GWO has agreed to allow as a temporary measure until 1 June 2020 that:
- Course participants unable to refresh previous training within the 24 month validity period due to COVID 19, may be able to take their planned refresher training up until 60 days after expiry. However, if, during the period of your current certification you have not worked in a wind turbine environment or used the skills you learned on GWO courses, the risk of skills fade is very high. This option should be assessed by the legal duty holder responsible for your safety on site.
- Training Providers offering the refresher training to course participants under this exemption must contact GWO to receive further instructions.
The measure to allow attendance to refresher courses up until 60 days after expiry does not constitute an extension of agreed validity periods for GWO training and does not constitute a general exemption towards employers and duty-holders to ensure employees have adequate safety competences. It remains an employer prerogative to make decisions on whether to require valid training or give an exemption.
Until such time as certified GWO training can resume, we encourage employers who employ technicians whose training validity expires and who have reasonable reasons for expiry, to consider making exemptions and to take other measures to maintain necessary safety skills in whatever way is locally practicable, such as through exercises and managerial supervision. It continues to be important that the affected persons remain competent to perform their job functions safely and does not pose risk to themselves or to others working around them in the interim period.
The 24-month validity of most GWO training courses has been agreed to by the membership due to observed skills deterioration which happens over time and as an alignment to legal requirements put in place for those same reasons in various jurisdictions across the world.
Skills deterioration can mean trained skills are forgotten as they are not used during normal work (such as First Aid) or can mean gradual deviation from the correct and safe skills practices acquired during training.