What is Face Fit Testing

There are two methods of Face Fit Testing, Quantitative and Qualitative, both are approved by the HSE. Face Fit Testing must be carried out by a competent person trained to the HSE standard.

Both of the Quantitative and Qualitative objectives are to recreate a working environment and to test the Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE). RPE must fit the wearer correctly leading to a good seal whilst they are working. The candidate will have to perform some simple exercises whilst wearing the selected face piece. These will be Normal & Deep Breathing, Head side to side, Up/Down, counting Aloud and Bending Over. These are the times when the RPE may fail & leak!


Qualitative tests rely on a wearer’s subjective assessment of face seal leakage.

These methods, during a series of test exercises, use the wearer’s sense of taste to detect face seal leakage of test agent. Qualitative tests are subject to problems with sensitivity, lack of objectiveness and inability to provide a numerical result. For these reasons Qualitative tests can only be employed for fit testing FFP’s (disposable) and half masks.

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