Handwashing guidance for Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We’ve published handwashing guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19), along with a free, downloadable poster for your workplace, office or staffroom.

You’ll find tips on prevention, what to watch out for, as well as short videos on handwashing and hand sanitising.

Free A4 poster for your workplace

We’ve created a FREE A4 poster for workplaces, offices, staff rooms and canteens that explains how to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. 

Coronavirus handwashing poster

Get your poster

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a newly identified illness caused by a virus called coronavirus. It can affect your airways and lungs. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause mild diseases such as the common cold  or more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). People who are infected can go on to develop problems with breathing and Pneumonia.

Symptoms of Coronavirus

Most patients have mild symptoms with some developing more severe symptoms.

You should look out for: 

How is Coronavirus spread?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection is spread in a similar way to the common cold, i.e. through close contact with someone with coronavirus via coughs and sneezes or through hand contact. A person could be infected by touching contaminated surfaces if they have not washed their hands.

Currently, it is thought that is spread through human to human transmission and early indications suggest that it may be spread through the direct or indirect contact with infected respiratory body fluids.

There is no evidence that humans can be infected with coronavirus by animals but it is always good practice to wash your hands after contact with animals.

How can Coronavirus be prevented?

Handwashing and hand sanitising guidance videos

Some face masks can be effective and will be worn by health workers in hospital and clinical settings. People who are infected may be advised to wear a face mask, however, it should be the correct type of mask as advised.

Ill-fitting face masks will be of little value as they will not effectively filter the virus.

If you think you have been in close contact with someone infected, or has of the symptoms listed call 111 or use the online 111 coronavirus service and follow the advice given.

And remember, there’s more comprehensive guidance and resources on our dedicated Coronavirus page.


Coronavirus – guidance on safe use of manikins

We’ve created some guidance for first-aid centres on the safe use of manikins on courses.

We’ve had quite a few queries, particularly around the safe use of manikins as their use involves physical contact.

It’s understandable as to why people may be concerned, so to help you reassure learners, we’ve issued some sensible, authoritative and easy-to-follow guidance that avoids the hyperbole and sticks to the facts.


We’ve also published further guidance for centres who specifically carry out first-aid training.

It’s imperative that all trainers adhere to the strict manikin hygiene guidelines, which include:

  • sterilise manikin faces at the end of each course or day of use
  • use manikin face wipes after each learner demonstration
  • place extra emphasis on cleaning the mouth area, nose, forehead and chest of the manikin
  • provide a disposable face shield for each learner (though you’ll still need to use the wipes!)
  • change replacement airways and lungs for each resuscitation manikin at the end of each course

For Laerdal Baby Anne and Laerdal MiniAnne manikins, issue learners with their own baby manikin lung, which should be swapped between uses.

We will bring you further updates and guidance as we receive it.

In the meantime, trainers should make themselves aware of the government guidance and ensure that they adhere to it https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public.

Allergen management – are you sure you’ve got it right?

It’s a topic on the lips of everyone in the food industry – allergen management.

Dr Lisa Ackerley, otherwise known as the ‘Hygiene Doctor’, will deliver her presentation ‘Allergen management – are you sure you’ve got it right?’ at the Highfield Conference on 9 June at The National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham. 

‘I am delighted to be presenting at this prestigious conference on a topic about which I feel so passionate. Allergen management is within every businesses’ grasp and I will show how to tackle the challenges, avoid the pitfalls and will demonstrate that creating a safe environment for allergic guests can be simple, practical and achievable.’ – Dr Lisa Ackerley.

Dr Lisa Ackerley has been a Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner for over 30 years and her work has taken her on some very interesting journeys. Ever since studying towards her PhD, Lisa has been passionate about making a difference to public health by ensuring hygiene issues are easy to understand – whether you are a consumer or a food business operator. 

As the ‘Hygiene Doctor’ she provides advice to consumers on home hygiene via her blog www.thehygienedoctor.co.uk, with more focus on helping food businesses through channels of the Public Health Company, as well as the Kitchen Conversation LinkedIn group, RIAMS Communities platform and YouTube channel where she and fellow Chartered EHP, Sterling Crew discuss food safety issues and engage with the wider food professional community.

Dr Lisa Ackerley is a strategic adviser in the commercial food safety arena, working as an expert witness in food law cases and carrying out forensic audits on food safety and allergen management for major food businesses. She is regularly called upon to comment on public health issues in the media and has appeared on prime-time consumer shows such as Watchdog, Rogue Restaurants and Holiday Hit Squad in addition to many radio shows and TV news programmes. She is Visiting Professor of Environmental Health at the University of Salford and Professorial Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health. Dr Lisa is a trustee and deputy chair of the IFH which is a great source of scientific information on home hygiene, and a food safety adviser to UKHospitality and is a trustee and chair of the Food SIG at the RSPH.

