Standard First Aid Equivalency Now Issued For Alberta

There’s nothing better for your time management goals than getting two things done at the same time, and our new standard first aid equivalency is going to help you #crush.

Raven Medical is excited to announce that Alberta Standard First Aid equivalency is now issued on our 16, 24, 40 and 80 hour courses.

For many of us, that’s all we need to know. Box checked!  But if you’d like to explore the nuts and bolts behind this development, roll up your sleeves…

An Overview of Alberta First Aid Regulations For Remote Worksites

The Alberta Government requirement for high risk remote worksites are as follows:

  •  1-4  Workers in the field – 1 standard first aider
  •  5-19 Workers in the field – 2 standard first aiders
  •  20-49 Workers in the field – 3 standard first aiders

Most of the medical clients we work with (resource field workers, search and rescue, govenment personnel, outdoor professionals) find that they are working alone or in a group of ten or less.  In the case of outdoor professionals, they may be leading a larger group, but the team of workers remains small.  

The key here is that a worker is not a client. The number of clients in the field is not relevant in these regulations.  Alberta’s regulation is specifically for WORKERS.  Only if you have more than 49 people working in the same place does it become necessary to consider advanced first aid training.

The Alberta government is also very specific that they have no requirement for wilderness first aid – they do not regulate or have anything to do with wilderness first aid.

First Aid Regulations For Alberta Outdoor Professionals

Employed at a guiding company or outdoor school with a few staff?  The Alberta Government requires that one or more standard first aid certifications be held if more than one guide is in the field at a time at the same site.  The number of standard first aid certifications required is determined by the number of guides/outdoor staff in the field together at the same time, not by the number of clients in the field. 

Standard First Aid courses are basic nature, are offered through countless providers all over Alberta.  They can also be integrated into Raven Medical courses.  

Now, for anyone who has worked in a remote field location, you’ve likely found that standard first aid training feels woefully inadequate.  For outdoor professionals, industry best practice has raised the bar to Wilderness First Aid as the minimum level of medical training required, and regulating associations in the outdoor industry (like the ACMG) may even require additional training.  

This is a move in the right direction, one that we hope will be reflected in other industries. (The gaps between workplaces and their required first aid training is a topic we’ve explored in a few of our blogs.)

Alberta Standard First Aid FAQs

Am I required to have an Advanced Workplace First Aid (35 hours) certification? If you have 50 or more workers in the same place at the same time, yes.

Am I required to have a Standard First Aid (8 hour) certification? If you have 49 workers or less in the same place at the same time, yes.

Can I meet my Standard First Aid requirement by taking a Raven Medical 16, 24, 40 or 80 hour course? Yes.

Do Raven Medical 16, 40 and 80 hour courses meet industry best practices for Wilderness First Aid Training? Absolutely.

Does the Alberta Government Require Wilderness First Aid training? No.

Does the Alberta Government regulate wilderness first aid training? No.

The exciting news here is that you can now meet your Standard First Aid requirement by taking a Raven Medical 16, 24, 40 or 80 hour course.  

The fine print states that our 16 hour (Wilderness First Aid) course meets equivalency requirements, so if you’re signed up for a 24, 40 or 80 hour Raven Medical course, don’t be surprised when we hand you a 16 hour certification in addition to the certification you paid for. This is how we ensure that you walk away with a Standard First Aid equivalancy, no matter which Raven Medical course you signed up for.

Finally, A Fun Anomaly For Camps

While it is not unusual to see regulating associations rise above the industry standard (like the ACMG requiring guides to carry an 80-hour WildMed certification, rather than just a 16-hour), it is less common to see regulating associations rise above government regulations and legislation.

Curiously, the Alberta Camping Association does just that.  The ACA’s Camping Standards Manual ( requires Advanced First Aid certification for camps 20 minutes or more from a medical care facitily (which is a “distant work site”, as defined by the Alberta Government), even if that camp has 49 or less workers on site.  Leveraging the distance-to-care qualifier in this way is unique to Alberta Camps, and not reflective of Alberta Government’s use of that same qualifier for high risk remote worksites (which, even for isolated worksites 40 minutes or more from a medical care facility, still prescribes three standard first aiders when the number of workers on site is 49 or less).

We’re curious about the Alberta Camping Assocation’s requirement, and are looking into the impetus behind it.