By Andrew Hill, National Director of Training (


A number of questions were raised at the education summit held online at the end of January relating to the manual change process and who determines what content is added, amended or deleted in the CSP’s Advanced First Aid (AFA) manual.

The content of the AFA manual is primarily governed by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) standard Z1210-17 “First aid training for the workplace – Curriculum and quality management for training agencies.” This standard has been agreed by all provinces and territories and is in the process of being implemented. This standard applies in a ski patrol context since ski resorts are regulated as workplaces where there is heavy machinery, high-power electrical systems, high-pressure hoses, commercial kitchens, etc. As advanced first aiders we need to be able to handle injuries that may occur anywhere within the resort area, not just on the ski slopes. The CSP provides training in first aid competencies at the advanced training level. The AFA manual also includes additional content that enables CSP patrollers to provide first aid services at non-skiing events, which could be in a wilderness setting anywhere in Canada.

In accordance with the CSA standard, all of the first aid training content such as the AFA manual and the associated training material (e.g., the eLearning modules) is required to be approved by the CSP’s medical advisors. The standard’s quality management requirements also require first aid training programs to be reviewed at least every five years or as required by medical advisor direction, or federal, provincial or territorial legislation, or other consensus body recommendations (e.g., International Consensus on Resuscitation (ILCOR), etc.).

Change Notice 1 to the 2019 AFA manual was issued in response to a provincial direction to be compliant to the CSA standard before January 15, 2020. Change Notice 2 was issued to incorporate additional content related to airborne infections as a result of the current COVID situation, as directed by the medical advisors.

The training and development (T&D) team, in particular the manual change review committee, is currently reviewing the AFA manual from two aspects:

  1. Incorporating updates to the manual to meet the 2020 ILCOR guidelines, as defined by the Canadian Red Cross 2020 Clinical and Education Updates for Canada.
  2. Incorporating updates to the manual in response to education change requests (ECR) that have been raised by CSP members through the national database system (NDS).

The intent of this review is to establish a 2022 baseline for the AFA manual and associated training material, in line with the resolution passed at the 2020 annual general meeting. There will be no further change notices to the 2019 AFA manual issued in 2021. The 2022 AFA manual will be released April 1, 2022, which will mark the beginning of its five-year review cycle. Any change notices required during that period will be as a result of high-priority updates required by medical advisor direction, or federal, provincial or territorial legislation, or other consensus body recommendations. Low-priority ECRs would not be addressed until the 2027 baseline.

Manual change process

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