As our new normal involves being able to move up and down the alert levels, we are making another adjustment that we expect will be until New Zealand no longer needs the alert level system. We have refreshed our Alert Levels guidance page and also made the following changes.

Grace period for First Aid Refresher extended to 6 months effective immediately

We are extending the grace period for first aid certificates to 6 months.  This timeframe applies to all learners who were due to complete their refresher from March 2020 onwards.  We recommend people get their refresher courses as soon as they are able without use of the grace period – the extended grace period is to allow for current and possible future Alert levels that cause restricted access to training.


  • I got my First Aid Certificate in March 2018, and was due to complete a refresher by March 2020, with a grace period of April-June 2020 (previously extended to July). I now have until end of September 2020 to complete the refresher course. After that I will need to do the full course again, not a refresher.
  • Bob’s refresher was due by April 2020 – he now has until the end of October 2020 to complete the refresher course.
  • Eva’s refresher is due by August 2020, she has until the end February 2021 to complete the refresher course.

The above will supersede previous comms from Skills regarding reverting back to normal 3 months grace period from 1st August 2020.

CPR demonstrations – breath alternatives continue until further notice

It is important that learners understand that providing a combination of chest compressions and rescue breaths gives the best chance of survival to someone in cardiac arrest.

Because of COVID-19, on 19 March we moved to accept alternative means of assessing competence of rescue breaths where a learner is not happy to demonstrate breaths into the manikin, even with disposable masks and good hygiene practices.

This flexibility will remain in place for learners until further notice.  It will be reviewed on 1 October 2020, and if it should change we will give notice then.