Should you ever be in the situation when you, a friend, family member or a nearby member of the public is seriously injured or unwell, having basic emergency aid skills and knowledge could save a life. It’s even more important when you are taking part in an expedition, as it could well take several hours before the emergency services are able to reach you to help. 


Training options

We strongly encourage you to complete one of the following courses both for your expedition and as an important “skill for life”:

I already have done one of these

That’s great – all you need to do before your expedition is:

  • Download one of the First Aid apps from for example St John’s Ambulance or The Red Cross to your phone – so you will always have first aid information when you need it, including your expedition.
  • Run through the Final Check before your Expedition section below before your expedition

Training - getting started

Emergency Aid and Module K are run by a number of Explorer Scout Units and Districts – check with your Unit Leaders to see if any are running that you can complete, book a place and complete the training.  Just make sure your OSM Badge record  is updated when you finish the course so we can easliy check on this.

It’s possible these courses aren’t running, particularly if Covid restrictions are in place.  The St John’s Ambulance course is designed for you to study at home, and can if you want also be counted for your DofE Skill.

If you only want to do it so you have the skills for your expedition, then you can work through the coursebook yourself, and upload it to Badges at Home so we credit you with having completed it for the expedition, and you do not need to arrange any other adult to support or assess you.

If you do wish to count it as a DofE Skill, then you will need to arrange an adult to act as your assessor, just as you would for any other DofE Skill (e.g. learning a muscial instrument).

Please decide which route you want to take and go to either Completing the St John’s Ambulance DofE Course for your expedition only or Completing the St John’s Abulance DofE Course for your DofE Skill

Once Scouting is able to run face-face activities we will look at options for you to practice/demonstrate techniques like CPR but this will not delay sign-off of this training for your expedition.

Completing the St John's Ambulance DofE Course for your expedition only

Download the course book – read the first four pages to see what is involved and plan when you will complete each part of the workbook.

Remember that as you are not doing this for DofE Skill you:

  • Do not have to follow the weekly plan in the workbook 
  • Should not arrange an assessor – one is only needed if you are completing this as a a DofE Skill.

You can do the course in less than the 12 weeks suggested if you spend more time in each study session but divide it into a number of sections with gaps in between rather than completing it in one session.

It is important we know you have started the training and have completed it.

Using OSM and Badges at Home

We are using Badges at Home which is part of OSM – you may already have used this with your Unit but if it is new to you here here is information on how to use it.

  1. Login in to the Parent Portal
  2. Select your name under the SE Explorer Expedition Section on the left of the screen. If you see several entries for your name these will be for other Sections such as your Explorer Unit, Young Leader Unit, or Beaver/Cub/Scout section you volunteer as a Young Leader – make sure you choose SE Explorer Expeditions and not one of these.
  3. Under your name you will see a list of options (and double check SE Explorer Expeditions is shown under your name), then select Badges, when you should see a similar screen to the one below. 
  4. Scroll through the badges until you find the one for First Aid at Home(SEEE) and click on that.
  5. The two selections you make are highlighted in yellow.
  1. As soon as you click on the Badge you will see the following pop-up window.
  2. Click the button at the bottom right corner ( highlighted in yellow) to start using Badges at Home for this.

You should now see the main screen below which allows you to upload your workbook, photos etc. to record your progress.

  1. You can either use an app to read the workbook, type in your responses, save it, and then upload it, or you can print out and fill in the workbook and upload photos.
  2. When you have completed your first session please upload this so we know you have started.
  3. Then upload it when you are about halfway through, and finally when you have finished it.
  4. To upload each time, simply click on Select Files highlighted in yellow and click beside each Week that the upload covers – so if you have completed weeks 3 and 4 for that upload check these off.

There is a chat facility where you can include any updates ( like I’m finished! ) or questions about the course content. We will send a reply via the chat box. For any other comments/queries please email us as usual.

To avoid having to keep logging in to OSM to see if we have replied to a chat you can set a notification to be sent to you.

