First aid training becomes more accessible to South Africans

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Everyone from scholars and students to parents and business managers stand to benefit from the programme conceptualised by St John Ambulance, the global non-profit that for 140 years has provided first aid and health care services in South Africa.

St John has partnered with learning solutions provider New Leaf Technologies on the project, which will enable graduates to treat emergencies at work, home or play.

“This course aligns with our ongoing commitment to care for our people and supports our motto, ‘Here for good’,” says St John director of training Saroj Rajoo.

“Simply put, we want to reach and teach as many people as possible first aid knowledge and skills so in an emergency they can take charge of the situation and put into action the necessary first aid to save a life or prevent further injury.”

St John is active in more than 40 countries around the world and has built a reputation as the global leader in quality first aid care and training, community health care, ambulance services and youth development programmes.

The learning management system (LMS) New Leaf Technologies has developed for the initiative not only offers first aid training but also support for any technological challenges that may arise.

St John’s blended learning model, which is already available nationwide, includes a theory component that can be accessed from mobile devices to enable learning-on-the-go that aligns with the user’s preferred time schedule or pace of training.

The LMS also caters to groups like schools, universities and colleges, and is able to track top-achieving students on a leaderboard to encourage competition and enhance the overall learning experience.

Rajoo explains that on completion of the online summative assessment, trainees will undergo a practical skills assessment at one of St John’s 10 centres around the country.

“Users can be assured of high-quality training with up-to-date information and first aid protocols. St John has accreditations with quality assurance partners, from the Quality Council of Trades and Occupation (QCTO) and the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) to the American Heart Association and the Resuscitation Council of South Africa (RCSA),” he says.

While the online first aid course may not be accredited by the SETAs, all content is directly aligned with the South African Quality Assurance (SAQA) unit standard 119567. This speaks to the high quality of St John training content.

New Leaf Technologies has a wealth of experience in the e-learning space, helping organisations create, curate and deliver blended learning that adapts to each individual. Real-time analytics contained in learning systems like the aNewSpring platform, of which New Leaf is the distributor in Southern Africa, have made it possible to track progress, identify skill gaps, and measure the impact of training initiatives.

These same capabilities are contained in the LMS created for St John. “It is such a privilege to partner with this incredible organisation on this project,” says New Leaf MD Michael Hanly. “So often you hear about the negatives around technology, but here we are using it to help people save lives, perhaps the greatest thing anyone can do. We are immensely honoured to be part of this journey.”

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