Today’s question comes via the National Institute of First Aid Trainers ‘Ask an Expert’ page – see https://www.nifat.com.au/ask-expert/.
The question is:
If someone acting as a first aider is sued or litigated against (and as long as they act within their training and their certificate is current) who pays any costs of court for instance?
Do HLTAID003 Certificate holders have any indemnity cover under their certificate/RTO, etc?
The answer is no, there is no insurance that comes with a first aid certificate. If someone ‘acting as a first aider is sued or litigated against’ then they have to meet the costs unless they have insurance. They may have insurance if they are acting in the course of their employment or are a member of an organisation that provides that sort of cover for its members, but insurance is not automatic. Nor is insurance required – see Insurance for first aiders (August 13, 2014).
In response to this post, a correspondent contacted me and referred me to the Australian Resuscitation Council Guideline 10.5 – Legal and Ethical Issues Related to Resuscitation . My correspondent said this ‘May be of help re insurance/first aide discussion’. They added:
My response is:
I discuss the position in Queensland in my post Insurance for first aiders (August 13, 2014 ).
A Bill is not law. It is a draft law being considered by Parliament. The Civil Liability (Good Samaritan) Amendment Bill 2007 (Qld) failed on its second reading on 4 September 2007 (see https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/tableoffice/historical/bills/Bills_Register_2007.pdf).
The Civil Liability Act 2003 (Qld) s 26 says (emphasis added) “Civil liability does not attach to a person in relation to an act done or omitted in the course of rendering first aid or other aid or assistance to a person in distress if— (a) the first aid or other aid or assistance is given by the person while performing duties to enhance public safety for an entity prescribed under a regulation that provides services to enhance public safety…” This is quite different from other states and is not a general protection for anyone who has a first aid certificate.
The ARC Guideline is also not law and does not provide any protection. It is a guide to the law and if it implies that the Queensland Act applies to all first aiders, then it is wrong.