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01 Apr 2020 / News

COVID-19: Awarding Body Certificate Expiry Updates


Updates on awarding body certificate extensions due to COVID-19


  1. OPITO certificate extensions (2 months)
  2. GWO certificate extensions (60 days)
  3. IWCF certificate extensions (90 days)
  4. City & Guilds certificate extensions (until 1st September)
  5. IRATA certificate extensions (90 days)
  6. CISRS certificate extensions (until course is rescheduled)
  7. ECITB certificate extensions (6 months)
  8. Medical cerficiate extensions (until 30th June)
  9. CSCS card extensions (6 months)
  10. CPCS card extensions (90 days)
  11. STCW certificate extensions (6 months)
  12. HSE certificate extensions (3 months)
  13. Survivex In-house training provider certificate extensions (90 days)
  14. RTITB certificate extensions (3 months)
  15. UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) certificate extensions (until 22nd November)


OPITO certificate extensions

2 MONTHS (last updated 11/03/2020 | checked and correct as of 01/04/2020)

What you need to do - apply for an extension, full details below.

If your OPITO certificate is due to expire within the next 30 days as either a delegate or employing company, you can now apply for an extension via the accrediting body. Please be aware that extensions are not automatic and must be applied for via the OPITO website. They don’t apply if your expiry date has passed and can only be applied for if the expiry date is within 30 days.

Employing companies -

Delegate (self-sponsor) -

The employer/delegate must complete the forms selecting one of the below reasons as to why they require an extension;

  • An individual’s current certificate is due to expire during a period of isolation or quarantine.
  • An individual has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and is receiving medical care.
  • An individual has been refused admission to refresher training due to previous travel history.
  • An individual cannot gain access to a Training Provider in their area due to travel restrictions imposed by Government (or local authorities) and/or training centre closures.
  • The employing company has imposed specific travel restrictions that do not permit refresher training to be completed prior to the expiry date (Employing Companies only)

The request will then be submitted to OPTIO for review. OPTIO will confirm if an extension will be granted and if so, how long for.

Please note:

  • The extension is to enable the delegate to complete the refresher training and does not allow them to continue carrying out work which would require a valid certificate to be in place
  • At present extension can only be applied for if the certificate is within 30 days of expiring (this cannot be used if a certificate has already expired or is due to expire more than 30 days in advance)


GWO certificate extensions

60 DAYS (last updated 16/03/2020 | checked and correct as of 01/04/2020)

What you need to do - nothing, simply rebook your refresher course within 60 days of expiry, full details below.

GWO have released a policy allowing certificates to be extended. Acknowledging that the situation is extraordinary, and that most certificates which may expire during this time is due to force majeure, GWO has agreed to allow a temporary measure until 1st June 2020. Participants who allow their training validity to expire are ordinarily not allowed to refresh validity through a refresher course, they are required to re-attend the initial course to obtain a new record. However, GWO has agreed that up until 1st June 2020:

  • Course participants unable to refresh previous training within the 24 months validity period are granted an option to take the planned refresher training up until 60 days after expiry

What do you need to do

GWO have kept it simple, when training can recommence simply book onto and complete the refresher course (as long as this is still within 60 days). As a client or delegate you don’t need to do anything else. Your training provider, when registering the certificate in WINDA, will then apply a code unique to the centre which will inform WINDA of the exemption.

Maintaining skills

The measure to allow attendance to refresher courses up until 60 days after expiry does not constitute an extension of agreed validity periods for GWO training and does not constitute a general exemption towards employers and duty-holders to ensure employees have adequate safety competences.  It remains an employer prerogative to make decisions on whether to require valid training or give exemption.

Until such time as certified GWO training can resume, we encourage employers who employ technicians whose training validity expires and who have reasonable reasons for expiry, to consider making exemptions and to take other measures to maintain necessary safety skills in whatever way is locally practicable, such as through exercises and managerial supervision.


IWCF certificate extensions

90 DAYS (last updated 18/03/2020 | checked and correct as of 01/04/2020)

What you need to do - complete an extension form, full details below.

For all IWCF Drilling Well Control certificates expiring between 17 February 2020 – 31st May 2020, IWCF will extend the expiry date of those certificates by 90 days from the date of expiry.

Candidates need to complete a short form to submit their certification extension request here.

IWCF will review this decision on 1st May 2020 for how this will be controlled going forward.

PLEASE NOTE: IWCF aren't sending out confirmations. They say "once you have completed the online form, please trust that a 90-day extension will be applied. If you require a confirmation letter, you can email them."


