COVID-19 vaccinator competency assessment tool

2021 in United Kingdom

COVID-19 vaccinator competency assessment tool, issued to Ian Clarke before his first shift as a St John Ambulance vorlunteer vaccinator at Mowden Park Rugby Club, Darlington, UK, May 2021

After the first COVID-19 vaccines were approved for use in the UK, a substantial workforce was needed to vaccinate millions of people as quickly as possible. The number of vaccinators required far exceeded the number of clinical staff trained to administer them, making it necessary to rapidly train volunteers to deliver the rollout at speed. St John Ambulance partnered with the NHS to coordinate the training and deployment of these volunteers – many of whom had no previous experience in healthcare.

Applicants had to meet strict selection criteria and received up to 21.5 hours of online and face-to-face training. This covered communication and customer service skills as well as clinical training in infection prevention, first aid and injection practice using a dummy arm. All new vaccinators were monitored by a healthcare professional until both parties felt confident that they had the necessary knowledge and skills to administer vaccines safely and competently.

This competency assessment tool was used by retired sales manager Ian Clarke, who vaccinated around 1,000 people over a five-month period. He described his first shift as ‘both exciting and daunting. I was watched by a training nurse who checked that I was doing everything in the right order. It started with ‘Hello my name is Ian, I am here to give you a COVID vaccination, is that ok?’ After about 10 vaccinations it seemed second nature.’

By 2022, St John Ambulance had trained around 30,000 people, who between them delivered over a million vaccinations.


Public Health & Hygiene
Object Number:
paper (fibre product)
overall: 297 mm x 210 mm x 3 mm,