Advice and Guidance on expiring certificates during the COVID-19 Outbreak

31st Mar

We have suspended all courses until June 2020. In light of this we have gathered advice and guidance from various awarding organisations and training partners to provide our customers and partners with all the information they require about any qualifications due to expire over this shut down period.

Emergency Safety Critical Training from Citrus

•  We have already closed all training centres across the UK to help support the country’s effort to reduce the spread of Coronavirus (COVID- 19).

•  All public and dedicated courses have already been automatically cancelled up until the end of April initially. This will then be reviewed ongoing in line with Government advice and guidance.

•  We will continue to deliver “safety critical training services” that support the Country’s infrastructure, services and customer’s critical works.

•  A number of “key workers” will remain contactable to ensure these vital, and “safety critical” services are delivered to our clients.

Following consultation with our key infrastructure partners, we appreciate that the definition of “safety critical” and project applications will vary for our customers. So, if this decision affects a project that is of key importance and supports the country’s infrastructure efforts or key services, then please phone 01933 233887 or email We will review each request on a case by case basis and work with our clients to evaluate the impact on key services.

Citrus E-Learning Suite

Citrus Group are delighted to announce the arrival of our new E-learning suite. We are now able to offer 62 online E-learning courses ranging from Health & Safety, Business Skills and Health & Social Care.

All are accredited for the CPD and many are also accredited by ROSPA, Institute Leadership & Management (ILM), iirsm, Ofqual, IFE or iatp. All the courses are designed to maximise user engagement, delivering key learning outcomes in a highly engaging way.

Our E-Learning Courses will be available from week commencing 6th April 2020.

CITB Site Safety Plus Courses

CITB have just introduced a new remote learning and examination option for their Health and Safety Awareness (HSA) Courses. We are proud to be working with the CITB to develop a more remote training environment which we will open bookings shortly.

We are hoping this will extend across the whole Site Safety Plus suite of courses in due course.

SSSTS and SMSTS delegates whose certificates have expired since the 15th March 2020 will be allowed to take refresher courses rather than the full course once training centres re-open and this will remain in place until stated otherwise from CITB.

CITB have also agreed with CSCS that applications for a Labourer’s card can now be supported with evidence of the HSA achievement from the CITB card-checker or CITB Construction Training Register.

What do I do next?

Check the status of your HSA course achievement and HS&E Touch Screen Test on the CITB card checker.

CITB HS&E Test Centres & HS&E Lite

All Pearson Vue HS&E test centres and network of Independent Test Centres are now closed across the UK until further notice.

CITB have also developed some free of charge products “LITE Testing” that will help employers run their own in house interim testing to give a level of local assurance to help the employer to determine if an employee is safe to work on their site. For more information LITE testing downloads and guidance please click here.

CITB Levy Payments

As of the 25th March 2020 the CITB Board gave final approval to suspend the issue of its levy bills due for payment in 2020. Typically, CITB send out levy bills in April with payment due in May, however they will not seek collection for levy bills until August 2020.

For CITB’s official statement, read more here.

City & Guilds Confined Space

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.

For City & Guilds official statement, read more here.

What do I do next?

You can book onto one of our future Confined Space training courses here

First Aid

All First Aid courses have been suspended until 1st June subject to review. In light of these circumstances the HSE has now extended the validity and renewal of First Aid at Work (FAW) and Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) expiring on or after 16th March 2020 by up to three months if you are unable to requalify due to COVID-19 course suspension. Please read statements from British Red Cross and St John’s Ambulance.


CPCS and NOCN Job Cards have issued advice asking sites to be more lenient on accepting cards that have expired from mid-March onwards, at their own discretion. CPCS is also providing the ability to apply for an Emergency CPCS Card for those unable to renew or upgrades due to being unable to renew their HS&E test or Renewal Test. This card will also be available for individuals on a Red card which is expiring, and they have been prevented from completing their Vocational Qualification due to the COVID-19 situation.

For more information on how to apply for an Emergency CPCS Card please see more here.


NPORS recognises that due to the closure of HS&E test centres card holders will be unable to take these tests and therefore will not be able to extend their Red Trained Operator Cards or renew their Blue Competent Operator Cards. NPORS has taken the decision to extend the registration period of those cards due to expire for 6 months at no cost to the card holder or employer. Although the registration date printed on current cards will show as expired, registration information can be verified via the online card checker and QR code on the cards. 

For more information on the NPORS guidance please see here.