City & Guilds certificate extensions

UNTIL 1ST SEPTEMBER (last updated 01/04/2020 | checked and correct as of 01/04/2020)

What you need to do - nothing, certificate expiries are automatically extended.

City & Guilds understands that you may not be able to renew your qualification as required during these unprecedented times. Therefore, we will allow certificates that expired after the 1 March 2020 to continue to be valid until Sept 2020 in order to allow you the opportunity to re qualify once we are on the other side of this lockdown and isolation period. We recognise there is a risk to jobs and livelihood and wish to support in any way we can.


IRATA certificate extensions

90 DAYS (last updated 01/04/2020 | checked and correct as of 01/04/2020)

What you need to do - apply for an extension, full details below.

Upon successful application, an extension of 90 days will be granted to your current (or expired as of 01/02/2020) IRATA certification. The period of extension will be 90 days from the certificate expiry date.

IRATA will consider applications for certification that expired on or following 01/02/2020, or certification that will expire within 30 days from the date of application for extension. Additionally, at least one of the following ‘grounds for extension’ must apply to your application:

  • My current certificate has expired or will expire during a period of isolation or quarantine relating to COVID-19 containment measures
  • I was unable to physically attend an IRATA training course and/or assessment due to restrictions relating to COVID-19 containment measures
  • I was trained but the IRATA assessment was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions
  • I was booked on a training course but it was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions
  • I attended a training course but it was not completed due to the COVID-19 restrictions

Certificate extension process

To apply for a certification extension, please complete and submit an online application form. Applicants are required to agree to the terms and conditions stipulated on the application and therefore, an application cannot be submitted on behalf of another individual. Please direct any queries to, inserting ‘certificate extension’ in the subject line.

Follow this link to apply.


CISRS certificate extensions

UNTIL COURSE IS RESCHEDULED (last updated 31/03/2020 | checked and correct as of 01/04/2020)

What you need to do - nothing, cards and certificates will not expire.

Please be assured CISRS will look to support both candidates and providers in this period.

It is difficult to envisage the disruption this virus will cause but we will be adopting a pragmatic approach to issues which may arise. For example. if a core scheme course Part 1, 2, Advanced is ended prematurely, e.g. after 6 days we would not expect the person to repeat the full course.

If someone’s card expires as their CPD course is cancelled we will ask them to contact the CISRS Administrator with details of the cancelled booking and we can provide them with a letter confirming qualifications and asking for them to be allowed to work until they are able to renew their cards after completing the re scheduled course.


ECITB certificate extensions

6 MONTHS (last updated 30/03/2020 | checked and correct as of 01/04/2020)

What you need to do - nothing, extensions will be automatically applied.

The ECITB has issued guidance for the engineering construction industry around CCNSG renewal, technical tests, provider audits and connected competence.

CCNSG Renewal Grace Period

In light of the Covid-19 crisis, we have extended the renewal window for the CCNSG card from 3 months after expiry to 6 months.

For example, if your card expiry date was March 1st, previously you would need to renew your card by the 31st May, however under the new interim system you now have until the 31st August to renew your card.

We will continue to review this situation and communicate any further changes necessary.

Technical Tests

The Coronavirus is affecting the ability of candidates to take technical tests. Any candidate awaiting a technical test and/or whose Work Based Task Assignment was near the 12-month limit will now be given a 6-month extension to complete their test. The same extension will also be granted to any candidate who has a test certificate which is set to expire in the coming months. We will monitor this position and update as necessary.


Medical certificate extensions

UNTIL 30TH JUNE (last updated 23/03/2020) | checked and correct as of 01/04/2020)

What you need to do - nothing, your operator will decide whether or not to accept your certificate. 

Check with your installation operator. Installation operators now have the option to accept a normal (addendum 2) certificate which has expired as being valid up to 30th June 2020.

Examining doctors may also extend a restricted (addendum 3) certificate up to 30th June 2020 on the basis of a ‘remote’ (i.e. not ‘in-person’) medical assessment.


CSCS card extensions

12 MONTHS (last updated 27/03/2020 | checked and correct as of 01/04/2020)

What you need to do - nothing, the grace period is automatically extended.

CSCS has extended the grace period for card renewals from 6 months after the card expires to 12 months. This means that the card can be renewed, once the CITB HS&E test has been passed, up to one year from the card’s expiry date.

This will assist those applicants struggling to find availability to sit the test and renew their card earlier.

