Update 20/01/2021

An extension has been approved by the regulators and applies to NPLQ, NPSQ, AED and Anaphylaxis. These regulated qualifications due to expire between 1 January 2021 and 31 March 2021 have been extended, and now expire on 31 March 2021.

Update 15/01/2021 

An update has been issued from the Department of Education and relates to Paediatric First Aid qualifications. The validity of current certificates can be extended to 31 March 2021 at the latest. This applies to certificates expiring on or after 1 October 2020. Please see below for more details.

Update 07/01/2021

We are very aware of the challenges that coronavirus (COVID-19) is still causing, and RLSS UK remains committed to supporting all of our members, qualification holders, and customers throughout this period.

We understand that renewing qualifications and awards is difficult at this time, but it is worth remembering, everyone will need to be qualified to get back to work as and when required.

Due to the ongoing restrictions, and lockdowns across England, Wales, Scotland, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, we have worked with the regulators to support everyone through the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We are pleased to, once again, be able to extend some RLSS and IQL UK qualifications and awards.

Due to differing requirements of qualifications and regulators, there are different methods implemented depending on the specific qualification. Further details are below:

Qualifications/Awards with extensions


National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ)
National Pool Supervisor Qualification (NPSQ)
Automated External Defibrillator (AED)
Basic Life Support & Anaphylaxis Management
National Vocational Beach Lifeguard Qualification (NVBLQ)
Open Water Lifeguard (OWL)
Emergency Response Pool (ER Pool)
National Rescue Award for Swimming Teachers and Coaches (NRASTC)
National Rescue Award for Swimming Teachers and Coaches LIGHT (NRASTC LIGHT)
Aquatic Therapy Shallow Pool Rescue Award (ATSPRA)
National Water Safety Management Programme (NWSMP)
Pool Plant Operator (PPO)
Life Support 3
Safeguarding 

All RLSS UK non-regulated and IQL UK regulated qualifications listed here with an expiry date between 1 January 2021 and 31 March 2021 have been extended, and now expire on 31 March 2021.


First Aid at Work (FAW)
Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW)

FAW or EFAW certificates that expired after 16 March 2020 can remain valid until 31 October 2020(or 6-months from the date of expiry, whichever is later). All requalification training for these certificates should be completed, by 31 March 2021.

To qualify for the extension, employers must be able to demonstrate that:

  • they have made every effort to arrange requalification training as soon as possible and can explain in detail why they have not been able to do so. For example, they must show evidence that staff with expired certificates are booked on to EFAW or FAW requalification courses if requested by an inspector.
  • they have adequate, and appropriate equipment and facilities to give first aid to any employee who is injured or becomes ill at work.
  • the level of first aid cover provided remains appropriate for their particular work environment.
  • the level of first aid provision necessary in high-risk settings is fully maintained, e.g., in construction, agriculture, engineering, and chemicals.

For more information, please see here.

To support employers to manage this process; all EFAW and FAW certificates will state the original expiry date. NB - RLSS UK will not provide a certificate with an extension, as HSE has stated it is for employers to manage.


Emergency Paediatric First Aid (EPFA)
Paediatric First Aid (PFA)

The Department of Education provided an update on 15 January 2021 and will provide a further extension to EPFA or PFA qualifications. If PFA certificate requalification training is prevented for reasons associated directly with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, or by complying with related government advice, the validity of current certificates can be extended to 31 March 2021 at the latest. This applies to certificates expiring on or after 1 October 2020.

If asked to do so, providers should be able to explain why the first aider has not been able to requalify and demonstrate what steps have taken to access the training. Employers or certificate holders must do their best to arrange requalification training at the earliest opportunity.

More information can be found in section 7.2 here.


Probationary Trainer Assessor
Probationary National Trainer Assessor
Probationary NWSMP Instructor
Probationary NPSQ Tutor
Probationary Assistant Lifesaving Probationary Instructor
Probationary Lifesaving Instructor
Probationary Lifesaving Instructor Tutor
Probationary Rookie Instructor

All probationary Trainers, Instructors, or Tutor qualifications will be provided with a 12-month extension to their expiry date.


Survive & Save 

All silver and gold Survive & Save awards will be extended to 31 December 2021.


We will be updating all affected qualifications and will notify all qualification holders in due course.

Qualification holders do not need to contact us or apply for extensions:

  • For FAW, EFAW, PFA, and EPFA candidates should follow the guidance from the HSE and Department of Education above
  • For all other qualifications and awards, the extension will be automatically added.

Important Information

Where you or your team members are using extended qualifications to provide any form of safety cover or emergency response, RLSS UK recommends the use of competency assessments to ensure safety and competence is maintained.