Updates on awarding body certificate extensions due to COVID-19


  1. OPITO certificate extensions (1 month - until 19th October)
  2. GWO certificate extensions (60 days)
  3. IWCF certificate extensions (90 days)
  4. CompEx certificate extensions (90 days)
  5. City & Guilds certificate extension (until 1st September)
  6. IRATA certificates extensions (90 days)
  7. CISRS certificate extentensions (until course is rescheduled)
  8. ECITB certificate extensions (6 months for certificates expiring before 31st July)
  9. Medical cerficiate extensions (until 31sy July)
  10. CSCS card extensions (6 months)
  11. CPCS card extensions (90 days)
  12. STCW certificate extensions (6 months)
  13. HSE certificate extensions (3 months - until 31st October)
  14. AIS Training In-house training provider certificate extensions (90 days)
  15. RTITB certificate extensions (3 months)
  16. UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) certificate extensions (until 22nd November)
  17. BINDT (PCN) certificate extensions (3 months)

OPITO certificate extensions

1 MONTH until 19th October (last updated 18/09/2020 | checked and correct as of 21/09/2020)

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

As of 19th October 2020, requests to extend certification will no longer be considered unless they clearly fall into one of two exceptional categories.  As of 19th October 2020, when a certificate or extension expires, individuals will receive a two-month ‘period of grace’ in which appropriate training must be sought. This will not be reflected in Vantage and, therefore, may affect an individual’s ability to travel offshore.

If an extension is granted it will extend the expiry date of the current certificate by 1 month.

As of 1st July 2020:

  • Extensions can be requested 14 days before the expiry date
  • Extensions will be granted for 1 month
  • Extension requests will only be reviewed and granted if an individual cannot gain access to a training provider in their area due to restrictions introduced by government (or local authorities) and/or training centre closure OR an individual’s current certificate is due to expire because of circumstances outwith their control, relating to COVID-19, including shielding, and a period of isolation or quarantine

Applying for an extension

There are two ways to apply for an extension to an OPITO certificate:

  • Employing companies will be able to apply for an extension by completing the Employer Form
  • Delegates (self-sponsors) will be able to apply for an extension by completing the Delegate Form

These forms will require information such as the name of the certificate holder, certificate type, expiry date and reason for extension request.

This form is completed on the OPITO website and the extension request will be reviewed and processed as a priority. Should the request be successful, a new certificate number will be generated. As the new certificate number is purely to indicate that an extension has been granted, no new certificate will be issued.

The latest updates

We will endeavour to keep our website as up to date as possible, this will include daily updates. However, if any of this will directly affect you we would recommend getting the very latest updates directly from OPITO’s website which also includes contact details for any queries.

GWO certificate extensions

60 DAYS (last updated 18/05/2020 | checked and correct as of 02/07/2020)

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 31st December 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 31st December 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 10/07/2020 | checked and correct as of 14/07/2020)

What you need to do - provide a written request for an extension.

Candidates that have an eCert expiring between 1 August 2020 and 30 September 2020 and meet the below criteria will be eligible to apply for an extension:

  • The candidate must be booked to attend a virtual classroom training course at an IWCF accredited training provider
  • The candidate’s employer must provide a written request for extension

The booking details and employer request must be submitted by email to certification@iwcf.org
Once IWCF has reviewed the dispensation request, eligible candidates will be granted a 90-day eCert extension.
Candidates who do not meet the above criteria will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

CompEx certificate extensions

90 DAYS (last updated 01/07/2020 | checked and correct as of 02/07/2020)

What you need to do - submit a request for an extension, full details below.

As previously noted, employers and candidates may find that they are not able to attend a CompEx refresher courses due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

This extension process applies to those candidates whose certificate is due to or has recently expired. The following situations may result in candidates unable to attend a refresher course, or any re-sit assessments:

  • Government, local authorities or the candidate’s employer has imposed travel restrictions, self-isolation (“lockdown”), has cancelled all events or has closed all education establishments
  • The candidate has been diagnosed with and receiving treatment for Covid-19 or is in self-isolation
  • Training centres have closed or cancelled courses due to COVID-19
  • A candidate’s previous travel history means that they have been refused entry to a CompEx centre

This certification extension process applies to those certificates which have an expiry date from 17th March 2020, or to those candidates who are due to any refresher assessments.

The Extension Period

If an extension granted it will extend the expiry date by three months from the original expiry date. For example, an original expiry date of 25th March will be extended to 25th June 2020.

Any future recertification will start from the original expiry date.