“We are in unprecedented times. Employers should expect their workers to hold a valid CSCS card as proof of their training and qualifications. However, until COVID-19 is brought under control we are asking the industry to support these temporary measures”.


CPCS card extensions

90 DAYS (last updated 24/03/2020 | checked and correct as of 01/04/2020)

What you need to do - await details on the emergency card.

CPCS are going to launch an “Emergency COVID-19 CPCS Card”. They’ve promised an update soon which we will of course publish here as soon as we get the details.

CPCS go on to say “during this period we will allow tests to be notified in the system for individuals who have an out of date HS&E test (2 years), you will be able to issue them a 90 day letter of achievement however CPCS will not issue a card until the HS&E test is complete. Please see the emergency card above for an alternative”.


STCW certificate extensions

6 MONTHS (last updated 24/03/2020 | checked and correct as of 01/04/2020)

What you need to do - send a scanned application to MCA, full details below.

Any seafarer that is unable to complete some or all of the updating refresher requirements for the issue or revalidation of a UK Certificate of Competency (CoC), should send a scanned application to the MCA*. The seafarer will be issued with a Temporary CoC valid for a period of 6 months providing that they can meet all the other requirements. They will also receive a letter from the MCA extending the validity of the training that they were unable to update/refresh. They should accompany their application with:

  • Scanned copies of their original STCW Safety Training Certificate that will no longer be valid; and
  • The applicable self-declaration for the STCW training that requires updating/refreshing from MSN 1865 (annex B,C,D and E)

Where STCW requires a standard to be met prior to the issue of a new CoC, the MCA will be unable to issue the CoC until this standard has been achieved.

Your contacts

For new/upgraded deck CoCs:

For new/upgrades engineers/ETO’s CoCs:

For all CoC revalidations (Deck, Eng or ETO):


HSE certificate extensions

3 MONTHS (last updated 27/03/2020 | checked and correct as of 01/04/2020)

What you need to do - nothing, upfront evidence is not required, however you must be able to justify the extension if requested.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) have issued guidance related to:

  • Offshore Medic
  • Offshore First Aid
  • First Aid at Work
  • Emergency First Aid at Work

They are permitting 3 month extensions. Whilst upfront evidence isn’t required, they have caveated that delegates should be able to justify the extension if requested. This policy applies to certificates expiring after 16th March.


Survivex in-house training provider certificates

90 DAYS (last updated 27/03/2020 | checked and correct as of 01/04/2020)

What you need to do - nothing, extensions are automatically applied.

We have taken the decision to automatically extend any AIS Training or Survivex in-house training provider issued certificate. These would in most cases have a 2 year expiry period. Any certificate with an expiry date between the 24th March and the 31st May will automatically be extended by 90 days to allow ample time for the refresher course to be taken.


RTITB certificate extensions

3 MONTHS (last updated 27/03/2020 | checked and correct as of 01/04/2020)

What you need to do - nothing, the extension period is automatically applied, however duty holders should be able to clearly state reasons for utilising the extension period if required.

“If requalification training cannot take place for reasons associated directly with coronavirus, such as closure of training facilities, unavailability of trainers/assessors or by complying with other government advice on isolation and social distancing, it may be reasonable and practicable to extend the validity of current certificates by up to 3 months.

“Any employer or duty holder needing to utilise this extension period should be able to state clearly their reasons for delaying requalification training and demonstrate steps they have taken to undertake the training, if required.

 “They should also be able to demonstrate that they are meeting their legal duty to monitor and supervise lift truck drivers to ensure that they continue to operate safely. This guidance comes into effect for certificates expiring on or after 16th March 2020.

 “To prevent accident and injury, the duty remains to ensure that staff are trained and competent to operate any industrial lift truck equipment, and this includes driver training, and the employer must be able to demonstrate that the driver is trained and competent.”

At this challenging time it is imperative that we keep forklift operators safe and the supply chain moving. To help businesses who have counterbalance and reach operators who are in need of refresher training over the next few months (up to 30th June) we have decided that operators who complete online eTruck training will be able to extend their RTITB refresher period by 1 year.

Visit the RTITB page to read the full policy.


UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) certificate extensions

UNTIL 22ND NOVEMBER (last updated 31/03/2020 | checked and correct as of 03/04/2020)

What you need to do - nothing, validity period is automatically extended.

The validity period of any recurrent dangerous goods training programme due to expire before 31 October 2020 may be extended to the end of the validity period of this exemption;

This exemption has effect from the date it is signed until 22 November 2020, both dates inclusive, unless previously revoked.  It was signed on the 31st March 2020.

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