Face Fit Testing (Quantitative)



Course duration

20 Minutes per test

Certificate valid for

2 years

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All UK employees who wear tight-fitting respiratory protective equipment (RPE) must have proof 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.

Quantitative face fit tests are suitable for disposable half masks, re-usable half masks, gas masks, self-contained breathing apparatus, full mask respirators etc.

Quantitative fit testing (QNFT) provides a numerical measure of how well a facepiece seals against a wearer’s face; this is called a fit factor. These tests give an objective measure of face fit. QNFT methods are suitable for disposable and reusable half masks and full-face masks.

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.

When you are conducting an ambient particle counting fit test the wearer should refrain from smoking (including e-cigarettes) for at least 60 minutes before the fit test.

Instruction will be given by our tester on how to recognise, inspect, test and fit a mask correctly including performing a pre-fit check. Candidates will be expected to imitate these procedures correctly prior to fit testing to confirm understanding. During the fit test, led by our tester, candidates 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.

Our Quantitative tests are performed utilising a TSI Portacount.

For those who successfully complete face fit testing, they will receive a Quantitative Fit Test employee record printable from the TSI portacount on the day or alternatively electronically sent. 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

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.