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info_outline Coronavirus (COVID-19): We are now open for computer based exams and are running a reduced number of classroom courses, with safety measures in place.
Please note: Current local lockdown measures refer primarily to social interactions, as such there is no impact on our delivery

More information can be found on the institute advice pages ›

Ensuring the safety of our students and staff

As we start reopening our training locations we wanted to let you know what we are doing at Kaplan to allow students to return feeling safe and able to focus on their exams and learning.

This guidance was last updated on 21st August 2020, based on government regulations in place at that time.

Kaplan COVID safety principles

We will continue to closely follow the government's public health guidance as it evolves.

Where we are able to deliver the required level of service, we will continue to operate remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and minimise the burden we place on the limited public transport capacity.

We'll take a cautious and steady approach to returning to our locations, prioritising activities that cannot be done remotely (e.g. exams and end point assessments) and employees who cannot do their job from home or find their home working environment to be unsuitable.

Our social distancing practices ensure that everybody can remain two metres away from others at all times when entering, within or leaving our locations. Where this is not possible, mitigations will be put in place to ensure that close contact is avoided.

If we identify any situations where maintaining a two metre distance between individuals is not possible, yet face-to face contact is essential, we will issue instructions regarding the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and screens.

Safety in our centres

Arrival, registration and queue management

If required, a queuing system will be established at the entrances of our exam and training locations. A marshall will be assigned to manage the queue if necessary.

Face coverings are to be worn by all staff and students while in a Kaplan location. Face coverings may only be removed when seated at a designated desk and when social distancing measures are taken. Face coverings must be worn at all other times, including when arriving/leaving and when walking around the location Face shields may be worn in place of a face covering.

Some people may be exempted from wearing face coverings, for example, if a health condition prevents them from doing so. We will follow the Government’s guidance on face covering exemptions.

Sanitising stations will be provided. All students and staff are expected to wash hands on arrival and regularly throughout the day.

Signage, ground marking and/or barriers may be used to help designate the safe queuing process.

Scheduling, staggered times and access control systems, may be used to manage the expected flow of traffic.

Each location will have a safe capacity which will not be exceeded.

A daily register of staff and students by location will be kept.

Signage will be displayed in all locations reminding employees, candidates and learners of the social distancing measures in place, and not to enter if they are showing any symptoms of COVID or have been in close contact with a confirmed case.

Main entrances, outside and smoking areas

  • Security/marshals will ensure groups do not form at entrances or formally recognised smoking areas.
  • Social distancing two metre rules are to be followed.

Front desk/reception areas

  • After examination or class registration has been completed the reception areas will be manned in the normal way.
  • Visitors, other than expected learners, are discouraged and will not be allowed entry without prior arrangement.

Lifts and stairs

  • Lift lobbies can quickly become congested and, with social distancing measures, wait times for lifts may increase. It is encouraged to use lifts only for UP travel and staircases for DOWN travel whenever possible.
  • There will be distance markings on every lift lobby as necessary.
  • It is requested that everyone understands using the lifts will be a slow process. You are asked to use your initiative and wait for appropriate opportunities and not to hinder anyone's safe routes. When you pass by other people make sure you adhere to social distancing guidelines.
  • The number of people within the lift has been reduced to one at a time.
  • Hand sanitisers will be made available at entrance points and lift call buttons will be cleaned regularly.
  • When using stairs we advise you to check the staircase for other occupants and where possible use lobbies as passing points to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Breakout areas

  • Breakout and vending areas are closed to staff and students until such time that they can be safely reopened.

Toilets

  • Handwashing supplies have been stocked and will be replenished as necessary.
  • Additional hand sanitising stations will be located close to toilets for use before entering and after departing to reinforce the safe hand washing protocols.
  • It is advisable to sanitise hands before entering the toilets, wash hands before using a toilet and then again after using the toilet then using the hand sanitiser when leaving the toilets.
  • Toilets will receive additional daily cleaning several times a day.
  • Some spaces, including wash basins and urinals, will be marked as out of use to provide a safer washroom.
  • Toilet seats must be closed before flushing toilets to minimise droplet dispersal.

Cleaning and hygiene

We have increased daytime cleaning to focus on the cleaning frequency of areas that are touched many times during the day, including handrails, door handles, lift car interiors and floor destination/lift call buttons, WC cubicles, sinks and taps, and security access barriers.

  • We are using virucidal cleaning solutions for all hard surfaces.
  • We have ensured the cleaning team is fully trained in infection control.
  • We have developed a deep clean response plan in readiness for any potential future outbreak.

As we progress with reopening our centres, our cleaning service delivery levels will be reviewed and adjusted accordingly.

Everyone will be asked to follow safe hygiene and hand washing before visiting Kaplan and continue this frequently while with Kaplan. Additional hand sanitising stations will be provided through our locations. PPE is recommended for travelling to Kaplan and while with Kaplan.

