Automatically extended licences will give operators better access to accredited technicians when vehicle testing resumes.

All irtec licences due to expire in March, April or May, will be given a 90-day extension because of the unprecedented situation caused by Covid-19.

The extension will be effective immediately, for all four levels of the licence, in recognition of the importance of accredited technicians being available to work on vehicles. The extension is automatic, so licence holders will not need to take any action. 

A 90-day extension will also be applied to Workshop Accreditation licences. Any licences set to expire at the end of the three-year term will be automatically renewed.

In March, the government suspended testing of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) for three months, and the DVSA issued certificates of exemption to all HGVs, trailers and Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) with an expiring annual safety test certificate, until further notice.  

SOE has decided to give further support to the road transport sector by ensuring the availability of fully accredited independent irtec technicians as soon as it is safe to start testing vehicles again. The sector is playing a central role in the transportation of food supplies, the safeguarding of key workers, and sustaining blue light services in the national effort against Coronavirus. 

John Parry, Chair of the irtec Steering Group, said: “The Society realises the ramifications of suspended testing on the sector, but also, how valuable irtec technicians are to operators in keeping fleets operating safely. The extension is a logical decision, and will give operators reassurance that, when the time comes, HGVs, buses, coaches, and trailers will be thoroughly checked by qualified professionals.”

Daniel Moir, SOE Chief Operating Officer, said: “It is important that at this critical juncture the road transport sector is doing everything in its power to maintain safety standards, and that includes giving operators access to irtec technicians when testing facilities are re-opened. By extending licences, the Society is doing just that.”

Technicians whose licences were due to expire will be sent a notification by email of the planned extension. Employers will be able to check on the validity of a licence on the irtec Technicians Directory. For more information on irtec or to access the directory, go to: https://irtec.org.uk/irtec-technicians-directory.html 

To check on Workshop Accreditation licences, go to: https://irteworkshop.org.uk/irte-workshop-accreditation-register.html