Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for colleges

Published: 9 Jul 2020
Last updated: 9 Jul 2020 - see all updates

Guidance for colleges in helping to minimise the risk of transmission of coronavirus.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for colleges
Additional considerations

Additional considerations


Colleges have continued to provide essential services on accommodation for  students throughout lockdown. This has included protocols for the isolation of individuals if necessary under public health advice. The Scottish Government continues to update its guidance for students on moving from accommodation. Home moves are now permitted. This applies to students seeking to move out of student accommodation or students seeking to return to accommodation to collect belongings.

As part of planning for the commencement of the new academic year, colleges will prepare for the further use of student accommodation, including protocols to meet public health requirements and arrangements for self-isolation and testing as described above.

To support that planning we will shortly issue specific Safer Workplaces guidance for purpose-built student accommodation.

International arrivals and requirement to self-isolate

Colleges, staff and students will need to plan for compliance with guidance for residents or visitors travelling to the UK

Those travelling from a country not yet exempt from quarantine requirements should complete a passenger locator form and self-isolate for 14 days. Students and staff who are travelling to and from Scotland should check the Scottish Government website for the latest advice.

Colleges should make staff and students aware of these requirements.

Contractors, visitors and deliveries

Colleges will ensure contractors, suppliers, those making deliveries are offered adequate protection and ensure they are aware they are expected to follow the institutional COVID-19 health and safety measures, procedures and protocols.

Where contractors undertake work on site, this must follow the latest regulations (including any relevant regulations made under UK or Scottish Acts relating to COVID-19 and relevant health and safety legislation).

Procedures should be put in place for deliveries to minimise person-to-person contact. Colleges could consider providing appropriate hygiene facilities at drop-off points with clear signage on access rules.

Colleges should discourage non-essential visitors to campuses and should consider the introduction of a ‘by appointment only’ visitor policy.

Estates management

Emergency management arrangements will reflect the adapted use of buildings. Whilst it is important that physical distancing is maintained where possible, it is important that occupants can exit a building as quickly and safely as possible (for example, in the event of a fire evacuation). In an emergency people do not have to stay 2 metres apart if it would be unsafe. For people involved in provision of assistance to others, a risk assessment should be conducted and appropriate training and PPE (dependent on risk assessment) should be provided. They should pay particular attention to sanitation measures immediately afterwards including washing hands. Colleges will ensure that physical distancing is maintained at evacuation assembly points. Fire safety risk assessments should be reviewed and kept up to date to reflect the adaptation of college buildings. Colleges should also consider PEEPs (personal emergency evacuation plans) for persons with additional mobility needs and ensure that sufficient numbers of trained staff are available.


Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employers have a general duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of their employees and those affected by the work activity. This extends to the risks associated with COVID-19. Where the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) identifies employers who are not taking action to comply with the relevant public health legislation and guidance to control public health risks, they will consider taking a range of actions to improve control of workplace risks. The actions the HSE can take include the provision of specific advice to employers through to issuing enforcement notices to help secure improvements.

Next steps

The guidance will be updated in consultation with colleges and unions as circumstances and guidance change as we progress through the phases in Scotland’s route map. Please ensure you use the latest version. It is for individual organisations in conjunction with trade unions to decide how best to successfully adopt and adapt this guidance for their own individual circumstances.



First published: 9 Jul 2020 Last updated: 9 Jul 2020 -