HSE extension to certificate validity

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have announced they they will be offering a three-month extension to the validity of the following qualifications if the learner is unable to requalify due to service disruptions resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Offshore Medic (OM)
  • Offshore First Aid (OFA)
  • First Aid at Work (FAW)
  • Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW)
  • Paediatric First Aid (PFA)
  • Emergency Paediatric First Aid (EPFA)

The HSE will keep this situation under review and will issue additional guidance as necessary. Resuscitate Training will endeavour to keep you information as the situation changes.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Full HSE 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: https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/l74.pdf and the Offshore Installations and Pipeline Works (First-Aid) Regulations 1989 https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/l123.pdf 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.


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.

Eliott Stephen TechIOSH

View posts by Eliott Stephen TechIOSH
Co-founder of Red 1 Response. Industrial fire fighter, confined space rescue technician, and intermediate ambulance practitioner | Associate Member of the College of Paramedics and Advanced Provider member of the Faculty of Pre-Hospital Care for the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh.
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