Guidance for community groups supplying PPE

There have been instances of community groups supplying Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which is not fit for purpose.    

The documents you can download from this page, and the guidelines below, provide guidance and technical information on standards for compliance. 

Surgical masks standards – download

Gowns and aprons standards – download

We don’t want to discourage groups from making PPE, as it’s clear that community groups are able to produce adequate PPE for particular situations if they have the right information.  The only information we have received to date is very technical, but we encourage you to follow it as best you can.

Please adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. If you are supplying PPE to an organisation, find out what their PPE standards are and make sure the PPE you are making complies with that organisation’s PPE standards requirements.  The documents attached came from Sam Whiting, Infection Control Manager at NHS Borders.
  2. Make sure you have an agreement with those receiving your PPE that you are supplying the best quality you can with the best information you have available at the time in order to meet their needs in a timely and cost effective manner to save lives.
  3. Before you embark on a new order, make sure you check these web pages for updated guidance.
  4. Bear in mind that PPE that is not fit-for-purpose may be worse than no PPE as people may take more risks thinking that they are protected when they are not.

We understand from Scottish Borders Council that the NHS now has a good supply of high standard certified PPE, and enough to distribute to some care homes, so won’t be seeking or PPE from community groups.  


SBC are keeping us up to date on the supply situation and available standards as they are in dialogue with the NHS so please keep your eye on these guidance pages as we may get improved PPE guidance for community groups.  We anticipate that when lockdown is eased we may all need to wear protective masks and other PPE and in this situation production of quality standard masks by the community may be required.


Bavs can help you secure funding for your activities and through SBC will keep you updated on the latest knowledge about any government guidance and information about the availability of PPE and where community groups could help.