East Malling Short Courses

EMSC Safety Guidelines and Policy for COVID-19

EMSC Safety Guidelines and Policy for COVID-19

 During this period it is important to ensure that the guidelines for reducing transmission of COVID-19 are enforced and that anyone at higher risk, is protected. It is anticipated that government restrictions and guidance will change over time, our guidance may be periodically revised to reflect this.

Anyone considered to be at “increased risk” of COVID-19 should NOT attend training/ assessments.

Registering Learners

All learners will be asked to declare that they have not interacted with anyone who has gone onto show symptoms  of COVID-19 (coughing, high temperature or loss of taste or smell) in the last 14 days, and that they have not had any symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 48 hours. When arriving, we will reduce face-to-face contact with anyone on site other than the Instructor by having clear directions to the facility/classroom and prepared sign-in records. See also “Handling Paperwork” below.

 Risk Assessments

Standard Risk Assessments will be carried out as usual. In addition, an assessment of risks related to COVID-19 will also be carried out. This will include asking learners to confirm that they have not been in contact with anyone who has had or displayed symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days and that they have not had symptoms of COVID-19. The risk assessment explains the measures that the provider has taken to reduce the risk of transmission.

Handling Paperwork

It is unclear how long coronavirus can live on paper, or whether paperwork could hold a viral load sufficient to cause infection, to date there have been no recorded cases of COVID-19 being contracted from handling paper. However, to minimise the risk of infection passing of documentation between learners will be avoided completely and the exchange of documents between learners and the instructor minimised.

It is recommended to wear disposable gloves when handing out or collecting paperwork. Alternatively wash hand before and after handling paperwork.

The following arrangements are recommended.

Risk Assessments – At the start of the course the Instructor will talk the learners through the Risk Assessment, explaining the measures taken to control risk of transmission and ensuring that all learners are aware of what is expected of them. After explaining the risk assessment, the Instructor will sign it as confirmation that it has been explained to learners

Emergency Contact Details – Each Learner will receive an individual “Emergency Contact Sheet”. The sheet should be completed by the learner and kept about their person or on their desk. The sheet will only be touched by the instructor if needed in an emergency. The learner will keep and destroy the sheet at the end of the course.

Theory/Knowledge Tests

Practical assessment may be made by holding professional discussion. The discussion should cover all the criteria from the question paper to ensure that learners have the required knowledge and understanding.

Disposable gloves should be worn when handling any paperwork. At the end of an assessment only essential paperwork should be signed by the assessor and candidate and immediately placed in a sealed bag or box. EMSC may decide “quarantining” paperwork for 48 hours before handling/processing it.

Learner Feedback Sheets – We will ask all learners to complete and online questionnaires.

Course Materials and Resources

Although the risk of contracting COVID-19 from paper is thought to be low, disposable gloves should be worn when handling or distributing course materials etc. Materials must not be shared between learners; each learner should have an individual copy and should be asked to mark their copy.

Social Distancing

Anyone considered to be at “increased risk” of COVID-19 should NOT attend training/ assessments.

See NHS website for details Social distancing, a minimum of 2 meters (approx. 3 paces) must be maintained at all times.

Care will be taken to plan delivery to maintain social distancing. This may require class sizes to be reduced, specific spacing to be marked out, etc

Gloves, Masks and Face Coverings

The following recommendations are additional to the normal PPE appropriate to the tasks being undertaken.

If gloves, masks, or face-coverings are to be used, they should be supplied by the learner.

The learner will be told of requirements in advance.

The learner is also responsible for safe disposal after use.

  • Gloves – Single-use disposable gloves should be worn by instructors and learners  so long as they do not interfere with safe operation of controls etc.
  • Masks and Face Coverings – Advice on the use of mask or face-coverings is unclear at present and inconsistent between regions. Use of masks/face coverings by instructors and learners will be considered if appropriate to the situation. Please refer to latest guidance from UK and/or national governments as this may change over time.


Hand washing facilities will be available to learners throughout the day. In addition, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content will be provided (by the training provider or site operator).

Where hand washing is not practical, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content will be provided (by the provider or site operator) and must be used regularly.

The hand washing facilities will be cleaned at regular intervals to prevent transmission.

Course Numbers

Course numbers will be reduced whenever possible. to ensure that social distancing can be maintained

Classroom/Workshop Delivery Courses

Where classroom/workshop sessions are unavoidable consideration will be given to reducing the risk of transmission. This will include the spacing of seating/workstations. Course numbers will be reduced accordingly.

Equipment and Machinery

Kit, equipment, and machinery will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before the start of the course.

Sharing of kit, equipment and machinery should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. When sharing is unavoidable, learners must wash their hands and kit, equipment, and machinery must be properly cleaned/disinfected before it is passed from one learner to another.


Instructors should not enter a cab or a vehicle either to give instruction or to conduct assessment. Where it is safe to do so instruction/assessment can take place from outside the cab/vehicle.

The instructor will establish a clear means of communicating with the learner throughout, including clear and agreed signals for “emergency stop” if required. Instruction/assessment will NOT take place if it requires the instructor to be in the cab/vehicle with the learner.

Breaks and Catering

Social distancing must be followed at all times.

Learners should bring their own lunches and refreshments including all drinks including cups, plates etc if required.

Crockery and utensils should not be shared.



Learners will be encouraged to use the toilet facilities one at a time.

Hand soap will be available and drying facilities.

2m distancing where queuing may be necessary (e.g. outside toilet facilities)

Door handles, locks, flushes, and other high-contact surfaces etc will be regularly cleaned with disinfectant.

Travel Between Sites

If the course requires travel between different sites, learners should travel alone (one person per vehicle).


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