Face Fit Testing (Qualitative)



Course duration

15-20 Minutes per test

Certificate valid for

2 years

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Face Fit Testing is a Legal Requirement.

All UK employees who wear tight-fitting respiratory protective equipment (RPE) must, by now, have a certificate to prove that the protective equipment they wear during work not only fits them, but also affords them the effective protection necessary for the task being performed.

All face fit testing is conducted by one of our Fit2Fit accredited trainers.

What is the difference between qualitative and quantitative fit testing?

For a guide on qualitative face fit testing and the difference of the two types of fit testing please read our blog:


Face Fit Testing Course Overview

This is a method used for checking that a tight fitting face piece matches the person’s facial features and seals adequately to the wearers face. It also helps to ensure that poorly fitting face pieces are not selected for use. An inadequate fit will significantly reduce the protection provided to the wearer.

If a fit test is not performed, then an unsatisfactory seal / barrier may unknowingly exist. This could allow excessive leakage of airborne contaminants into the wearer’s breathing zone, even though the user is wearing a respirator correctly selected for the application.

Entry Requirements

Persons attending MUST be clean shaven. The fit test cannot be carried out if there is any hair growth between the skin and the face piece sealing surface e.g. stubble beard growth, beard, moustache etc. 

The wearer should not eat, drink (except plain water), smoke or chew gum for at least 30 minutes before the test.

There is no formal assessment however, instruction will be given by our tutor on how to recognise, inspect, test and fit a mask correctly including performing a pre-fit check. Learners will be expected to imitate these procedures correctly prior to fit testing to confirm understanding. During the fit test, led by our tutor, learners will be directed to perform several test procedures in accordance with the INDG 479 guidance to test the integrity and seal of the mask over a period of time.

For those who successfully complete face fit testing, they will receive an Essential Site Skills digital certificate detailing the type, make and model of the respirator and also a Qualitative Fit Test employee record, both of which include the Fit2Fit logo identifying the fit test was done by a Fit2Fit Accredited Trainer. These are valid for 2 years, however in accordance with INDG 479 the following circumstances would require repeat testing:

  • Annual repeat testing as part of a proactive approach to fit testing
  • Any change in make/model or type of mask
  • Facial surgery, dental work that may affect the seal
  • Significant weight gain or loss
  • User complaining of poor performance

Fit2Fit Trainers

Legal Requirements

By subjecting each of your employees to a face-fit test you can be sure that your organisation is fulfilling the requirements laid out in the Health & Safety Executive’s (HSE) guidance note INDG 479 and the statutory duties placed upon you under regulations such as the COSHH Regulations 2002. 

A fit test should be carried out as part of the initial selection process for RPE and where an untested facepiece is in use. We recommended repeat fit testing for any RPE annually as part of a proactive approach to fit testing. For licensed Asbestos removal refer to L143 as more frequent testing may be required.


With an estimated 12,000 people dying each year from respiratory Ill Health, the correct selection of RPE is vital to ensure our workforce is safe and free from deadly airborne contaminants

ESS are a trusted and approved RPE provider of market leading brands with a varied selection of all types of mask, size and protection capability including FFPs, half and full masks and powered air.

Contact us for further information or to place an order.