First Aid & CPR Training

Gain the knowledge and skills necessary to respond to first aid emergencies while you earn certifications required for employment, to meet workplace standards or personal needs.

Where: College Wide
Starts: Monthly
Length: Varies by course

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First aid skills are useful no matter your age or where you work. In fact, the most likely place you’ll use first aid is at home. Whether it’s putting on a bandage or clearing someone’s airway if they’re choking, I think people would be surprised at how little effort it takes to help someone in need.

Ernie Payne, NIC first aid instructor

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Browse Schedule & Costs

First Aid and CPR training courses are offered year-round in Ucluelet, Port Alberni, the Comox Valley, Campbell River, and Port Hardy. To browse upcoming courses and schedules click on your chosen course code.  For contract training please contact the first aid department at 250-334-5005 or

First Aid Courses

  • AET-020 Emergency Medical Responder
  • FAC-010 Child Care First Aid
  • FAC-012 Canadian Red Cross Babysitter's Course
  • FAC-015 Red Cross First Responder
  • FAC-016 - Bloodborne Pathogens
  • FAC-017 - Medical Terminology
  • FAC-019 CPR Level Basic Life Support (CPR BLS)
  • FAC-020 Emergency First Aid with CPR Level C 
  • FAC-021 Standard First Aid 
  • FAC-023 First Aid Instructors "Recertification" Course
  • FAC-024 First Aid Instructors Course
  • FAC-026 Standard First Aid - Recertification
  • FAC-025 Instructor Transfer Course 
  • FAC-045 - Cannabis in the Workplace: Training For Workers
  • FAC-046 - Cannabis in the Workplace: Management Training
  • FAC-051 Mental Health Frst Aid Standard-Virtual
  • FAC-052 MHFA Adults who Interact with Youth
  • FAC-055 Psychological First Aid
  • FAC-056 Psychological First Aid - Self-Care
  • FAC-057 Psychological FAID - Caring for Others
  • FAC-056 Psychological First Aid - Self-Care
  • FAC-057 Psychological First Aid - Caring for Others
  • FAC-080 Red Cross Emergency First Aid & CPR Level C - Blended Learning
  • FAC-081 Red Cross Standard First Aid with CPR Level C - Blended Learning
  • FAC-082 Marine Basic First Aid With CPR C
  • FAC-084 Marine Advanced First Aid & CPR
  • FAC-091 PeopleSavers Level 1
  • FAC-092 PeopleSavers Level 2
  • FAC-093 PeopleSavers Level 3
  • FAC-094 PeopleSavers Level 4
  • HRT-010 Heartsaver (CPR Level A)
  • HRT-011 CPR Level C with AED
  • HRT-030 CPR Instructors Course
  • HRT-031 CPR Instructors "Recertification" Course
  • OFA-001 WHMIS 2015
  • OFA-010 Occupational First Aid Level 1
  • OFA-015 Transportation Endorsement
  • OFA-020 Occupational First Aid Level 2
  • OFA-030 Occupational First Aid Level 3
  • OFA-031 Occupational First Aid Level 2 or 3 Practice
  • OFA-032 Occupational First Aid Level 3 Renewal 
  • OFA-050 Occupational First Aid Level 1 Instructor Training
  • WSF-017 - Lock Out - Tag Out
  • WSF-050 - Fire Safety


Admission Requirements

  1. There are no formal admission requirements for first aid training. However, some courses will have specific entry requirements, called prerequisites, which are listed under each course description.

Accessible Learning

Making education accessible for those with a documented disability is a key priority for NIC. We offer a wide range of services, supports and resources for students. For more information visit: Accessible Learning Services.

Which Course is Right for You?

If you require a first aid course that meets WorkSafeBC (WSBC) requirements, refer to the Health and Safety Regulations (Part 3) available at the WorkSafeBC website to determine first aid requirements pertinent to your workplace. All WSBC courses offered at NIC are listed as Occupational First Aid (OFA) courses. Many of the first aid course prerequisite/corequisite(s) listed for NIC trades, technical, and tourism programs are listed as OFA courses.

If the course you require does not need to meet WSBC specifications, then a first aid and/or cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) course may be appropriate. Check with your employer to determine their expectations. For example, if you work in the day care field, the Day Care Licensing Board should be able to advise you. First aid courses offered through NIC are listed as FAC courses and CPR courses are listed as HRT courses. Many of the first aid course prerequisite/corequisite(s) listed for NIC health and human services programs and marine training are listed as FAC courses. 

General Interest
If you are looking for a course to take for your own general interest and knowledge, a basic first aid course with CPR such as Standard First Aid (FAC-021), Emergency First Aid (FAC-020), or even a Childcare First Aid (FAC-010) may be appropriate. Should you feel these courses cover more than you are looking for, then one of our CPR courses, such as CPR Level C with AED (HRT-011) may meet your needs.

BC Ambulance Level
If you are interested in working with the British Columbia Ambulance Service, or would like a higher level of training than OFA Level 3, we offer Emergency Medical Responder (AET-020).

Still not sure?
If you need more help to determine an appropriate course, contact the First Aid department for assistance in making the choice most suitable for your needs.