Click the Notifications  button to set these up – you will see the pop up box below.  To turn notifications on change Comments on this badge to Show in OSM and send to devices/email (as highlighted in yellow). Notifications will be sent to your email address(recommended), and you can also enable these for your device by clicking the Device Notifications button.

Completing the St John's Ambulance for your DofE Skill

  1. You can use this course to cover your DofE Skill as well as for training for your expediiton – particularly if you don’t already have something planned, or you can’t complete your original choice due to Covid.
  2. If you want to do this, enter the details on the planner for the Skills section and ask your DofE Leader in your Unit/District to approve it.  Remember that if you do this, you need to spread the training over the relevant period (usually 12 weeks or more) with at least one hour of activity each week. If you have started something else as your Skill but cannot complete it because of Covid, you can change your plan on eDofE and ask your DofE Leader to approve that, so you can add First Aid as your Skill. If you upload evidence of what you did for the first Skill and save that on eDofE, you can still count the weeks already done, and you only have to record the remaining weeks required (so, if you did 5 weeks of Debating, record that and you only have to do 8 weeks of First Aid).  Remember, however, that you need to do all 13 units of the First Aid course to prepare for the expedition.
  3. Download the course book – read the first three pages to see what is involved, including the role of your assessor.  Remember there are answers at the end of the workbook for you to check what you have done.
  4. You will need find an adult who can act as your assessor – page 3 describes how they will help you and it’s best if you can find an adult local to you who can help. Show them the workbook and page 3 so they know what is involved.
  5. When you arrange an assessor yourself, be aware that this is not directly managed or organised by your Explorer Unit/SEEE,  and your parents are responsible for checking that the arrangements are appropriate – for example in safeguarding, insurance and safety.
  6. Make sure your assessor receives regular updates on your progress – you can do this by emailing copies of your workbook as you complete sections and photos/videos of anything you are practising at home. If you are using this for your DofE Skill upload these to eDofE every few weeks so your DofE Leader can see your progress as well.
  7. Ask your assessor to enter their report at as described on page 3, giving them your name, eDofE number, the Award level (Bronze, Silver, Gold ) and section ( Skill ) – your DofE Leader will receive this and mark your Skill as complete once they are satisfied you have met the requirements.
  8. When this is complete, send an email to with a subject line “Your Name – completed SJA First Aid” and confirm your name and Unit so we can check eDofE.
  9. Once Scouting allows face-face activities we will look at options for you to practice/demonstrate techniques like CPR but this will not delay sign-off of this training.

If you have any problems

We hope everything goes smoothly, but if you or your assessor have any questions, or you are having difficulties finding an assessor please do contact us for help. 

Final Check before your Expedition

One of the 20 conditions that the supervisor and assessor for your expedition need to sign off for you before your expedition requires every team to possess the necessary first aid skills required to complete their expedition safely.  

Your supervisor and assessor will want to be sure you are confident and able to deal with a number of conditions and situations before they allow you to start the expedition.

Use a phone app or your course notes and check you remember the main points for the following:

  • Action in an emergency – resuscitation, airway, breathing and circulation.
  • Recognition and treatment of hypothermia and heatstroke.
  • The treatment of wounds and bleeding.
  • Treatment for shock.
  • The treatment of blisters, cuts, abrasions, minor burns and scalds, headaches, insect bites, sunburn, splinters.
  • The recognition of more serious conditions such as sprains, strains, dislocations and broken limbs.
  • Knowing what to do in the case of an accident or emergency.
  • Summoning help – what people need to know, telephoning for help, written message.
  • Getting help, self-help and waiting for help to arrive, keeping safe and warm, helping people to find you

First Aid Training for expeditions held in remote terrain

Expeditions for Silver and Gold may be held in remote areas where you are over 3 hours walk from a road, farmhouse or other location where you can seek help in an emergency. It is also very possible there is no mobile signal, so it may be many hours until the Emergency services can reach you.  

At least some of your group will need to complete training for a 2 Day Outdoor Emergency Aid course, so you have the skills to manage an emergency situation.  Your Expedition Leader will discuss this with your group and include this in your expedition training if required.