Street Works

The Street Works Qualifications Register (SWQR) has sought advice from Department for Transport (England, Wales, Northern Ireland) and Transport Scotland. In line with this, the following JAG (UK) statement was issued to all Street Authorities earlier this week:

“It is essential that Street Works do not stop entirely, and some cards will lapse through no fault of the holders. We are, therefore, writing to ask that Street Authorities bear this in mind with regards to card enforcement policy for the next six months or so. The Department of Transport is aware of this note. We thank you for your patience and understanding.” 

What do I do next?

You can book onto one of our future New Roads and Street Works training courses here.  


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. CSCS are also requesting employers and those responsible for site access and card checking procedures to use their discretion towards workers whose cards have expired since mid-March onward. You can read more here.


Considering the Government update that furloughed employees can continue professional development, we are encouraging all candidates to complete work on their NVQ’s during this period. However, our assessors are currently not available to assist their candidates. We are working on a plan to make our assessors remotely available to candidates wanting to continue with their NVQ’s. It is possible to complete a large percentage of the NVQ content this way, whilst still meeting qualification and awarding body guidelines. This means that when normal operation resumes, we should be able to complete the NVQ with one site visit. We will be communicating to all learners separately.

What do I do next?

During this time we are still able to deliver NVQ’s remotely. Once normal service resumes, we will then be arranging site visits for delegates. This means that you can still complete a large proportion of you NVQ during this uncertain time.

If you wish to sign yourself or your staff up to an NVQ, please call us on 03332 07 66 11 or email

If you are an existing NVQ learner with Citrus, we are currently able to progress the theory and knowledge aspects of the NVQ remotely. For further information about completely your NVQ during this time please contact nvqsupport@citrustraining,


Due to the COVID-19 outbreak NEBOSH courses and exams have been cancelled. NEBOSH are to defer any courses and exams once restrictions have been lifted.

Health & Safety Executive Face Fit Testing advice

The HSE has recently issued new guidance on fit testing face masks during the coronavirus outbreak. Tight-fitting respirators (such as disposable FFP3 masks and reusable half masks) rely on having a good seal with the wearer’s face. A face fit test should be carried out to ensure the respiratory protective equipment (RPE) can protect the wearer.

To ensure you put on tight-fitting RPE correctly, use a mirror or ask a colleague. Fit-testers should follow government advice on social distancing, as they can make observations from this distance and deliver any instructions verbally. The user should then carry out a pre-use seal check or fit check.

Click here to read the guidance in full.


IPAF are requesting employers and those responsible for site access and card checking procedures to allow workers whose PAL Cards have expired since March 2020 who can provide evidence that they have completed their IPAF operator eLearning theory to continue to work for a period of 90 days from successful completion of the eLearning. A receipt is provided to all successful eLearning candidates that can be downloaded as a PDF or printed out as evidence. This period of 90 days will be further reviewed as the situation continues to develop.

Agreement to this temporary extension is at the employer’s discretion, but until COVID-19 is under control, IPAF are asking all employers and the wider industry to support these measures.

What do I do next?

To book onto an IPAF e-learning theory course please contact us on 03332 07 66 11 or


All PASMA training has now been suspended until further notice.

The PASMA online training portal has recently launched, allowing delegates to watch theory sessions at home up to 90 days before they sit the written assessment and complete the practical session at a training centre. (PASMA may also extend the 90-day deadline if necessary).

Citrus Training will be scheduling the written and practical half-day sessions once our offices re-open. If you book onto the online theory sessions through Citrus, we will contact you to secure your place.

To support delegates that have achieved the PASMA E-learning theory training, when Citrus returns to normal operations, we will more than likely be scheduling exam and practical assessments half day sessions. We will update you further on this.

What do I do next?

As an accredited PASMA centre we can book you onto an online session, for further information please contact us on 03332 07 66 11 or


The following is the HSE’S response in relation to expiring certification: The asbestos regs specifically require competence and describe training as a way towards that. If a worker is competent, they can work. If what is sought is an updating course that has been identified through TNA/company planned training then evidence of that planning (booking/letter /invoice / “letter of comfort”) is a reasonable approach to show that is going to happen in a reasonable timeframe. Obviously if a worker has shown by poor work standards that he needs a course or has never been trained - then they shouldn’t be working with asbestos in any case. Training for the following courses has been approved via video learning:

•  Asbestos Awareness

•  Asbestos Awareness Refresher

•  Duty to Manage – Extension to Asbestos Awareness

•  Non-Licensable Refresher (Delegates must complete a TNA prior to the training)

We will continually update this page with guidance from all awarding organisations and card schemes during this closure. Once Citrus Training has reopened our Training Solutions Advice team will be fully trained on all the procedures set in place so will be able to support you and your delegates.

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