Note: All first aid and CPR courses include signs, symptoms, and action required for critically ill persons; accessing the Emergency Medical System; breathing and circulatory emergencies; and treatment for conscious and unconscious choking persons. All CPR courses meet the Canadian Heart Foundation Standards. 

 Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can anyone take first aid courses or do you need to be a NIC student?
    First aid courses are open to everyone. You do not need to apply to the college or take a placement test to register for first aid courses. Register online or at any NIC Student Services office.
  2. My employer wants to pay for my first aid course. How do I register?
    It's easy! Once your employer completes and signs a sponsorship agreement and you complete and sign the Continuing Education registration form, fax them to Registration at the Student Services office nearest you.
  3.  Is the cost of the books extra?
    Book costs are included in the course fees.
  4. Do I need to get my first aid books before the course starts?
    Most first aid courses don't require you to have your materials before class begins. However, pre-reading and homework is required for the following courses:
  • OFA Level 2 (OFA-020)
  • OFA Level 3 (OFA-030)
  • OFA Level 3 Renewal (OFA-032)
  • Emergency Medical Responder (AET-020)
  • First Responder (FAC-015)
  • Marine Advanced (FAC-084)
  • OFA Level 1 Instructor School (OFA-050)
  • Red Cross Instructor School (FAC-024)
  • Course materials can be supplied ahead of time upon request. Once registered, you can arrange to get your books by contacting the First Aid department at 250-334-5092 or 1-800-715-0914 Local 5092.
  1. Do I have to take the whole course or only the part I want?
    You must complete all of the required course hours to receive certification.
  2. How long is the certification good for?
    The certification period for all courses is three years. It is recommended you renew your CPR yearly.
  3.  Where are the first aid courses held on the Comox Valley campus?
    First aid courses are held at the the former St. Joseph’s General Hospital site at 2137 Comox Avenue, accessible from Rodello Avenue in Comox (see campus map).
  4. Which courses are WorksSafe BC certified?
  • OFA Level 1 (OFA-010)
  • OFA Transportation Endorsement (OFA-015)
  • OFA Level 2 (OFA-020)
  • OFA Level 3 (OFA-030)
  • OFA Level 3 Renewal (OFA-032)
  • OFA Level 1 Instructor School (OFA-050)
  1. Do I need to take OFA Level 1 & 2 courses before I can take OFA Level 3?
    No, OFA Level 3 does not have any prerequisites.  
  2. Can I take the Transportation Endorsement course (OFA-015) without OFA Level 1 (OFA-010)?
    In order for your Transportation Endorsement certification to be valid you must hold a valid OFA Level 1 certification. OFA Level 1 holders may take the Transportation Endorsement course at any time without retaking OFA Level 1. However, if your OFA Level 1 expires, your Transportation Endorsement will not be valid until you renew your OFA Level 1 and then it is valid until it's expiry date.
  3. Do any first aid courses have training prerequisites?
    Most first aid courses don't have prerequisites, but some courses build on previous certifications or skills. Please check the prerequisite in the course listing to see if previous training is required.
  4. How old do I have to be to take a first aid course?
    The age varies according to course-type. Basic Red Cross first aid courses require a Grade 8 (approximately 13-14 years old) reading ability. Students must be 16 years of age to register for advanced courses like Marine Advanced First Aid & CPR C, Red Cross Emergency Medical Responder - EMR, or any WorkSafe BC OFA courses. Students under 19 years of age must have a parent or guardian sign a participation waiver.

Learn from the industry's best

NIC instructors have extensive experience developing and implementing responsive first aid programming. Here's a sample of some of some of our regular team.

Ernie Payne

Ernie Payne

First Aid & CPR Training, Instructor

Ernie Payne has been instructing firs aid for many years with NIC and as a member of the Canadian military firefighting team. When he retired from the military a couple of years ago he decided to dedicate more of his free time to instructing and community outreach for the college. Ernie instructs our first aid courses with an ease and confidence that helps students relax and learn in a less stressful environment. Ernie is a certified Red Cross Instructor Trainer and instructs our Emergency Medical Responder, First Responder, Marine Advanced and OFA Level 3 courses as well as many of the entry level courses.

Kim Nutt

Kim Nutt

First Aid & CPR Training, Instructor

Kim Nutt has been instructing first aid for 30+ years and many of those with NIC. She is a retired registered nurse who, along with her husband of 35 years, has three children and four lovely grandchildren.

Kim teaches with an ease and confidence that helps students relax and learn in a less stressful environment. She is a very positive and happy person whose main goal as an instructor is to help her students shine and meet their training goals. Kim is a certified Red Cross Instructor Trainer and teaches our WSBC Level 1 courses and all our entry-level Red Cross courses. She is based at our Campbell River campus, but travels all over Vancouver Island providing custom training for many of our contract clients and students.


Melissa Furlotte

Melissa Furlotte

First Aid & CPR Training, Instructor

Melissa currently works as the Head Lifeguard for the City of Powell River. She has been teaching lifesaving and water safety for over 15 years. Melissa has recently made the leap to teaching first aid and is loving every second of it. In her spare time, she can be found playing hockey or at the local CrossFit gym. Melissa enjoys creating a fun and relaxed learning environment.