Reviewed 6th January
Last updated 25th January - update regarding ACS qualifications
Advice for the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. Please be aware: as this is an ever-changing situation information may be updated, amended and added on a regular basis.
As a result of recent COVID-19 restrictions affecting the ability of registered engineers to renew their gas safety qualifications, registrations have been temporarily extended.
Therefore, if your engineer’s ID card shows a job category which has expired on or from the 1 March 2020 and this type of work is due to be carried out at your property, please check the engineer’s current registration status. You can do this by using our on-line Find and Check services.
See What we do for information about when Gas Safe will inspect or investigate gas work
In short, yes, we are making some temporary adjustments to processes to make best use of technology and to minimise face to face exposure wherever possible. This will enable us to assess the risk and keep customers, engineers and our employees safe.
During the new lockdown period businesses will initially be required to undertake a Remote Technical Assessment (RTA), the outcome of that RTA will determine whether a Face to Face inspection is required.
We will make an initial assessment of any complaints or concerns raised to us by telephone, making use of available video calling technologies to help with that assessment. We will use this information to confirm next steps e.g. if and when an inspection visit to the property is required.
Your well-being and that of other household members at your property is our priority while carrying out any gas pipework and/or appliance inspections. So that you and our employees stay safe, where appropriate, all our Inspectors will use PPE that meets Government and Health and Safety Executive guidelines. A risk assessment that is specific to your situation will be carried out prior to entering your property, which will determine the appropriate PPE to be worn, for example, gloves, face coverings.
Guidance on keeping yourself safe can be found here: gov.uk/coronavirus
So that you, other members of your household and our Inspectors can all stay safe, we won’t visit properties where those living in the home:
We’ll be pleased to carry out an inspection of the gas engineer’s work at your property once you’re feeling well enough and have completed any self-isolation requirements (as per the current Government guidelines) and are happy for us to visit.
If you’re classed as clinically vulnerable, the latest advice from government is that work can be carried out in homes of the clinically vulnerable, but workers should be particularly vigilant in respect of social distancing and good hygiene. See working safely - other people’s homes for more guidance:
If you’re classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, you should refer to the latest government advice, see link below, to determine whether the clinically extremely vulnerable are currently being advised to shield. You should also check to see if local lockdown arrangements are in place See:
If Government advice is that the clinically extremely vulnerable are currently being advised to shield or if local lockdown arrangements require it, we would ask that you advise us in advance so that we can make arrangements for the inspection of the gas engineer’s work at your property to be carried out at a later date.
We want to ensure customers, gas engineers and our employees stay safe. This means all our visits will start with our inspector undertaking a risk assessment before starting any inspection. If a risk is clearly identified, they reserve the right to terminate the visit to ensure the safety of you, any accompanying gas engineer and themselves.
We’ll need to terminate a visit to your property if our inspector falls ill with COVID-19 symptoms or must self-isolate in accordance with the Governments guidelines.
To ensure your safety and that of our employees, our inspectors will apply the two-metre social distancing measures. We may also ask you and any other household members to wait in another room or go outside while the inspection is carried out or open doors and windows in the room they are working in.
We’ll call you before our visit to check that you and other household members are well and that no one has suspected COVID-19 symptoms, is self-isolating or shielding.
Our inspector will need to access:
Ideally yes, but as part of their PPE our inspectors will have their own hand sanitiser.
We politely ask that the area where the inspector will be working, is clear, tidy and cleaned before the visit.
The inspector will ensure the area of the home worked in is left clean and tidy.
Engineers are expected to take all reasonable measures to maintain their ACS qualifications, including planning ahead, as maintaining gas safety competence is essential for registered gas engineers. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic some ACS assessment centres closed or are now operating at reduced capacity. This led to some engineers being unable to take their ACS reassessment or experiencing a delay in securing a date for reassessment.
Where assessment centres can operate, they should do so, and follow Gov.uk advice on good hygiene. Centres should advise engineers not to attend if they should be self-isolating.
To maintain their Gas Safe registration, engineers must ensure that expired ACS qualifications are renewed:
Engineers are advised to book ACS reassessment in advance, as while most assessment centres are open and have availability, some are fully booked up 2 months in advance.
NOTE: As a result of the current lockdown (Dec 2020/Jan 2021), we have been advised that in some cases, scheduled assessments have been cancelled and rebooked by the assessment centres, and that the revised dates being offered mean they will not be able to meet the above timescales (renewing their ACS by 31 March 2021). Engineers who find themselves in this position should make every effort to seek and find alternative assessment provision, which will allow them to meet qualification timescales.
After 31 March 2021 Gas Safe Register will only consider renewal of Gas Safe registration without current ACS in exceptional circumstances. Engineers will be expected to evidence that they have made reasonable attempts to find alternate assessment provision (e.g. provision of evidence of rebooked assessments by original provider and correspondence with at least two alternate providers, seeking alternative assessment arrangements) before requesting their circumstances are taken into consideration for renewal of their Gas Safe registration. Renewal of Gas Safe registration in these circumstances, will be considered on a case by case basis and is not guaranteed.
Information on ACS assessment Centres in your area can be found at https://www.euskills.co.uk/gas-acs-centre-directory/
You can find information on ACS assessment Centres in your area in the December 2020 edition of Registered Gas Engineer magazine. Log into your account to read this issue of RGE.
Engineers MUST maintain their Gas Safe registration during any extension period applied due to ACS expiry during the pandemic if they are carrying out gas work.
Extension of registration is a temporary measure which is regularly reviewed and does not remove the standing requirement for registered gas engineers to maintain their ACS certification and renew certification every 5 years.
Any queries should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will terminate a visit to your registered business address if our Inspector has COVID-19 symptoms or must self-isolate in accordance with the Government guidelines. All visits will commence with our Inspector completing a risk assessment. If a risk is identified, they reserve the right to cancel the visit to ensure the safety of you, themselves and your customer.
You will also need to undertake your own risk assessment prior to our visit.
So that you, other members of your household or staff and our Inspectors can all stay safe, we won’t visit properties where those who maybe present:
Please contact your customer to establish if they are self-isolating, shielding or fall within a vulnerable group. You will also need to check if they are happy to apply the social distancing guidelines. Please also ask your customer if they and any other household members will be willing to:
If any risks are identified, please arrange another inspection appointment.
Our Inspector will need to access:
Please explain to your customer that we may need to access these areas.
For more information, please see Returning to work – Guidance for registered engineers
The latest detailed guidance on working safely in people's homes can be found on the UK Government website https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19.
If you are a member of the public, guidance on keeping yourself safe can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus. Please note, if you are shielding (vulnerable) or have COVID-19 symptoms, and you have a planned visit from a Gas Safe Register Inspector, or a gas engineer from any business, you must make all parties aware and have the appointment re-arranged.
The HSE has provided a wealth of new information for landlords including a variety of scenarios which may help provide some clarity for those concerned for their well-being or the well-being of their customers.
If you’re classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, you should refer to the latest government advice, see link below, to determine whether the clinically extremely vulnerable are currently being advised to shield. You should also check to see if local lockdown arrangements are in place, see:
If Government advice is that the clinically extremely vulnerable are currently being advised to shield or if local lockdown arrangements require it, your landlord can find out more about what is expected of them in respect of gas safety checks on the Gas Safe Register website. https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/
If you smell gas, or if you have concerns about the safety of your appliances, you should call the gas emergency service provider on 0800 111 999, and switch off appliances until the gas emergency supplier, or a registered gas engineer, has attended and advised that the appliances are safe to use.