Is “Blended Learning” right for you?

So, what is ‘Blended Learning’? Just a buzz word or something that saves time and money?

“Blended learning is an education program (formal or informal) that combines online digital media with traditional classroom methods”

So, what does that mean in reality? Well, let’s take the First Aid at Work qualification and explore two ways of completing it: First, the traditional method, then the Blended Learning method.

As you know, the Health & Safety Executive require employers to provide adequate First Aid provision for these employees and visitors. Most employers will send staff on a First Aid at Work course to gain a recognised qualification and therefore the employer can demonstrate they have exercised their duty of care.

A standard First Aid at Work course will require the student to attend for three days, during which the course will deliver a range of training through powerpoints, discussion, demonstrations, practical sessions and finally assessments. The student will spend three days away from the workplace gaining the knowledge and understanding in order to carry out the practical skills required to administer First Aid in the workplace.

If the First Aid provider offered a blended learning approach then the student could be enrolled on an e-Learning portal, which would allow them to complete the learning elements of the course in their own time, whilst remaining in their workplace. This saves on travelling time, possibly accommodation costs, and it is also more efficient. The student can log onto the portal when they wish, and complete the learning in stages. Each module has assessment questions to ensure that the student has understood the content, and allows them to repeat any areas where they are unsure, as many times as they want.

Having completed the e-Learning and received an online certificate there are then two routes to follow: The first is for those students who don’t require a formal qualification, in which case the record of e-Learning may be enough for them and they do not need to do anything else. For those students requiring a formal qualification, or confirmation that they have indeed understood the training and gained the correct knowledge, they can attend a

For those students requiring a formal qualification, or confirmation that they have indeed understood the training and gained the correct knowledge, they can attend a two-day course which will consolidate their learning with a range of discussions and practical exercises, finished off with some assessments. Once the assessments are complete, the learner will receive an accredited qualification.

What are the benefits of blended learning? Well, it isn’t for everyone, but a lot of people will prefer to complete the e-Learning in their own time, at their own pace, and then only attend atwo-dayy course.

Blended learning will often be cheaper because the provider won’t have to supply a trainer for three days, and the savings to employers are both financial ( course costs, travel costs and possibly accommodation) and efficiency (the employee can complete the e-Learning over a period of time, without impacting on three whole days of work at once).

If you’d like to find out more about blended learning options, please email us on

Thank you for reading!



What is Celox ™ and why do we use it?

Whenever we run a First Aid course, we always ask our learners the same question:

“Have you heard of Celox™” ?

We are yet to find a learner who has answered “Yes” to this question, and this has surprised us, because we genuinely feel that Celox™ products are amongst the best out there and it is a medical tool that we should all have access to.

So, what is it?

Celox™ is a haemostat granule, made from a natural polymer derived from shrimp shells, and is extremely effective. It comes as a packet of granules, in bandage form and also in a syringe.

How does it work?

Celox ™ works by creating a gel like clot when it comes in to contact with blood. It does not generate heat like other haemostats, which makes it safer for the applier to use without risking undesirable injuries, such as burns.

Why do we use it?

Quite simply, we use it because we feel that it is the best product on the market when it comes to stopping catastrophic bleeding when used in conjunction with other equipment, methods and training.

We want to show our learners how impressive it is and how easy it is to use, we encourage them to have Celox™ in their own First Aid kits, both for personal use and in the workplace. We demonstrate it by using a gunshot trauma wound prop, pumped with fake blood. (See picture below)

We use Celox™ in all of our FPOS, FPOSi, Tactical Combat Casualty Care and Tactical Emergency Casualty Care courses when covering catastrophic bleeding, we really do believe that there is no better way to assist in the control of major bleeding.

We strongly feel that all First Aiders should have an awareness of Celox™  and encourage learners to go out and get some for their own First Aid kits, hopefully it will never be needed, but if it is, we can guarantee that there will be nothing better to use for the situation.

Additional Information

Obviously, we are merely advocates of the Celox™ product, we are not being asked to promote it in any way shape or form, this is a genuine, honest testimonial.

If you want any more information on Celox™ , there is of course no better place to go than to their official website, where it expands on what we have told you about Celox™ immensely. If you are interested and you have some questions about Celox™ , the chances are that they will be answered on their website:

If you want to see Celox™ in action, or if you would like to take part in a First Aid course that utilises Celox™ and prepares you to use it in life saving situations, feel free to get in touch with us and we would be more than happy to cater to your needs through one of our courses at Robert Peel International.

Do I need First Aid training if I’m working abroad?

The answer, is that everyone, irrespective of where they live and work, needs first aid training and knowledge.

