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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/list-of-private-providers-of-coronavirus-testing/list-of-private-providers-of-coronavirus-testing
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is aware of private-sector (non-NHS) providers who are going through the 3-stage UKAS accreditation process. This includes applying for and beginning their journey to achieve full accreditation for sample collection and/or sample testing, and self-declaring where applicable, against the government’s minimum standards in order to provide coronavirus (COVID-19) testing services to companies or individuals.
Individuals with coronavirus symptoms should self-isolate immediately and get an NHS Test and Trace test to check if they have coronavirus.
Free NHS testing is for individuals with symptoms or who have been advised to take a test by a medical practitioner or a public agency.
Individuals who do not fall into these categories and require a test for other reasons can contact providers for general COVID-19 testing to book a private coronavirus test at their own expense.
Employers should refer to the list of providers for general COVID-19 testing if they wish to partner with a third-party provider undergoing UKAS accreditation to provide workforce testing. For private-sector employers and third-party providers looking to set up their own workforce testing sites, please read the guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19): testing guidance for employers.
The government does not endorse, recommend or approve any private test provider. Individuals and employers should conduct their own research about available providers and the testing services they supply. For information about customer service, please check consumer review websites. Locations by region are included next to provider names in each list.
The organisations on the lists do not constitute fully UKAS accredited providers but have demonstrated compliance with the applicable minimum standards, as they progress through the accreditation process.
Each scheme has different minimum standards, which means a test provider of general COVID-19 testing may not meet the minimum standards for Test to Release for international arrivals and/or day 2 and 8 testing for international arrivals.
The lists are not exhaustive. Some organisations which have self-declared that they meet the government’s minimum standards for the type of testing service they offer have decided to opt out from being published on these lists.
Organisations may be taken off the lists if they are at any time found to be non-compliant with any of the minimum standards for the test service they are providing.
Lists of private providers
General COVID-19 testing
This lists providers of private testing for the general population.
Test to Release for international arrivals
This lists providers of private COVID-19 testing for arrivals who have been in an amber list country in the 10 days before they arrive in England and want to end their quarantine period early.
Arrivals can end their quarantine period early through Test to Release if they get a negative result from a test taken on or after day 5 of their 10-day quarantine period. Find out more on the scheme, including eligibility and how to take part.
All arrivals who have been in an amber list country must still take day 2 and day 8 tests during their quarantine period.
Day 2 and day 8 tests for international arrivals
The Find a coronavirus (COVID-19) travel test provider if you’re arriving in England service lists private providers offering day 2 and day 8 tests for people who’ve been in an amber list or green list country in the 10 days before they arrive in England.
Guidance for prospective providers
The end-to-end test provider (the organisation that customers approach to access testing services and whose name appears on these lists) is responsible for completing the self-declaration form for general population and Test to Release for international arrivals.
For day 2 and day 8 testing the laboratory that will be conducting diagnostic test evaluation (that is, producing a test result) is responsible for completing the self-declaration form on behalf of the end-to-end provider.
The declaration is a mandatory requirement for providers with effect from 1 January 2021, or before providers begin testing (whichever is later).
Any organisation which intends to carry out a commercial COVID-19 testing service or carry out an element of that service on behalf of the end-to-end provider, must meet the relevant legal minimum standards for their role in the testing process. The test provider must document in the self-declaration form if they sub-contract elements of the testing process.
The organisation providing sample collection and/or laboratory services will need to undergo UKAS accreditation to the relevant ISO standards.
UKAS charge providers who are required to undergo the UKAS accreditation process. See information on the fees UKAS charges for accreditation .
UKAS accreditation steps
There are 3 stages to the UKAS accreditation process:
1. Organisations who are providing sample collection and/or laboratory services must apply for UKAS accreditation.
The test provider must submit a self-declaration form, as detailed above, to show they meet the minimum standards for their provision of testing. The following requirements must be met as soon as testing services are provided:
For day 2 and day 8 testing, the laboratory that will be conducting diagnostic test evaluation (that is, producing a test result) must submit a self-declaration form against the minimum standards for day 2 and day 8 testing for international arrivals on behalf of themselves and the customer-facing organisations. The following requirements must be met as soon as testing services are provided:
2. The organisation undergoing UKAS accreditation must undertake UKAS appraisal (within 4 weeks of completing stage one – that is, the date on which the organisation made a valid application for accreditation).
Contact email@example.com for more information.
3. The organisation undergoing UKAS accreditation must undertake a full assessment of activities in line with the relevant ISO standards. Organisations must then:
- achieve a positive recommendation from UKAS by 30 June 2021 or 4 months after completing Stage 2 (that is, the date on which the organisation submitted evidence to UKAS demonstrating compliance with the UKAS appraisal requirements)
- achieve full accreditation by 31 August 2021 or 6 months after completing Stage 2 UKAS appraisal to obtain full accreditation
Full guidance on the accreditation process can be found on the UKAS website and for further queries contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information contact email@example.com.
Private providers who want to provide a testing service should clearly communicate the following to all individuals and employers:
- the benefits and drawbacks of testing
- how reliable the results will be, and what the limitations are
- what a test result means, in non-medical language
- how they are following the measures set out in this guidance
Private providers should understand what legislation and regulations they will need to follow, including around data protection, patient confidentiality, mandatory reporting to Public Health England (PHE) in accordance with public health legislation and how they will meet these as required.