Update 15 January 2021 - An update has been issued from the Department of Education and relates to Paediatric First Aid qualifications expiring on or after 1 October 2020, please click here to read more.

Update 22 December 2020

There will be no further extensions for qualifications expiring 31 December 2020, if you or your employee(s) have not be able to renew a qualification due to restrictions created by COVID-19 we would be more than happy to consider allowing a late renewal of the qualification, you should apply, with a valid reason here. We will review all qualifications that expire between January and March 2021 and provide further guidance soon.

Update 03/11/2020

Due to the ongoing issues with restrictions, and lockdowns across England, Wales, parts of Scotland, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland; we have gained permission to extend some RLSS UK qualifications and awards again.

  • First Aid at Work and Emergency First Aid at Work – the HSE have not applied another extension
  • Paediatric First Aid and Emergency Paediatric First Aid - we are waiting for confirmation from the Department of Education with regards to another extension
  • All other RLSS UK and IQL UK regulated and, non-regulated qualifications listed below in the fourth section, with an expiry date between 16, March 2020 and 31, December 2020 have been extended, and now expire on 31, December 2020.

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.

Following consultation with the various qualification regulators and government departments, a wide range of RLSS UK and IQL UK vocational qualifications will again be extended, to support everyone through the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We have worked with the regulators to make the extensions as standardised and easy to implement as possible, but, due to differing requirements of the qualifications and regulators, three slightly different methods have had to be implemented. Further details are below:

Qualifications/Awards with extensions

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 have stated it is for employers to manage.

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

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 25 November 2020 at the latest. This applies to certificates expiring on or after 16 March 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.

Providers remain responsible for ensuring all children in their care are kept safe at all times.

For more information, please see point 6.2 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.

National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ)
National Vocational Beach Lifeguard Qualification (NVBLQ)
National Pool Supervisor Qualification (NPSQ)
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)
Automated External Defibrillator (AED)
Basic Life Support & Anaphylaxis Management
Pool Plant Operator (PPO)
Life Support 3

All RLSS UK and IQL UK regulated and, non-regulated qualifications listed here with an expiry date between 16, March 2020 and 31, December 2020 have been extended, and now expire on 31, December 2020.

We have been updating all affected qualifications and will notify all qualification holders.

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.