification before the certificate expiry date to remain qualified. A shorter (3-day) requalification course is available.

We recommend that you complete annual basic life support (BLS) or immediate life support (ILS) training to maintain your basic skills and keep up-to-date with any changes to prehospital care practice.


This course is a pre-requisite for the QA Level 4 Certificate in First Response Emergency Care (RQF) qualification. It forms part of the progressive FREC suite of qualifications, which can ulimately lead to registration as a paramedic.

You can increase your knowledge & skills by attending our QA Level 3 Award in Administering Emergency Medical Gases (RQF) course. This covers the use & administration of nitrous oxide / oxygen mixtures.