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.
We have updated our information in line with guidance published by UK Government on 11th May.
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.
Due to the COVID-19 situation, we have been operating a limited service to support efforts to reduce the spread of the virus.
We want to reassure registered businesses that we’re doing our upmost to continue to support you. Our technical team are still on hand to answer any technical questions and queries you may have. Call us on 0800 408 5577, then press option 1, or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will respond to you as soon as possible. Don't forget, your local Gas Safe Register Inspector is here to help you too.
If you have a gas emergency or can smell gas please call the emergency service provider on 0800 111 999.
For vulnerable members of the public, unable to use our website or email, we continue to operate the HSE Gas Safety Advice line on 0800 300 363. Please be aware response times are currently longer than usual and they may need to leave us as voicemail message, so that we can call back.
For registered engineers, our technical support line continues to operate. We are developing new procedures in line with the UK Government advice on working safely issued on 11th May, and plan to have our full service running safely soon.
Please note: as of 8 June 2020 we are beginning to carry out more types of gas safety inspection as we look towards providing a more regular service, whilst working within the current restrictions and observing Government guidance around topics such as hygiene and social distancing.
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 at your property once you’re feeling well enough and have completed any self-isolation requirements (as per the Government guidelines) and are happy for us to visit.
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.
Yes. The 6 month extension will allow assessment centres and certification bodies time to prepare for re-opening and adherence to social distancing guidelines. This will ensure the safety of all engineers and assessment centre employees.
The temporary 6 month extension will be applied on a rolling basis, the duration of which remains under review.
As assessment capacity increases over time, the period of extension may be reduced, as a result the extensions will no longer be applied. Affected engineers will be given prior notice when these changes are to be applied to allow sufficient time to prepare.
Despite the temporary extension to qualification expiry dates, engineers are strongly encouraged to actively seek to gain re-assessment at the earliest opportunity.
Assessment centres will become extremely busy so engineers are advised to use alternative centres, where possible if their usual centre is unable to accommodate. Delaying re-assessment could put your registration at risk.
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.
Government advice is that people who are clinically extremely vulnerable should minimise all interaction between themselves and others (also referred to as shielded people).
If you have been advised by the government that you fall into the extremely vulnerable (shielded) category, you should inform your landlord that you are shielding because you are medically vulnerable, so do not want an engineer in your home.
Your landlord can find out more about what is expected of them in respect of gas safety checks at this time on the Gas Safe Register website. The landlord must rearrange the landlords’ gas safety check to take place after your isolation period has ended.
However, 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.
We are aware that many assessment centres closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in engineers being unable to take their ACS reassessment.
HSE temporarily permitted registered gas engineers with expired gas safety qualifications to remain on the Gas Safe Register for an additional period during the peak of COVID-19.
More ACS assessment centres have started to open so that reassessment can take place. These centres have been advised to follow Government advice on good hygiene and encourage engineers not to attend if they should be self-isolating.
When your gas safety qualifications expire, you’ll have 6 months from the expiry date of your qualifications to achieve reassessment. For example, if your qualifications expired on the 16 March, you’ll have until the 16 September 2020 to regain your certification. This will be monitored as more assessment centres begin to open and any changes to the temporary 6 month extension process will be communicated.
If you’re unable to achieve reassessment within this period, without providing supporting evidence to demonstrate why, your registration with Gas Safe Register will be suspended. This could affect the registration status of your business or your employer’s business.
Engineers are expected to take all reasonable steps to maintain their ACS qualifications and in support, ACS assessment centres are encouraged to give priority to any engineers with expired qualifications.
It’s essential that you maintain your Gas Safe registration and continue to apply competence during this extension period if you’re carrying out gas work. As a registered gas engineer, you’re still required to maintain your ACS certification and renew certification every 5 years.
We’ll continue to keep this page (and our website) updated so you’ll know what action to take if the Government changes recommended control measures in response to the pandemic.
For more information please read our engineer qualification FAQs.