OPITO Certificate Extension Policy

Effective 19 October 2020 onwards

1.0 Background

In March 2020, OPITO implemented a certificate extension process to support those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, where their certification expired within 30 days, initially, and within 14 days, as amended 5 August in revised Policy OPITO.C19.GLB.003.1.

This process has supported industry and the workforce during these challenging times, and, as of 16 September, more than 30,000 certificates have been extended under the Policy.

OPITO’s view is that it is vital that the skills and competence of the workforce is maintained through regular training.

Additionally, training providers have now reopened in the majority of regions with physical distancing measures in place in training centres operating under national, regional and local government guidelines.

As a result of the above, OPITO has taken the decision to draw the scheme to a close at this point. OPITO will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 across the globe and will put appropriate measures in place, where required.

To enable a period of transition, the measures outlined in Section 2.0 have been introduced to support delegates (self-sponsors) and employing companies.

2.0 Certificate Extension Process

As of 00.01hrs on 19 October 2020, certificate extensions will no longer be granted unless in exceptional circumstances, as outlined below. All other delegates are required to undertake refresher training.

The exceptional circumstances under which certificate extension requests will be considered are outlined below:

  1. The individual is based in a country/region that is in a state of lockdown and all appropriate training providers within a reasonable distance are closed. Evidence of this will be required, for instance communication with a training centre or a specific directive in place which prohibits centres from operating or delegates from attending training centres.
  2. The individual requesting the extension remains in quarantine. Evidence must be submitted along with the extension request for this criterion to be met, for example formal notification to confirm the situation.
3.0 Extension Scenarios in Exceptional Circumstances

The table below outlines the approach for specific requests.

Type of requestExtension request consideredApproach
First request to extend certificationXA first extension will not be granted.
First request to extend certificationXA two-month ‘period of grace’ to undertake refresher training will begin from the expiry date of the certificate.
First request to extend certificationXDuring this ‘period of grace’, certificates will not be valid, and this may impact an individual’s ability to work offshore.
Further request for extension that has expiredXNo further extension will be applied to the current expiry date of the certificate.
Further request for extension that has expiredXA two-month ‘period of grace’ to undertake refresher training will begin from the expiry date of the certificate.
Further request for extension that has expiredXDuring this period of grace, certificates will not be valid, and this may impact an individual’s ability to work offshore.
Request submitted in line with exceptional eligibility criteria, as detailed in Section 2.0./Extension requests submitted as of 00:01hrs on 19 October 2020 will not be considered for an extension unless either of the conditions above is met.

2.1 Advisory notes:
  • A two-month ‘period of grace’ will take effect when the current extension held by an individual expires or when the certificate expires after 00.01hrs on 19 October 2020;
  • No action is required on the individual’s part to be eligible for this ‘period of grace’. This will occur automatically, after the current extension ends or when the certificate expires after 00.01hrs on 19 October;
  • This ‘period of grace’ is designed to serve as a final opportunity to undertake appropriate refresher training, after which delegates would be required to undertake initial training, where applicable;
  • Vantage will reflect an expired certificate during this ‘period of grace’ until refresher training has been completed;
  • Certificates will not be valid, and this may prohibit an individual’s ability to work offshore, and
  • When refresher training is completed, certificates will be backdated to correspond with the expiry date of the original certificate, prior to any extension(s).
3.0 Exceptional Circumstances – Applying for an Extension

After 00.01hrs on 19 October 2020, certificate extension requests will only be considered if there is clear evidence that the delegate falls into one of the categories detailed above and such requests are made 14 days prior to expiry of a current certificate or extension. If the evidence supports the claim and the request is approved, the certificate would be extended for one month only.

There are two ways to apply for an extension to an OPITO certificate under exceptional circumstances:

  • Delegates (self-sponsors) can apply for an extension by completing the Delegate Form and
  • Employing companies can apply for an extension by completing the Employer Form

These forms are available on the OPITO website.

4.0 Enquiries

All extension requests must be made through the OPITO website (opito.com/covid19).
Any enquiries regarding extensions should be made to the following:
Delegates (self-sponsors) delegate.support@opito.com
Employing companies employer.support@opito.com
OPITO, 18 September 2020
(Amendment to the revised policy of 5 August 2020).

OPITO.C19.GLB.004


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