International (First) Aid

After 20 years in the Army, NUCO trained Robert McEwan to deliver first aid training and qualifications at home and abroad

APPROVEDBack in January 2013 I was on tranche 3 of the redundancy list of the army cuts. It was a shock: the army was all I had known for 20 years and I’d joined at 18. In my final year I was posted to RAF St Mawgan Defence Sere Training organisation (DSTO) as a survival instructor in Cornwall.

rob mcewan


people-icon-40pxI had two options; wait until June to find out if I was selected for compulsory redundancy and be out the following year, or volunteer for redundancy and get just 6 months to find a new career path. I chose the latter, to just take the bull by the horns! There was only one problem: what was I going to do?!

I connected with old pals who had gotten out previously and got the lay of the civilian land. There was a lot of confusing advice. Some guys had just decided for the easy life doing mundane jobs, while another extreme was guys who had emigrated abroad for big opportunities. I certainly was not ready for the mundane easy low pay jobs (not yet anyway) but I wasn’t sure about moving abroad either.

I attended a C.T.W. where someone said to me…


It was a eureka moment. I decided to go down that path and get myself qualified before my discharge. I found NUCO Training after they were recommended by other guys within DSTO who had qualified. I gave them a ring and booked on their First Aid at Work instructor course in Portsmouth. The more I spoke about my resettlement plans the more people I found who had done training with NUCO which gave me confidence. NUCO made the process of using my ELC painless, as at the time I didn’t really know the procedure.

NUCO’s Head Office turned out to be in St Austell, only 10 minutes from me. As a newly qualified instructor I was invited to pop round for a coffee and have chat about how we could support each other in running future courses. Before I knew it, I had an offer to work as a lead trainer for NUCO – running the exact same instructor courses that I attended. They trained me to their standard and before I knew it I was up and down the country delivering five day instructor courses back to back. I was so busy I had to turn other work away!

rod mcewan training
This led to a fantastic job abroad in the security industry for me. I have been running courses out in Libya and Iraq, training and certifying local national staff and oil & gas workers alike in the First Aid at Work syllabus in order for them to be compliant for their respective companies. It is big business. Not only am I working in the security industry, I am certifying people within it, and with NUCO’s ongoing support I can confidently deliver training anywhere. which makes me valuable to my employers and helps me stand out compared to the next man. NUCO has been outstanding with support, assisting me when out in these countries, giving me everything from certification, online support, company logos on certificates- the list goes on.

6 successful candidates proudly showing off their award certificates


Undecided on what to do and what colours to nail to the mast? I would seriously consider giving NUCO a call and do what I did, as First Aid and Health & Safety training is always going to be in demand. Having the ability to run courses, the ability to certify your training is like gold dust! For me it was even covered with an ELC claim.