Update on PHECC Responder level certification (21 July 2021)

PHECC is the statutory regulator responsible for developing education and training standards for a suite of responder level courses such as Cardiac First Response (CFR) and First Aid Response (FAR). Recognised Institutions and Approved Training Institutions (RIs and ATIs) are authorised, by PHECC to deliver examine and issue joint PHECC/institution course completion certificates to successful students. A list of RI/ATIs that are recognised by PHECC to deliver PHECC courses can be found here.

PHECC is not in a position to approve or authorise RI/ATIs to open during the various stages of this pandemic.  This decision should result solely from the RI/ATIs own risk assessment based on their ability to comply with current government advice and public health guidelines. Advice may be sought from the Health & Safety Authority (HSA). Please see the HSA website for further information or contact them directly. The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) also provide a comprehensive range of guidance documents that may be of assistance: 

In March 2020, Council acknowledged that when responder level certificates lapsed, an RI/ATI may allow an extended grace period before a full course would be required to recertify. Council, in January 2021, further advised that if a responder level certificate expires between March 2020 and 31 July 2021, an individual may complete the shorter re-certification course in lieu of the full certification course.


PHECC has never extended the expiry date on responder level certificates, but rather extended the grace period to allow individuals recertify (colloquially known as ‘refresher’ training). The requirement to hold FAR certification does not originate from PHECC, it comes from the HSA, Tusla and other institutions.

Council at its meeting 15 July 2021, considered the ongoing and evolving government advice and public health restrictions due to Covid-19. It was agreed that from 1 August: 

  1. there is no change to the 2-year expiry on CFR and FAR certificates and EFR certificates expire after 3 years;
  2. individuals who recertify within 3 months of the expiry on their responder level certificate can undertake a shorter re-certification course;
  3. individuals who recertify after 3 months of the expiry on their responder level certificate must undertake the full certification course.

Instructors and tutors should continue to engage directly with their institution. For all other queries, please email:  ri-ati-info@phecc.ie