Application Process

Employers and self-sponsored candidates should write to info@compex.org.uk with the following details:

  • Employer name
  • Employer contact name, position and contact details
  • Full name of all candidates and certificate (CompEx) number(s)
  • Candidate contact details (telephone and email) along with certificate expiry date(s)
  • The name of your preferred CompEx training centre

By submitting a request for an extension, the employer or candidate is certifying that the reason is due to circumstances relating to the COVID-19 outbreak. All contact details that are shared with the CompEx certification body must be done so with the express permission of the individual concerned. Personal information will only be used for matters in relation to certification. Please refer to the CompEx data privacy policy for more information.

City & Guilds certificate extensions

UNTIL 1ST SEPTEMBER (last updated 01/04/2020 | checked and correct as of 02/07/2020)

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 02/07/2020)

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 info@irata.org, inserting ‘certificate extension’ in the subject line.

Follow this link to apply.

PLEASE NOTE: Rope access technicians who are upgrading or revalidating shall provide their logbooks to the IRATA Trainer member company prior to the start of the training course. Where rope access technicians have lost their logbooks, they shall arrange for a replacement to be issued, complete and verified before training commences. Replacement documents can be requested on the IRATA website.

CISRS certificate extensions

UNTIL COURSE IS RESCHEDULED (last updated 31/03/2020 | checked and correct as of 02/07/2020)

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

CISRS is calling on employers and those responsible for site access and card checking procedures to use their discretion towards workers whose cards have expired since 1st February 2020 until the current COVID 19 restrictions are lifted.

Rather than set a prescriptive time extension to expired cards, e.g. 6 months – 12 months, at this time, CISRS will continue to review the situation and make a further statement when we have more clarity regarding when centres can reopen.

We would expect cardholders to attend the required courses and renew their cards ASAP once approved providers have reopened. If we can have an industry wide understanding that recently expired cards can be accepted during this period, it will negate the need for the letter saving a huge amount of time, effort and administration for operatives, employers and CISRS staff.

ECITB certificate extensions

6 MONTHS until 31st July (last updated 08/07/2020 | checked and correct as of 03/08/2020)

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

Extensions will stop from 31st July 2020.  Any candidate whose expiry date was between 9th March and 31st July is eligible for the 6 month extension.  Any candidate with an expiry date after 31st July will be expected to complete the renewal under the normal conditions.

Medical certificate extensions

UNTIL 31ST JULY (last updated 23/03/2020) | checked and correct as of 02/07/2020)

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.

It is understood that there may be a ‘backlog’ of medicals to be undertaken and a consequent pressure on examining doctors. A further one-month extension to medicals validity via ‘Vantage’ will be enabled accordingly.

CSCS card extensions

12 MONTHS (last updated 16/05/2020 | checked and correct as of 02/07/2020)

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 16/05/2020 | checked and correct as of 02/07/2020)

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 02/07/2020)

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: deck@mcga.gov.uk

For new/upgrades engineers/ETO’s CoCs: engineering@mcga.gov.uk

For all CoC revalidations (Deck, Eng or ETO): revalidation@mcga.gov.uk

HSE certificate extensions

3 MONTHS until 31st October (last updated 23/09/2020 | checked and correct as of 23/09/2020)

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

After the 31 October individuals who are operating with certificates that expired on or after the 16 March 2020 as either offshore medics or offshore first aiders will need to requalify if they wish to demonstrate competence under the offshore installations and pipeline works (first-aid) regulations 1989.  

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

  • Offshore Medic
  • Offshore First Aid
  • First Aid at Work
  • Emergency First Aid at Work
  • Commercial Divers' Medical Fitness and Assessment

AIS In-house training provider certificate extensions

90 DAYS (last updated 27/03/2020 | checked and correct as of 02/07/2020)

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 15/06/2020 | checked and correct as of 02/07/2020)

It may be reasonable and practicable for companies to extend the validity of operator certificates by up to 3 months for operators unable to attend re-qualification training due to reasons associated with coronavirus.

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 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 website 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 02/07/2020)

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.

BINDT (PCN) certificate extensions

3 MONTHS (last updated 11/09/2020 | checked and correct as of 14/09/2020)

What you need to do - nothing, there is an automatic temporary extension (until 30th September)

The extension post 30th September 2020, will no longer be automatically granted. Candidates wishing to take advantage of this additional extension period, must complete this document and issue to PCN for approval.

The candidate must provide an authorised copy of this document, confirming their extension request has been accepted.  This is to be retained alongside their Exam Application Form.