This content is out of date as private providers of COVID-19 testing services are no longer able to self-declare. From 1 January 2024, private providers are required to be accredited against the relevant ISO standards by a signatory of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation Mutual Recognition Agreement. This includes the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).
Private providers must comply with the timetable set out within the current regulations The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Testing Requirements and Standards) (England) Regulations 2020 – the final date for new applications to the current system (self-declaration against minimum standards followed by achieving accreditation from the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS)) is 31 December 2023. Anyone wishing to progress with their current accreditation must contact UKAS before 31 December.
All COVID-19 testing services must meet certain minimum standards set by the government. Private sector testing providers must also complete a declaration stating that their tests meet these standards.
The government has published guidance on the minimum standards that private providers of COVID-19 testing services must meet when offering:
general population testing for people without COVID-19 symptoms (includes PCR and lateral flow tests)
See the relevant attachment above to read the minimum standards that apply.