LFD Testing Student Letter


LFD Testing Student Letter

July 2021



Dear Apprentice / Trainee


Up to one in three people who have COVID-19 can spread the virus without knowing. This is because they have no symptoms. To reduce the spread of the virus, we need to identify those individuals. We can do this in Belfast Central Training by carrying out Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests at home twice every week, 3-4 days apart. 


Taking test kits home

You will be able to collect your home test kits from your Training Contractor.

We would like you to take your tests twice weekly before coming on to your training/work placement/employer sites.

You will be given a pack of 7 tests in a box with a separate leaflet on how to take the test and report the results.


Taking the test

You should take the test two times every week.


Make sure you have enough time to do the test before going to your training site. Preferably this would be in the morning before going onto the training site. However, we understand that for some people this may be challenging. Therefore, tests can be taken the evening before attending training, if needed.


You need to report ALL test results.


Help and support is available, including instructions in different languages on how to test and report the results and a video showing you how to take the test.


This does not replace symptomatic testing. If you have symptoms, you should self-isolate immediately, book a PCR test at a testing centre and follow national guidelines.   


Can I take the test myself?

Apprentices / Trainees aged 18 and over should do the test themselves and report the result, with help if they need it.


Apprentices / Trainees under age 18 should do the test themselves with adult supervision. The adult may help the apprentice / trainee to take the test if they need support.




You need to report each test result 


The result of each test needs to be reported using the NHS Test & Trace self-report website: https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result




You will also need to tell Belfast Central Training the result of each test by sending a private message through our Facebook page. 


Why take part

Taking part in testing is voluntary and you will be able to attend your training/work placement/employer sites whether you take part in testing or not.


I am strongly encouraging all Apprentices / Trainees to take part. Testing yourself at home will allow us to reduce the spread of the virus.


Please contact Belfast Central Training, if you have any questions or concerns about home testing. 


Thank you for your support.




Beth Ogilvie




Some frequently asked questions


What should you do after the test? 


If anyone tests positive you, your household, any support bubbles you are part of should self-isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance for 10 days. 


You should report your result to both NHS Test and Trace and Belfast Central Training.


You should order a confirmatory PCR test if you have tested positive. The confirmatory PCR test should be taken within two days of the positive LFD test.


If the result of the test is unclear (void) you will need to do another test. 


Positive, negative and void results should be reported to both NHS Test & Trace and Belfast Central Training.


A negative result does not guarantee that you are not carrying the virus. So, you should continue to follow social distancing and other measures to reduce transmission such as regularly washing your hands.


If you or anyone in your household gets symptoms of the virus you should follow national guidelines on self-isolation and testing. 


Do I need to give consent? 


Apprentices / Trainees do not give written consent to take part in the home testing programme unless the Apprentice / Trainee does not have the capacity to provide informed consent in which case consent in writing must be completed by the parent or legal guardian.


Please read the information below on how personal information and test results are shared and the privacy notice Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing: privacy information - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)


Once you open the kit you should take and report the results of the tests to NHS Test & Trace and Belfast Central Training regardless of the result (positive, negative, or void).






Reporting problems or issues with testing 


If there is an issue with the test kit, for example something is missing, please report it by calling 119 and please also tell the Training Contractor.


If an accident or injury happens whilst using the test kit, please seek medical care by calling 111 (or 999 if it is an emergency). Please also report what happened using this website: https://coronavirus-yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk/  


What type of tests will be used? 


We will be providing Apprentices / Trainees with Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests for use at home. They are a fast and simple way to test people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19, but who may still be spreading the virus.  


The tests are easy to use and give results in 30 minutes.  


Further information: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/understanding-lateral-flow-antigen-testing-for-people-without-symptoms  


Are LFD tests accurate? 


Lateral Flow Device tests identify people who are likely to be infectious. These  

individuals tend to spread the virus to many people and so identifying them through this test is important.  


These tests have been widely and successfully used to detect COVID-19 in asymptomatic individuals and are approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The speed and convenience of the tests supports the detection of the virus in asymptomatic individuals, who would not otherwise have got tested. 


The tests are highly specific, with low chance of false positives. They are also very sensitive and are able to identify the majority of the most infectious yet asymptomatic individuals. Extensive evaluation has been carried out on the tests and it shows that they are both accurate and sensitive enough to be used in the community for screening and surveillance purposes.  


It is important to remember that these tests are only an aid to help stop the spread of the virus and you should continue to follow other guidance such as on wearing face coverings and social distancing.  




How are LFD tests different to PCR tests? 


There are 2 main types of test to check if you have coronavirus: 


  • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests check for the genetic material (RNA) of the virus in the sample - you send the sample for processing at a lab; and
  • Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests detect proteins called ‘antigens’ produced by the virus - they give rapid results within 30 minutes. 


What does it mean if I have a positive result?


If you have a positive antigen LFD test result you, your household and any support bubbles you are part of should self-isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance for 10 days. You need to report your result to both NHS Test & Trace and to Belfast Central Training. 


You should order a confirmatory PCR test if you have tested positive. The confirmatory PCR test should be taken within two days of the positive LFD test.


You can book a test here


What does it mean if I have a negative result?


A negative result does not guarantee that you are not carrying the virus. So, you should continue to follow social distancing, and other measures to reduce transmission such as wearing a face mask and regularly washing your hands.


What if I have a void result?


If the result of the test is unclear (void), you should take another one. If the next test is also void, you should take a PCR test. You can book a test here.


All test results need to be reported to both NHS Test & Trace and Belfast Central Training.


Do I need to send the test to a lab?


No. The LFD tests supplied do not need to be sent to a laboratory to get a result and can give a quick result in around 30 minutes. Guidance on self-testing is contained in the ‘Instructions for Use’ leaflet, which comes with the test kit. There is also a useful video to show you how to administer the test. 


How do you report the result?


Once you have taken the test, you will need to report the result online (whether it is positive, negative or void) using this service. You also need to tell Belfast Central Training the test result. You will receive a text or email from NHS Test & Trace confirming that you have reported your test result. 


All test results need to be reported to both NHS Test & Trace and Belfast Central Training.


Can someone else in my household use a test kit sent home from the Training Contractor? 


No, the test kits provided are for the use of the recipient only.


How will personal information and test results be shared?


To report your result, you will need to share some information about yourself, so that your test result can be traced.


You need to tell NHS Test & Trace:

●     your name

●     your test result

●     the reference number on the test kit


You will also need to tell Belfast Central Training your test result. 


Under UK law, Belfast Central Training will collect and store test result data because it is in the ‘public interest’.

Belfast Central Training will only share information with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) if the test kits used are found to be faulty. If this happens, DHSC will use our information to contact people who used the faulty tests, so that they can be tested again. 


When you report test results online, you are sharing information with DHSC. They will share it with your GP, local government, NHS, and Public Health Agency. This is so that they can offer you health services and guidance if you need to self-isolate. They might also use your data anonymously (without your name or contact information) to research COVID-19, and improve our understanding of the virus.


For more information on how personal data is used for testing please see the detailed privacy notice Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing: privacy information - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).