Respirator fit testing algorithm

Principles of Fit testing - Respirator Fit Testing Algorithm

This algorithm must be used in conjunction with the respirator brand information below.

Fit checking at time of use is the most reliable method of ensuring the health worker has achieved an optimal fit and required seal in real time.

Fit health workers to two disposable respirators (where possible). A fit test report should be generated and documented for every respirator tested – pass or fail.

Respirator fit testing algorithm

Respirator - order for fit testing

Table 1 provides the order of respirators NSW Health workers should be fitted to when commencing a new fit test (initial fit test).

Table 1: Standard order of respirators to be fit tested

 Respirator BrandSize Respirator Style
1Care Essentials MSK-002RegularFlat fold cone
23M 1870+One sizeFlat fold
3Halyard FluidshieldRegularDuckbill
4Halyard FluidshieldSmallDuckbill
53M 1860One sizeCup

Table 2: Other respirator brand information

Respirator BrandSizeRespirator StyleNotes
Care Essentials MSK-002s (for very small faces)SmallFlat fold coneTo be tested only after 2 unsuccessful fit tests using all respirators in table 1. Do not add to table 1 fit test order.
TridentOne sizeFlat foldTo be tested only after 2 unsuccessful fit tests using all respirators in table 1. Do not add to table 1 fit test order.
BSN ProshieldMedium and SmallDuckbill

Not available for current fit testing. See recent update below.

BYDOne sizeFlat fold cone

Not available for current fit testing.

3M 1860sSmallCup

Not available for current fit testing.

Recent updates:

BSN Proshield - Small and Medium

BSN Proshield has been removed from algorithm due to vendor removal from surgical P2/N95 classification. Fluid resistance rating no longer valid.

All health workers fit tested to BSN Proshield are to follow the below steps:

  1. Wear your second fit tested respirator 
    or
  2. If second fit tested option is not available, or you have not been fit tested to a second respirator, then wear a correctly fit-checked alternate respirator.
  3. If above options unavailable, wear a BSN Proshield with face shield until you are fit tested to a new respirator.

Respirator algorithm notes for use:

  • The list is dynamic and may be updated at short notice.
  • Changes will be communicated to RPP leads promptly as information becomes available.
  • If at any time a respirator brand is unavailable, move to the next respirator in Table 1: Standard order of respirators to be tested.
  • Health workers should be successfully fit tested to two respirators if able.
  • Health workers should not test outside of the listed brands without consulting HealthShare and the CEC.
  • Repeat fit testing: Commence with previously fitted respirator/s first unless respirator is BSN Proshield, BYD, 3M 1860s or Trident (see below). If unsuccessful, then move to respirator number 1 on Table 1: Standard order of respirators to be tested.
    • If previously fitted to BSN Proshield, BYD, 3M 1860s or Trident, commence fit test at respirator number 1.
  • If necessary, fit test assessors can consider local inventory when fit testing; however, assurance of ongoing supply of respirators needs to be confirmed when adjusting respirator fit test order (Table 1). Alternate respirators are not to be added to Table 1.
  • The BYD is being transitioned out and should not currently be used in fit testing.

3M 1860s and BYD information

Transitioning away from the BYD is on track for 31 December 2022 with priority given to health workers currently only fitted to one respirator. The period of transition is based on the length of time supply can be guaranteed with an allowance for a 3-month period of peak usage based on previous maximum issuance (pandemic level).

Existing supply of BYD and 3M 1860s should be used for health workers currently fit tested against these respirators.

LHDs/SHN should commence transitioning health workers fit tested to either of these respirators to alternative respirators from the range available, ensuring they are successfully fit tested to two different brand/model respirators.


Last updated 30 November 2022