FFP3 fit testing

FFP3 respirator masks are required as part of COVID-19 personal protective equipment worn for medium and high risk care pathways where aerosol generating procedures are undertaken as per infection, prevention and control guidance. Fit testing of FFP3s for a safe fit is required by law.

This webpage outlines fit-testing advice and support available to NHS colleagues.

FFP3 resilience principles

A core priority for both NHS trusts and the DHSC is to ensure FFP3 resilience at both the national and organisation level for any future new variant of concern, or another respiratory virus that may lead to an epidemic or a pandemic.’

To support this requirement, guidance notes in the form of FFP3 resilience principles have been developed by the Department of Health and Social Care for acute clinical settings where FFP3s are used.

Fit testing support in NHS Trusts

NHS Trusts across England can seek further support from the Department of Health and Social Care who can provide trained fit testers who can be deployed to Trusts.

Information on how to access this support has been sent to Trusts. For further information, please contact anton.miedziolka@gstt.nhs.uk

Fit testing support for NHS Dentists

Hundreds of dental staff have been trained to provide fit testing in dental settings. Each region has their own implementation plan in place. So, for further details on local arrangements, please contact your local regional dental commissioning team.

Further information is available on the RPA website

Fit test helplines for Dentistry: 07947 968972 and 07947 968922

Fit testing through providers in the private sector can also be obtained via www.fit2fit.org

Fit testing algorithm

An algorithm has been developed to help NHS organisations identify the steps they should take where staff are deployed to clinical areas which require FFP3 respirators to be worn.

Staff skin care

It is important that staff take good care of their skin to prevent skin irritation and/or pressure ulcers. Guidance on how to help prevent facial skin damage beneath tight fitting face piece respirators (FFP3 masks) is available.

Good practice advice and recommendations for healthcare providers

FFP3 respirator manufacturers continue to be advised on improving mask fit, using information from a DHSC-supported programme, working with 47 NHS Trusts to assess fit testing among a diverse range of staff groups.

This work has also informed a quality improvement project to support trusts to develop high quality fit testing processes and procedures in line with Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance.

See further information on NHS England and NHS Improvement’s quality improvement project and examples of good practice.

Further links

Further information and advice for employers and those conducting fit tests is available at: