COVID-19: Statement from HSE and DfE relating to certificate expiry

At this challenging time as we all work together to help to control the spread of COVID-19, it is vital that we implement the measures being instigated by the Government.

Clear guidance on self-isolation for vulnerable groups, households, schools and businesses has been put in place regarding social distancing. Based on the latest Government guidance WorkSafe advises all of its trainers to follow best practice and postpone all face-to-face first aid training.

In order to assist trainers and training providers with the postponement of training, the Health and Safety Executive and Department for Education have released a statement which extends the validity of various qualifications by 3 months including Emergency First Aid at Work and First Aid at Work. This extension also applies to qualifications held by First Aid trainers and to WorkSafe’s instructor renewal policy (please see the full statement from the HSE and DfE below).

During this period of uncertainty, WorkSafe will continue to offer support and advice to our trainers. We aim to make regular posts on our social media channels, so please stay in touch. Keeping our community of instructors together will be so important over the coming weeks as we face the challenges together that this pandemic presents.

Look after yourselves and stay safe.

Natalie Parsons

Company Director


COVID-19: Statement from HSE and DfE relating to certificate expiry

Health and Safety Executive statement

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is aware that people holding Offshore Medic (OM), Offshore First Aid (OFA), First Aid at Work (FAW) or Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) certificates nearing expiry date, might experience disruption to access to requalification training as a result of events or circumstances generated by the coronavirus pandemic.

HSE’s current guidance on the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981: and the Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (First-Aid) Regulations 1989 is that those holding an OM, OFA, FAW or EFAW qualification should undertake retraining before their original certificate expires and HSE strongly recommends that  employers, and individuals holding those qualifications should plan for requalification training well in advance of expiry dates.     

If however requalification training is prevented for reasons associated directly with coronavirus or by complying with related government advice, it is reasonable and practical to extend the validity of current certificates by up to 3 months.  Anyone taking advantage of this extension should be able to describe clearly their reasons for delaying requalification training, and demonstrate steps they have taken to undertake the training, if required.

This guidance comes into effect for certificates expiring on or after 16th March 2020. HSE will review this matter over the coming months and will issue further statements as necessary.


Department for Education statement

The Department for Education supports the HSE statement regarding the extension of first aid certificates during coronavirus emergency and that it can be applied to paediatric first aid certificates held by staff in early years provision.