People die from preventable injuries.  In other words, death because of bleeding caused by injuries which someone with the correct training and a small amount of experience could manage.  The person with this knowledge could include the victim himself/herself, as there is nothing stopping self-help, except a positive mind set.

The fact that people are living and working in a foreign country is particularly relevant.  Sometimes the environment itself may not be as permissive as it is in Western Europe or the US, for example.  Environments of extreme heat or cold can have unusual effects on someone’s health and wellbeing, which can consequently affect decision-making. If you add in any injury to this environment, then complications will soon multiply and compound any situation.

At the same time, cultural and language barriers may also have a significant detrimental effect.   Medical facilities may be more rudimentary in certain parts of the world which are usually associated with international development and security tasks. All this adds up and become component parts of a hostile environment.

Survivability is dependent just as much, if not more, on what happens in the first 2 to 3 minutes following an injury, as it is on the 3 to 4 hours of surgery in a modern operating theatre.  In fact, without that initial intervention and treatment the surgery will not happen or even be necessary, because the patient will be lost. Therefore, a decent grasp of basic first aid principles and self-help is important to the overseas operators, as it may be the difference between life and death.

Soldiers on a modern battlefield are trained and expected to administer self-help as soon as they can, in a large number of cases this is what saved them.  Casualties are able, in horrific circumstances, to administer and receive life saving first aid, which is enough to stabilise them before any medic, or doctor is able to attend to them.  This is especially important if you are in a hostile or none permissive environment, as there is no guarantee you will get to a suitable medical facility quickly.

First Person on the Scene (FPOS) training is the industry standard for people who are responsible for protection of personal and premises abroad.  But what would happen if these operators become casualties themselves? Or if they are otherwise engaged dealing with a live incident whilst you or someone close to you requires lifesaving treatment?

There are many locations where an ambulance just won’t come, does not exist, or is unavailable for a whole raft of reasons.  Ambulance staff, if they do attend, may be there just to transport casualties to hospital, A&E or am emergency room.  They are not trained to deal with casualties at scene in a pre-hospital environment as paramedics are in the developed world.

The question therefore, is not: Do I need first aid training? The question should be: What level of first aid training am I comfortable with?  An assessment of risk and exposure to injury and trauma of yourself and your co-workers is what you should be aiming for, so that you understand what you are getting in to.  The longer you spend in any hazardous or challenging environment, the higher the chances of being involved in an incident.

So, whilst carrying out a short task in, for example, Southern Europe for two weeks, you may well be content with Basic First Aid at Work level of training and qualification, for yourself and any staff you may be responsible for.

However, if you find yourself in an environment which has seen a lot of conflict or instability and perhaps a degree of terrorist activity, you may want to consider something more suited to managing the types of injuries associated with such incidents.  Training and qualifications which will equip you and your colleagues to successfully manage trauma effectively such as FPOS, or in extreme circumstances, Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC).

This doesn’t just apply to injuries that are caused by the actions in the conflict zone and by terror attacks.  The same types of injuries can be caused by road traffic and industrial accidents.  The same mechanism of blast, direct and indirect trauma is the cause of injuries and they can be just as catastrophic.

With the right level of experienced trainers with the correct equipment and knowledge. Learning skills like this can become second nature, so that you can react instinctively when and if the situation arises and keep, you, your friends, colleagues and your family alive.

Correct training will save lives in situations which result in catastrophic blood loss.  Accidents in the home, on the roads, in work or just going about the day to day business of living can have exactly the same effect on the human body as guns, knives and explosives.

Catastrophic bleeding occurs when an artery or major blood vessel is cut.  The average home or workplace are full of objects and machines which can achieve this, yet the average home or workplace first aid kit is ill-equipped to deal with such trauma.

Again, a surprisingly little amount of specialist equipment is required.  Simple pressure techniques, proper bandages and some clotting agents are all that is needed.

Consideration should also be given by the employers of people who are asked or required to enter hostile or unstable environments.  Employers have a duty of care, which is not easily discharged, by simply having the correct level of insurance in place.  I personally have heard it said that “everything will be handled because the insurance cover will be able to sort a casualty evacuation”. But what if the nearest airport can’t operate at night? Or in foul weather conditions? Or what if you and your co-workers are so far out that simply getting medical staff in and casualties out is a matter of hours? What then?

The cost of such training and skill can be obtained for less than you would think, and it could prevent you or someone you live and work with becoming a victim of violence or accident caused by any mechanism or action.  Ultimately, the right knowledge could even save yourself.

Yes, overseas workers need to have first aid training.

What would you do in an attack? The case for “Stay Alive” First Aid training.

