Lateral Flow Tests FAQs

How will I know how to use a test?

We will provide those participating with the most up to date Instructions For Use (IFU) along with their test kits. Participants will be asked to ensure they use the IFU handed out, and not the ones that are pre-packaged in the test kits. 

The IFU set out clearly how to use the test kits, or how to support someone to do so. They also provide a number to call if there are any problems with the test kits. 

Are the tests safe and accurate?

LFD tests have been widely and successfully used to detect COVID-19 in asymptomatic individuals. No test is perfect, but the speed and convenience of LFD tests supports detection of the virus in asymptomatic individuals who would not otherwise be tested. They are clinically approved and are crucial in the fight against the virus. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved the use of these at-home tests for these purposes.  

LFD tests are very accurate, which means that only a very small proportion of people who do not have coronavirus will receive a positive result (false positive). The tests are better at picking up true positive cases when a person has a higher viral load and is more contagious. There is a risk of returning a false negative result when viral loads are low (e.g. in the early stages of infection). This is why Public Health Scotland recommend two LFD tests 3 to 4 days apart, or regular testing, to enhance detection by picking up any cases which were not detected during the first test and to catch any new infections. 

If someone tests positive using an LFD, it is likely that they are infectious at that moment, whereas people testing positive on a ‘Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)’ test could be in the less infectious early or late stages of disease. This means that by using the LFD, we can identify people with a high viral load who are the most likely to spread the virus further. 

What happens if there is a problem with the tests?

If there is a clinical incident which led to, or has the potential for, harm (e.g. swab breaks in the mouth, bleeding, allergic reaction on using the kit etc.) please report it on 

This is not for seeking immediate medical care. Medical care should be sought through the usual route of contacting 111 or 999.

Any incidents that could potentially impact the quality or safety of testing should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). 

For incidents occurring in a home setting, please report any issues (for example: something damaged, or missing or difficult to use in the kit, you are unable to log a result) to 0300 303 2713. 

You should also notify the college of any incidents occurring with the LFD test kits at home by emailing

What happens if I test positive?

If you receive a positive result on your Lateral Flow Device at home, you must report the result online at, self-isolate and book a confirmatory PCR test. This can be done via advise visiting a community or drive-through test site as this is the quickest way to get tested, or you can order a home PCR test kit. 

It is important that you begin self-isolation immediately after you receive the positive result from the LFD test, and do not wait until the result of their PCR test. 

What happens if I test negative?

You must report the result online at Individuals who test negative will be able to stay in college and resume their activities as normal.  

What happens if the test result is “void”?

This means the test has not run correctly. You must report the result online at You will need to take another test. Use a new LFD test kit from your pack, and do not reuse anything from the previous LFD test kit. 

What if I have been in close contact with someone who tests positive?

Track and Trace will contact the individual who has tested positive and obtain information about who their close contacts were and contact these individuals directly if necessary.  Track and Trace may also contact the College if they require additional information. 

If a student or member of staff has tested positive, they will have to self-isolate as per government guidelines. The student or member of staff should also inform the College of their absence  (staff should contact their Line Manager and students should contact their Lecturer) to support contact tracing activities.  

What if I develop symptoms?

This testing programme at College is for people with no symptoms. If you develop Covid-19 symptoms at any time (such as a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste) you must immediately self-isolate, and book a PCR test by calling 0800 028 2816 or visiting People with symptoms must not rely on a negative LFD result to continue to attend college. 

Can staff/students’ families get tested too?

No, this asymptomatic LFD testing is only aimed at staff and students attending campuses. The LFD test kits will be handed to staff and students for personal use and should not be used for anyone else.  

Do I need to give my consent?

Following updated advice from NHS Test and Protect (14 December 2021), there is no longer a requirement for consent forms in order to receive a Lateral Flow Devices (LFD) testing kit