COVID-19 antigen testing

Antigen testing is a quick and accurate way of identifying any trace of current COVID-19 infection in the body. Importantly, it doesn’t identify if someone has previously had the infection, it only returns a positive result if the person could be infectious today.


RT–PCR (Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction) antigen testing is the gold standard, a quick and accurate way of identifying any trace of COVID-19 infection in the body. These tests allow businesses to detect if an employee in their workplace has the virus in their system at the point at which the test is administered. If positive, employers can take immediate steps to ensure that the virus is contained and not allowed to spread within the business.

To prevent an early outbreak, many organisations are now routinely screening staff. They may not have developed symptoms yet, and they may not at all - but if they are infected, they are just as capable of spreading COVID-19 as someone with visible symptoms. Identifying this early, we can prevent that person from passing the virus on to others at their place of work, to help you preserve business continuity.

The benefits

There are several benefits delivered for employers who undertake COVID-19 pre-symptomatic / asymptomatic PCR testing in their workplace

Identifying employees who are pre-symptomatic / asymptomatic on a one-off (reactive) or regular (pro-active) basis provides:

  • Employee and employer reassurance when returning to work
  • Mitigation on the risk of COVID spreading to those in customer-facing roles and in occupations which involve contact between two or more individuals at any given time
  • Maintaining the integrity of designated worker groups/bubbles
  • Strengthening customer confidence when entering your site/retail and/or utilising your services
  • Evidence of fitness to travel for work purposes (individual fitness to travel certificate can be issued)
  • Support into the UK’s wider, public-funded track-and-trace programme

RPS has workplace test options to meet reactive and pro-active pre-symptomatic / asymptomatic workplace testing.

What are the COVID-19 PCR test options?

  1. Proactive - systematic (regular) routine group testing i.e. fortnightly or monthly testing for identified employees.

  2. Proactive - individual testing for travel for work certification i.e. Offshore workers. COVID-19 Test certificate will be issued.

  3. Reactive – one off testing for employees where their colleague has been asked to self-isolate and/or has tested positive (as confirmed by NHS/track or trace).*

* If anyone is deemed to be a ‘contact’ they will need to self-isolate for 14 days regardless of whether they test negative or not. This is because they are at risk of developing symptoms themselves in the next 14 days and could spread the virus to others before the symptoms begin or show on a test. For this reason, testing for these employees may be more appropriate when they return after isolation.

Test method options:

  • RPS collects tests on employer’s premises
  • Self-administered testing
  • Self-administered testing with remote RPS assistance

Pool testing

Pool testing is a great way for employers to create economies of scale on PCR testing without compromising on quality or speed of results. It is ideally suited to the workplace to batch test large workforces via groups, teams or departments. This means that you can test more people using less laboratory time and fewer resources, and we can deliver your testing plan faster and at a lower cost.

RPS’ workplace test options meet the UK Government’s testing guidance for employers and occupational health providers. Full details of this can be found on the website [see website].

COVID-19 Antigen testing

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