Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): certification scheme - information for businesses and event organisers

How the certification scheme (COVID passport) operates and what venues, businesses and event organisers need to do.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): certification scheme - information for businesses and event organisers
Business support

Business support

All software, apps and paper copies of certificates are free to use. Businesses will be able to use the NHS Scotland Covid Check App, available via

It is not currently anticipated that additional funding will be made available. The scheme is designed to allow businesses to stay open and function as near normal as possible.

You can use the COVID Check App free of charge to scan the codes used on vaccine certificates. You will need a hardware mechanism (such as mobile phone) to verify the certificates. Businesses will meet any additional staffing or infrastructure costs.


The scheme will be subject to review every three weeks, as part of the review of Coronavirus Regulations.


This guidance does not supersede any legal obligations relating to health and safety, employment or equalities and it is important that, as a business or an employer, you continue to comply with your existing obligations, including those relating to individuals with protected characteristics.

Data protection

Businesses and event organisers who use the COVID Check app are data controllers under Data Protection legislation. Guidance will be published which explains what this means for you.

As a business or event organiser operating the scheme, you will need to:

The NHS Scotland COVID Check app does not retain people’s personal data. There should be no valid reason for venues to keep any data that is displayed on the COVID vaccination certificate. Further guidance is available regarding the COVID Check app privacy policy.

The Regulations require operators of late night premises and organisers of relevant events to treat information that can be used to determine the vaccination or medical status of a person, or whether a person is participating in, or has participated in, the trial of a vaccine against coronavirus as confidential.


There has been no change to the Scottish Government’s policy on COVID vaccination which remains voluntary. While employers can encourage vaccine uptake by supporting dissemination of national campaign information to their employees, individuals retain the right to choose whether to take the vaccine and employers should be mindful of this.

This means that employers should not use COVID vaccination or COVID certification as a condition of employment.

Employers should seek independent legal advice should they have any uncertainties around proposed engagement with employees or prospective recruits on vaccination status. Employers are required to meet their obligations under all relevant law including data protection, the Equality Act 2010 and human rights. For further information, see the Equality and Human Rights Commission guidance for employers.





First published: 28 Sep 2021 Last updated: 13 Jan 2022 -