It is the responsibility of each site approved to deliver the rapid point of care (POC) testing program to ensure that the staff performing POC testing are adequately trained to:
- Work with clients in a supportive respectful way that applies the ARCCH principles and helps clients connect to the resources needed to manage their sexual health and reduce the risk of HIV transmission (e.g. PrEP)
- Assist clients in assessing their risk and deciding whether or not they wish to proceed to HIV testing (Note: Consent is required for both POC and standard testing)
- Perform the POC test accurately, report it correctly and promptly report/document an errors or malfunctions in testing
- Complete PHOL requisition forms correctly and completely
- Provide support to client’s in the event of a positive test, and facilitate rapid linkage to care
- Participate in quality control procedures at the testing site
Training modules are available on this site to support staff learning.
Facilitator’s guides are provided with each module to assist the training supervisor (often the quality assurance lead or manager) in training new testers. In addition to this online training, sites should have new staff shadow/observe experienced testing staff during client testing and role-play possible scenarios for testing visits. Trainees should do multiple finger pricks with colleagues or other trainees, as people are often hesitant when unpracticed in this skill. Each trainee should also complete practice tests on known samples.
Once a new trainee has complete training to the satisfaction of the training supervisor, they must test a certification panel of specimens to complete their training. Learn more about certification panels.
The training resources are not only for new testers. Existing trained staff are encouraged to complete this training again after any extended absence (such as a parental leave). At lower volume testing sites, existing staff are encouraged to review the material once a year to refresh their training. Sites are also encouraged to support continuing education for staff, helping them learn more about the needs of client communities, and gain further practical skills such as phlebotomy.