Since the beginning of the pandemic, United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) has been working with the government to provide advice on quality assurance and accreditation of laboratories performing Covid-19 testing.
As demand for Covid-19 testing and the number of private providers of testing (such as Occupational Health providers) continues to grow, the need for the public to have confidence in the testing remains as important as ever. Recognising the time it takes to establish a reliable testing service and gain accreditation, UKAS has agreed to provide some preliminary assessment that can be used to provide information about the competence of these testing services that are being established, through necessity, at pace. The outcome of this work is new legislation – applicable from 1st January this year – that in many cases requires immediate action from Occupational Health providers.
The 3-stage approach
UKAS has been working with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to develop a 3-stage UKAS accreditation process for private providers of Covid-19 testing. This scheme will be used for ‘Testing to Release for International Travel’ but is open to all private providers of Covid-19 testing seeking accreditation for their services.
In response to the new accreditation, Covid Testing Network (CTN), the leading provider of workplace testing plans to Occupational Health providers, has created a free white paper that breaks down the various new legal requirements, and walks through the process.
Ami Jayakrishnan from CTN said “As soon as we became aware of the new legislation, we realised the impact that it could have on both ourselves and our OH partners. Working in close contact with both UKAS and DHSC, we identified what was and wasn´t applicable to CTN, our clients, and our UKAS accredited labs. We’ve documented the process and clarified several FAQ’s based on direct answers from DHSC to help you make robust decisions for your business, and to advise your clients about any actions they might need to take. Although complex, once you’ve identified any actions you need to take, it´s relatively easy to apply for accreditation.”
In a nutshell
- What has changed
- What this means for you & your clients
- Understanding the implications of the new legislative environment
- How to go about securing accreditation if you need it.
The free white paper, is aimed at Occupational Health companies or other organisations who are looking to play some role in providing Covid-19 testing to either the general public or to a business who wishes to perform testing for stakeholders (employees, customers, suppliers etc.)