Using her experience from forensic auditing and benchmarking, Lisa will explore the challenges for allergen management faced by hospitality businesses and discusses best practices and simple, practical steps that can be taken to ensure customer safety.  She will also share some allergen ‘Room 101’ howlers to avoid with conference attendees.

 To see the full agenda of speakers and topics to be discussed, or to book your early-bird ticket before 31 March, go to highfieldconference.com

Updates from the Apprenticeship Service

The Apprenticeship Service regularly publishes a number of webinars and videos updates to help you understand more about apprenticeships and assessment.

For more on their webinars, go to www.gotostage.com/channel/apprenticeshipservicewebinars

Or to view to the support videos on their YouTube channel, go to https://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLMNvQX_aIOux3SdHgg3Iw8D8dPrVHbMY7

Events and webinars for EPA

Don’t forget to regularly check our events page for more information on upcoming events and webinars: https://centres.highfieldqualifications.com/Events/Default.aspx

And if you have missed one of our webinars, you can always find them on our YouTube channels, along with other useful videos:

EPA: Process and Practice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BiuQ0YNt-nw

Using the Highfield EPA Dashboard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCXM9SMtUac

ESFA updates guidance on gateway and resits

The government has updated its guidance on the roles and responsibilities for apprenticeship gateway and resits for end-point assessment (EPA).

The guidance is relevant to employers, training providers, EPAOs and apprentices, and covers EPA, gateway, minimum requirements, resits and retakes, and costs.

To view the guidance, go to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apprenticeship-gateway-and-resits-for-end-point-assessment-epa

New EQAO provider for care worker standards

If you work with the adult care worker and leader adult care worker standards, you may notice some minor changes to paperwork and admin.

As of end of 2019, external quality assurance for both standards is now being provided by the  National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR), replacing ACEQUAS.

While this change should not directly affect you, we thought it worthwhile to inform you in case you see some changes to branding and paperwork.


New Level 3 Business Administrator EPA Kit and Supporting Documentation

Our EPA kit and supporting documentation for the Level 3 Business Administrator standard is now in a new format, making it easier for you to access the information you need.

We have not made significant changes to the requirements but have simply refreshed how the information is presented and accessed.

As part of the changes, we’ve decided not to distinguish each criterion as either pass or distinction, as the total of all criteria achieved within each assessment method will be used and combined with the totals of the other assessment methods to generate an overall grade. The criteria contained within each assessment method are equally weighted to each other.

In addition, we have made all supporting documentation available to be download separately rather than as a part of the EPA Kit itself. For this standard, this includes:

  • Gateway Readiness Report
  • Mock Knowledge Test
  • Mock Marking Grids (for Portfolio Interview & Project Presentation)
  • Portfolio Matrix

The EPA Kit and all supporting documentation are available to download from the Highfield Assessment website, as normal, at the following link: https://www.highfieldassessment.com/business-admin-epa-kit-101

Team Leader/Supervisor EPA kit and supporting documentation

We’ve recently made some updates to the EPA resources for the Team Leader/Supervisor Apprenticeship Standard, making it much easier for you to access the information you need. These documents are available here
We’re also aware that changes to both the team leader/supervisor and operations/departmental manager standards are being worked on by the trailblazer group at the moment. However, as nothing has been formally published, we will continue to follow the current assessment plan and will not be adjusting our end-point assessment methods until these changes have been confirmed. Once we know more, we will inform all centres of our plans of moving over to the new assessment methods.

If you have any questions about these changes, please get in touch with us directly in info@highfieldassessment.com or call us on 01302 363277.

Scheduling your EPA

Once an apprentice has completed their gateway and is ready to progress to EPA, the next step is to schedule the assessment with Highfield.

To make this as simple as possible, we’ve created a scheduling hotline, that you can contact us on directly to schedule an EPA.

To do so, just call 01302 363277 and state that you are calling to book an EPA. Our customer service team will then transfer you to our dedicated scheduling team.

However, before you get in touch, we ask that you have a number of details ready:

  • Name of the employer (apprentices only)
  • Contact details you want to be reached on (phone and email)
  • Date of your gateway meeting
  • Any holidays or appointments booked over the next 2 months
  • Other dates you would prefer to avoid

Other things that may need to be considered include:

  • Confirming the address where the EPA will take place?
  • Do you have a private room where it can take place?
  • Would you prefer remote assessment, and if so, have you selected that as an option?
  • Any health and safety, or security, requirements that our assessor needs to be aware of?
  • Is there parking nearby?
  • Do you have wifi access?

Throughout the entire process, our scheduling team will work with you to make sure that assessments can be planned to meet your requirements, and is convenient to apprentices, line managers and employers alike.

To find out more, just call us on 01302 363277.