Covid-19: Covid Compliant Assurance Scheme - FAQs
Covid-19: Covid Compliant Assurance Scheme - FAQs
On this page:
- Making an application
- Additional advice on preparing your application
- Rejected applications
- After accreditation
- Ongoing compliance
- Leaving the scheme
How do I apply?
How much does it cost?
It is free to apply and there is no cost for the award which is a self-adhesive window sticker.
How long will it take me to apply?
It should take no more than 10 minutes. It is a quick and easy process and can even be done on your phone.
How can I ask for help if I have a question about the application form?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org and an officer will contact you.
Can I apply for more than one business in one application?
No, if you run more than one business you will need to apply for each one separately as each award is made for a specific address.
Can I upload a photo of my risk assessment?
Yes. The upload facility accepts standard image formats.
How do I correct an error in my application?
Tell us about the error by email to email@example.com. We will correct the error and confirm this in writing.
I have less than five employees, can I still apply?
Yes. As an employer with less than five employees you don’t have to write the results of your risk assessment down but there is still a requirement for you to consider the hazards arising from the coronavirus in your workplace, the risks arising and the actions you have taken to provide a safe working environment for staff and customers.
Keeping a record is a helpful way of checking whether there is anything more you need to do to prevent the spread of coronavirus in your workplace. Writing the results down can help you to train your staff so that everyone works together to keep the workplace safe.
- identify what work activity or situations might cause transmission of the virus
- think about who could be at risk
- decide how likely it is that someone could be exposed
- act to remove the activity or situation, or if this isn’t possible, control the risk
You can find out more about managing risk and risk assessment here.
You must assess the risks arising from the hazard that coronavirus presents in your workplace. Guidance on risk assessment is available here.
Your risk assessment tells us the decisions and actions you are taking to make sure you comply with the law, industry standards and working safely guidance applicable to your business.
So your risk assessment tells us about the actions you will take to prevent transmission of coronavirus in your workplace. Guidance for employers on how to make your workplace Covid secure has been published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) here.
The government has published working safely guidance here which follows health and safely legislation on steps employers must take to keep staff and customers safe.
Show us how you comply
We need you to show us by using photos, documents and anything else you may wish to submit in your application how you have actioned your control measures.
Advice and examples of how you can do this are below.
Information, instruction, training and supervision
How do you involve staff in designing your Covid-19 safe workplace? You can do this by sharing your Covid-19 safe risk assessment
Staff must be trained in the safe ways of working.
Remaining vigilant at all times can be a challenge and over time vigilance can relax leading to Covid fatigue.
You may wish to consider a Covid Refresh with your staff – this could involve as a minimum revisiting your Covid-19 safe risk assessment and retraining your staff – are your control measures fit for purpose?
Covid Champions are named staff who encourage ongoing compliance with your safe ways of working such as social distancing.
You may wish to introduce a campaign to encourage continued compliance. Public Health England have free to download and use Coronavirus resources such as posters here.
Further advice from Environmental Health who are working with businesses from all sectors is available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
Coronavirus can transfer from people to surfaces. It can be passed on to others who touch the same surfaces.
Using the correct cleaning substances - of which you can find more information here - is important.
Frequent handwashing reduces the potential for coronavirus to spread and is a critical part of making and keeping your business Covid secure.
Questions you may need to ask yourself include:
- Is hand sanitiser available for staff and customers in easily accessible locations?
- What is your cleaning schedule for touchpoints and other high footfall areas such as toilets?
- What is your procedure for cleaning shopping baskets? eg. use of anti-bacterial spray and paper towel.
- What arrangements have you made for cleaning your workplace?
The HSE has published guidance on the use of fogging machines and other cleaning materials here. Fogging machines are not suitable for use in every environment and should not be used to replace more traditional cleaning methods.
- What is your policy on the wearing of face coverings? For staff? For customers?
- How do you comply with the law on the wearing of face coverings? eg. Signage
- What other protective measures have you installed? eg. Perspex screens
Social distancing measures, for example steps you have taken to adapt your premises such as how you manage occupancy (queuing, maximum occupancy permitted) shop alone advisory signage, floor markers or other for queuing, one-way systems.
What actions have you taken to consider ventilation? Read advice on air conditioning and ventilation from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) here. Wherever possible, open windows to bring in a continual supply of fresh air to facilitate air changes in your workplace. Remember though, to consider the thermal comfort of your staff and customers.
Get a Test
Have you talked to your staff about where they can get advice, when and how to get a test?
You and your staff can access free Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests at Newcastle Civic Centre and Westgate College.
- Book a test at the Civic Centre here (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 8am to 4pm; Wednesday, 10am to 6pm; or Saturday, 9am to noon. Free parking is available)
- Book a test at Westgate College here (Monday to Friday, 10am to 6pm)
Also, do your staff know what to do if a customer displays sudden onset coronavirus symptoms in the workplace?
For hospitality, leisure and tourism and close contact services do you have evidence of how you keep a record of staff and customers for NHS Track and Trace? And evidence of where you display the official NHS QR Code poster?
How do I appeal a rejected application?
You cannot. The final decision rests with the authority as set out in the terms and conditions.
However, we want all our businesses to offer the same high standards and officers will work with you to achieve these so that you can receive the award.
As I cannot appeal, do I have a right of reply?
Yes. Email email@example.com to tell us your comments and concerns. We will provide you with a written response.
Where can I display my award?
Display in your window using the self adhesive front of the sticker so that all your customers can see you are Covid Compliant
Can I tell people I have been accredited on my website and social media?
Yes you can.
How long will the Assurance Scheme run for?
There is currently no end date for the scheme. Should that change we will inform all those who have received accreditation
Can I request a Covid Compliance visit?
Yes. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request this.
Will a Covid Compliance visit cost me anything?
No. All visits announced and unannounced are free, as is every other aspect of the scheme.
What do I do if I make changes in my business, eg. layout?
Tell us by email to email@example.com. We will work with you to ensure you remain Covid Compliant.
What do I do if I no longer want to take part?