Gas engineers are classed by the government as key workers. This means that they are eligible to continue to carry out emergency work during this self-isolation period.
However, given the outbreak of Covid 19, all those able to are required to self-isolate. Therefore, the renewal of ACS qualifications has been impacted and delayed due to closed ACS centres. Engineers who were booked to renew their ACS with us and other training providers have had their assessments postponed.
In light of this, HSE has released a statement. Below is further information on the matter and how this will impact gas engineers and their ability to continue work.
Statement from the HSE:
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Advice for engineers and assessment centres on maintaining ACS qualifications
We have had reports that some ACS assessment centres have closed due to COVID-19, resulting in engineers being unable to take their ACS reassessment. Engineers are expected to take all reasonable measures to maintain their ACS qualifications, including planning ahead where possible.
Maintaining gas safety competence is essential for registered gas engineers. If assessment centres have enough staff and customers to keep functioning, they should do so and follow Gov.uk advice on good hygiene and encouraging engineers not to attend if they should be self-isolating.
If engineers take all reasonable steps to update their expired ACS certification as soon as possible and continue to work safely, HSE will permit registered gas engineers to remain on the register for an additional period during the peak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) measures.
Engineers may be required to demonstrate that they have taken reasonable steps to renew their qualifications.
Engineers MUST maintain their Gas Safe registration during any extension of their ACS qualification period if they are carrying out gas work.
This is a temporary measure and does not remove the standing requirement for registered gas engineers to maintain their ACS certification and renew certification every 5 years.
As a result of this self-isolation period, registration of courses and claiming of awards and certificates through our awarding body LCL Awards has been suspended until offices are re-opened
Statement from LCL:
After following UK Government measures enacted to protect the nation’s health and continued provision of essential services LCL Awards is no longer able to keep its certification office open and operate normally.
In anticipating our certification office having to close we have made provision and arrangements to ensure that as far as reasonably practicable we are able to continue to provide some support and information to our customers and protect the interests of learners and certificated persons
We have made arrangements for key member(s) of staff to work from home and continue to maintain a standard of service albeit at a greatly reduced level. We have set on our website out some of the services we will be able to maintain and those we will not. Please ensure you take note of the information provided to enable you to notify any of your customers who may be awaiting the award of their qualification or certificate.
Until measures have been lifted and a sense of normality returns we will not be able to conduct on-site external quality assurance audits and technical or business support visits.
We would like to assure you that we remain fully committed to providing the highest levels of service that we are able to in these exceptional circumstances. The Directors and all of our staff would like to thank you for your continued understanding and support during these difficult times.
Please note that with immediate effect please do not transmit any assessment documentation to our offices as they are closed and we are unable to receive it.
The current situation is something we have never experienced before, but we aim to get things back to normal asap. We will offer those booked in for ACS renewal alternative dates when possible. If you have any questions, you can speak to us directly via 0800 802 1306.