Dealing with suspected cases of COVID-19

Any student or member of staff who arrives on site with symptoms or develops them during the day will be:

  • Asked to leave the premises immediately
  • Advised to go straight home
  • Advised to follow the self isolation guidance issued by government
  • Advised to get a COVID-19 test as soon as possible
  • Requested to call our student services team to let us know their test results as soon as possible

Nothing further will be done unless the case is confirmed positive for COVID-19.

Dealing with confirmed cases of COVID-19

If a member of staff or a student is confirmed as having COVID-19 and has been in our location within the last 48 hours we would check the very latest official guidance and follow any NHS or public health instructions we were given but the likely steps would be:

  • Carry out an enhanced clean (the location may close briefly to enable this)
  • Engage with the NHS Test & Trace service
  • Identify close contacts who should self-isolate
  • Communicate to relevant stakeholders as appropriate
  • Consider other steps we should take to reduce the risk of the virus spreading

Based on current government guidance, other than to clean the location it is unlikely we would close an entire centre for a prolonged period.

Safety measures specific to Computer Based Exams (CBE)

Our Training Locations (excluding Grimsby and Sheffield) are open for CBEs but with limited capacity to ensure that they are safe and follow the latest Social Distancing guidelines.

Our CBE rooms have been set up to ensure that:

  • A distance of at least two metres has been created between exam candidates.
  • The likelihood of accidental proximity occurring is minimised.
  • Routes of access and departure to each desk space is safe (including allowing for toilet breaks and candidates who finish early).
  • A safe route and distancing measures are in place for candidates requiring assistance during the exam.

Enhanced cleaning and hygiene practices are set out above. We will also ensure that:

  • The exam room and equipment is cleaned before and after each exam sitting (with particular attention given to PC equipment).
  • Each exam desk will have antiviral cleaning spray/wipes for individuals to carry out a further personal clean if desired.
  • Invigilators sanitise their hands thoroughly before and after logging on or testing each exam workstation, and when touching pens, paper, PC equipment, etc.

Where a waiting area is required, a two metre distanced zone will be allocated for each candidate.

All exam candidates and examination staff will be required to wear a face covering. Students will be allowed to remove their face covering while at their desk for the duration of the exam, if they wish. The covering must be worn when entering/leaving the room and when summoning the invigilator for assistance. Students must bring their own face coverings as we are unable to provide them.

Exam sessions will be scheduled to avoid any crossover of candidates between sessions.

Exam candidates will be made aware of our procedures when booking their exam.

Safety measures specific to classroom courses

We are now aiming to open some locations for a limited number of AAT, ACCA and CIMA classes, starting in September. Below shows how we will operate our classes when we reopen.

Some training locations will reopen for a limited number of AAT, ACCA and CIMA classroom training courses in September 2020 and will have the following measures in place:

  • Staggered start times have been implemented to limit the number of students arriving at any one time. Students must not arrive more than 15 minutes prior to their allocated start time (CIMA courses 9.15am, ACCA courses 9.30am, AAT courses 9.45am)
  • Safe capacities have been set, based on a 2m distance between desks and furniture moved/marked off to maintain Social Distancing
  • Tutors will remain at the front of the classroom whilst teaching and there will be at least 2m from the tutor and the front row of students
  • Face shields will be provided to all teaching staff to enable them to communicate clearly (when face shields are worn, other face coverings can be removed)
  • Classes will have staggered start times to avoid congestion in shared spaces and limit travel in peak periods
  • Course materials will be sent to students in advance of the course
  • Enhanced cleaning and hygiene practices will be in place in our classrooms as set out above
  • Learners will be permitted to remove face coverings while seated at their desk should they wish
  • Training locations will close to students promptly after classes finish and the provision of private study rooms will be temporarily suspended.

How to let us know about concerns or lack of compliance

Staff/customer concerns

Employees or customers may have concerns that Kaplan's social distancing measures are not adequate or that they are not being adequately followed.

Students who have any such concerns should contact studentservices@kaplan.co.uk

Clients who have any such concerns should raise them with their account manager or email clientservices@kaplan.co.uk

Enforcing this policy

This policy will only be effective if employees, learners and exam candidates comply with it. If individuals do not comply they will be reminded of their obligation in the first instance but repeated non-compliance will result in action being taken.

Repeated non-compliance by employees will be treated as a misconduct issue and may lead to disciplinary action being taken.

Repeated non-compliance by learners will lead to a three step escalation process being instigated:

  • Incident 1 - gentle reminder of the rules and an offer to explain them again if the student is confused.
  • Incident 2 - firm reinforcement of the rules and a warning that failure to respect the rules may lead to a student being asked to study remotely or leave the exam.
  • Incident 3 - student is asked to study/sit exams remotely from now on.

Repeated non-compliance by exam candidates may lead to the candidate being refused further examination sittings.


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