RTOs delivering HLTAID003 Provide First Aid and or other first aid related units

RTOs delivering HLTAID003 Provide First Aid and or other first aid related units

RTOs delivering HLTAID003 Provide First Aid and/or other first aid related units


A recent Coroner’s decision in Western Australia included a recommendation that training provided to sports trainers and other first responders should be altered to incorporate recent approaches to treating heat-related illness.


The Coroner’s Court of Western Australia has published its findings, including advice sought from Professor Ian Rogers, as outlined in the attached ‘Heat stroke advice for sports trainers and coaches’.


The Coroner’s report recommended that RTOs delivering HLTAID003 Provide First Aid consider, and if appropriate, incorporate the principles outlined in Professor Rogers’ guide into the knowledge content of the training they deliver with respect to providing first aid for hyperthermia.


If your RTO is delivering or planning to deliver HLTAID003 Provide First Aid or other first aid related units, you should review the content of your training on providing first aid for hyperthermia to incorporate the advice provided by Professor Rogers.


The unit of competency HLTAID003 Provide First Aid is due for national review in 2019-2020. Advice contained in the Coroner’s report has been shared with the Australian Industry and Skills Committee and Skills IQ to seek amendment to the unit to reflect the heat stroke advice as detailed by Professor Rogers.


The Coroner’s Finding and Recommendation is available on the Coroner’s Court of Western Australia website.

TAC continues to monitor compliance across training products linked to the health and community services sector, including first aid. For further information about TAC’s priorities and focus areas, please refer to TAC’s 2018-2019 Annual Regulatory Strategy.




Heat Stroke Advice for Sports Trainers & Coaches



Heat stroke is an uncommon but life threatening complication of grossly elevated body temperature with exercise in heat stressed settings. Whilst heat stroke risk can be minimised by the use of predictive tools (e.g. insert reference here to relevant tools such as the SMA/NRL heat guideline), the risk cannot be fully eliminated.


Risk is highest with: high temperatures and/or high humidity and/or vigorous activity


Symptoms & Signs


In a heat stressed setting always suspect heat stroke if an athlete becomes acutely unwell or collapses, especially if they don't recover promptly on lying flat with the legs elevated. Whilst there are many possible causes of such an acute illness or collapse, heat stroke is one of the most important.


The first signs of heat stroke show in the function of the brain and the nervous system.


Look for any of: confusion, incoherent speech, abnormal walking, coma or seizures


The athlete's skin may feel dry & hot, or sweaty - so the feel of the skin is not a useful sign. Similarly on-field temperature measurement is unreliable, so don't use this to rule in or rule out heat stroke.


First Aid

In the ill athlete in a heat stressed setting who hasn't rapidly responded to lying flat in the shade there is no down side to assuming heat stroke is the problem and starting first aid.


Early recognition and rapid first aid cooling are the keys to recovery from heat stroke


Actions to take in this order are:


STRIP the athlete of as much clothing as possible

SOAK with any available water

FAN vigorously by whatever means possible - improvise e.g. use a clipboard, bin lid


When available cool or ice water immersion is the most effective cooling means possible


IMMERSE the athlete up to the neck in an cool or ice bath OR

COVER all of the body with ice water soaked towels that are changed frequently as an alternative if a bath isn't       available but ice is

CALL 000 to summon emergency services, but do so once you are certain first aid cooling is being implemented


Remember it is early recognition and first aid in heat stroke that is critical to save a life.


Professor Ian Rogers FACEM


Last modified: 3/05/2019 3:42 PM