The Government advice in the event of a terrorist attack is to “Run, Hide, Tell”.  Advice is all well and good, but no one truly knows what they would do until the unthinkable happens.

Human beings are mammals and we act the same as other mammals when faced by danger, we either “Fight or Flight”.  The course of action one takes is based on a lot of external influences, such as: The threat, our personality, who we are with, other dangers and previous experience and training.

Previous experience and training are perhaps the most effective influences.  Study after study confirms that individuals who have had military or police training react differently in a crisis than people who have not.  When all else fails, they will fall back on the drills that they learned, even if, in some cases, those drills were a lifetime ago.

There is also the initial reaction, which comes before the “Fight or Flight” phase, a reaction that is often not known about or understood.  This recognized phase is called “Freeze”. This is a period when the brain makes a critical decision to either fight or flee.  In trained individuals, this decision period occurs in a very short time window, again, dependent on experience and training.  Individuals who have been in Special Forces or exposed to a high volume of operations often make decisions faster than those who have not, which is to be expected.

But what happens if you can’t flee or fight?  There have been a number of high-profile attacks in recent times, where the vast majority could do neither, because of barriers such as: Collapsed buildings, the presence of armed individuals blocking potential escape routes, or injuries sustained by yourself or someone you know. The horrific attack on the Orlando nightclub, Pulse, in 2016, and the attack on the Nairobi Westgate shopping mall, in 2013, are prime examples.

People died in both these situations, from what we now know were treatable blood loss injuries.  In other words, death was a result of bleeding that could have been stopped by someone with the correct training and experience. This includes the victim.

Soldiers on a modern battlefield are trained and expected to administer self-help as soon as they can, this action has saved lives numerous times.  Casualties are able, in horrific circumstances, to receive lifesaving first aid treatment, which is enough to stabilize them before any medic, or doctor is able to see them.

The casualty survival rates for the Afghanistan and the Gulf Wars are mind blowing when compared to earlier conflicts.   The difference between the two Gulf Wars is significant, to say the least.   Survivability is just as dependent on what happens in the first 2 to 3 minutes following the injury, as it is the 3 to 4 hours of surgery back in an operating theater.  In fact, without that initial intervention, the surgery will not happen or even be necessary because the patient will be lost.

The battlefield has now moved, to an arena populated by people who, for the most part, have very little training and wouldn’t know what to do if someone was bleeding in front of them.  Paris, Nice, Brussels, Nairobi, Orlando, Boston, Madrid, Mumbai, and London.  Injured people caught up in these incidents had little or no idea as to what they needed to do to self-help. Some of the casualties in the Pulse nightclub attack were alive up until two hours after their injury.  The emergency services could not get to them because they were under fire themselves and attempting to prevent further casualties.  People could have easily been saved if they, or the people close to them, had even rudimentary knowledge of how to control catastrophic bleeding.

The real shame of this, is that it is not hard to obtain these skills.  It does not require years, months, or even weeks of training!  These skills can be taught, and more importantly, learned, in a few short hours with the right level of experienced trainers, combined with the correct equipment and knowledge.

Learning to manage the trauma of major blood loss can become second nature so that you can react instinctively when and if the situation arises, and it will keep, you, your friends and your family alive.

It’s not just attacks like shootings and bombings that apply, correct training will also save lives in any other situation which results in catastrophic blood loss, such as:  Accidents in the home, on the roads, in work, or just an incident that occurs in day to day life.

Catastrophic bleeding occurs when an artery or major blood vessel is cut.  This can easily happen at home or at work, but for some reason, many of your standard home or work first aid kits are ill-equipped to deal with such a trauma.

Again, a surprisingly little amount of specialist equipment is required.  Simple pressure techniques, proper bandages, and some clotting agents are all that is needed.

Why then, do so little people have this knowledge, what stops more people from obtaining it? Is it time? Is it cost? Is it lack of opportunity? Or is it attitude? “Not my problem”.

The cost of such items, including the training and skill to use them, can be obtained for less than £150, and take as little as two hours to learn. The equipment needed can fit into a jacket pocket or one of the compartments on a computer bag.  There are training providers who have the requisite knowledge and experience to train high numbers of people in the workplace very cheaply, so the opportunity is there if you look for it.

2 hours of training and the practice of carrying a small, effective First Aid kit can prevent a loved one, or someone you work with, from becoming a victim of violence or a serious accident.  Ultimately, the right knowledge could even save you.

Another terrorist attack will happen.  People will be caught up in it, and the major cause of loss of life will be catastrophic blood loss.  The general public can do nothing to stop the attack, but they can do something to minimize the loss of life, simply by being ready and having the right attitude.  So why not start preparing now?