HCS Safety re-open training centre with Covid testing for attendees and staff

HCS Safety are delighted to announce that we are re-opening our training centre in Southampton for face-to-face classroom learning from 22nd February 2021.

We have given a lot of thought to how we re-open safely in light of the new variant of the virus and have concluded that to do the right thing morally and legally, for both our customers and own employees, we will start to conduct lateral flow Covid-19 rapid testing for all our attendees and staff.

We will re-open in stages as follows:

22nd February – 5th March – Scaffold Inspection / PASMA Towers for Users / CITB Health & Safety Awareness (Green Card Course) / all in-house courses will be live in the classroom. All other courses will be delivered remotely via Microsoft Teams.

8th March – all training will be back in the classroom until further notice.

For full details of all our training courses, dates, prices and booking, please click here.


What if they test positive?

We will provide a leaflet to the delegate setting out the government requirements. We will inform you as soon as possible that they have tested positive for Covid-19. They will not be allowed to enter the building. We will discuss moving their booking to a later course. There will be no charge for this.

Will we have to pay for the test?

No – we will pay for the tests and will not pass on this cost to you. We are doing this to allow us to open safely and to protect our customers and staff.

How long will HCS Safety do this for?

Our current plan is to conduct pre-course testing until the Easter break, Thursday 1st April.

We will be closely monitoring the infection numbers and may stop before then or continue after. We will also review the situation based on how many positive tests we are seeing.

*18/03/21 Edit – Originally we had planned to stop testing after Easter, but we have taken the decision to extend our testing regime until the end of April, when we will review it in the light of data on transmission rates both locally and nationally.*

What test are you using?

We are using a Siemens CLINITEST Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Test. This works with a simple nasal swab and has an accuracy rating of 96.35% – 99.74%. If you would like more information on the test itself, please email for a fact sheet.

How will this work on the day?

Our staff will greet vehicles as they arrive and ask them to reverse park in our front car park to await their test.

We will pass a test kit with clear instructions to delegates and ask them to undertake the test themselves. These are very simple to do and the instructions will be very clear.

Once delegates have taken their nasal swab sample, they will set a timer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes they will put on their hazard lights to let us know their test is complete.

We will approach their vehicle window to read the test result. If negative they will enter the building and sign in as usual.

If positive we will provide them with guidance info on what to do but we will not allow them into the building. We will inform you of any positive tests.

If the test has failed we will ask them to repeat it with another kit.

What if the delegate is coming via public transport/bicycle/taxi?

For poor weather we have a limited area for testing people inside the building. If the weather is good we will set up an area outside.

What if they are late?

We do reserve the right to deny entry for anyone arriving too late as we do in normal times. They will still need to undertake a test before we allow them into the building so it is vital that they arrive early.

What if they have already had a test recently?

If delegates can show us evidence that they have had a negative PCR test within 48 hours of arrival, they do not need to undertake our lateral flow test. They will need to show us the email they will have received after receiving their negative test results.

If they have undertaken a lateral flow test elsewhere even very recently, they will still need to take our test.

The course lasts 2 days – do they get tested every day?

No – we will test delegates on day one but not on the 2nd or 3rd consecutive day. If the course runs into a second week we will test them on the 1st day of the course in the 2nd week.

How about the tutor? Will they be tested?

Yes – we will be testing our tutors regularly in order to protect the health of our customers. Tutors will be tested at least once per week. More if they are teaching on more than one course.

Will you be relaxing social distancing while you are doing this?

No – absolutely not. Our classrooms are still set up so individual desks are 2m apart, individual exercise materials are provided and all other requirements for distancing, handwashing and sanitising will remain in place. Delegates are encouraged to wear face coverings and we may require this for certain situations such as practical parts of some courses. Delegates will be expected to have a face covering with them.