Training and Identification FAQs


FAQs about Asbestos Training and Identification

Commodious is a member of the Independent Asbestos Training Providers (IATP), which means that we are often asked questions about asbestos identification and Asbestos Awareness training. In this article, we have compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about asbestos training and identification, along with our answers.

Looking for Asbestos Awareness training? Commodious offers an IATP-accredited Asbestos Awareness course for just £10 + VAT. Click here to find out more information about this course, buy it now, or access a free trial.

What is asbestos awareness training?

Asbestos is a very dangerous mineral that, until 2000, was commonly used in building materials such as cement products, ceiling tiles, pipe insulation and floor tiles. To find out more about asbestos, click here to view our 'Frequently Asked Questions about Asbestos' article.

The dangers associated with asbestos are such that it is subject to its own legislation: the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. Among other things, these regulations make training mandatory for anyone who may be exposed to asbestos fibres while at work.

Asbestos Awareness training is the lowest level of asbestos training that a person can receive. It is designed to provide people with the information they need to identify and avoid asbestos while working, and does not qualify a person to work with asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) or carry out a risk assessment. For more information on this training, click here to view our asbestos awareness certificate.

Is asbestos awareness training a legal requirement?

Yes, regulation 10 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 makes it a legal requirement to provide 'adequate information, instruction and training' to any employees who are 'liable to be exposed to asbestos' or anyone who supervises such employees.

Asbestos awareness training is required for those employees that may encounter asbestos-containing materials, but do not work directly with them, such as construction workers, electricians, plumbers and roofers. It must provide learners with the information they need to identify different types of asbestos and avoid work that may disturb asbestos.

How many modules are there in an asbestos awareness course?

The number of modules in an asbestos awareness course will vary depending on the training provider and the way their training is delivered.

Commodious' Asbestos Awareness course contains two modules: one containing background information, such as the history of asbestos and the illnesses caused by exposure to asbestos, and another on how to manage the risks associated with asbestos.

How long does an asbestos certificate last?

There is usually no official expiry date on an asbestos certificate, but this does not mean that a person's training remains valid indefinitely. It is generally accepted that asbestos awareness training is carried out annually, with certain accreditation schemes such as CHAS requiring that this is the case.

However, it is important to note that this is not a legal requirement, with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) stating the following:

'There is no legal requirement to repeat an entire formal awareness refresher training course every 12 months. However some form of refresher should be given, as necessary, to help ensure knowledge of asbestos awareness is maintained'.

How often should asbestos awareness training be done?

While the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 do not explicitly state how often asbestos awareness training should be completed, they do state that 'information, instruction and training must be provided at regular intervals'.

Given the dangers associated with asbestos, this is generally considered to mean that asbestos training should be provided annually in order to refresh a worker's knowledge and ensure that it is up-to-date.

How much does asbestos awareness training cost?

The price of an asbestos awareness course can vary significantly, and depends on the training provider and their method of delivery.

At Commodious, we provide our IATP-accredited asbestos awareness online course for just £10 + VAT. It is also available in our great value bundle deals, further reducing its cost for those individuals and organisations with significant training requirements.

Who can deliver asbestos awareness training?

Asbestos Awareness training should only be delivered by organisations who are a trusted training organisation, or those who have been accredited by a trusted authority, such as the Independent Asbestos Training Providers (IATP) or the United Kingdom Asbestos Training Association (UKATA).

How do you identify asbestos?

Identifying or detecting asbestos can be very difficult because it is usually combined with other materials. It was used frequently before the year 2000, which means that any buildings built before this date could potentially contain asbestos. The HSE maintains an image gallery that shows some common places where asbestos can be found - this can be viewed here.

How much does it cost to have your house asbestos tested?

If you suspect that your house contains asbestos, or you are undergoing significant work on a house that is likely to contain asbestos, then an asbestos survey must be completed. As part of this survey, any suspected asbestos-containing materials will be located and their condition detailed. This information will be recorded and then samples of the ACMs will be taken and sent to a UKAS-registered laboratory. Here, the samples will be tested to identify whether any asbestos removal or maintenance work needs to be completed.

The price of an asbestos survey will vary depending on the size of the property and the number of samples taken. Generally, an asbestos survey costs around £250 to complete, and any testing required costs between £8 and £20 per sample, depending on the number taken.

How do I know if I have asbestos in my home?

It can be difficult for a person to know if they have asbestos in their home without completing a formal asbestos survey because of the wide range of materials it can be found in. The video below is taken from our asbestos awareness course, and shows some of the common places in which asbestos can be found in domestic premises:

We also have a similar video that shows where asbestos can be found in non-domestic premises:

For more information on identifying and testing asbestos, click here to view our dedicated knowledge bank article on the topic.

Does insurance cover asbestos?

The exact answer to this question will vary depending on the terms of the insurance policy in question but, in the majority of cases, insurance companies will not cover the cost of an asbestos survey or the removal of asbestos material.

However, in cases where asbestos has been damaged and poses an increased health risk, some insurance companies may be willing to cover the cost of asbestos removal.

How much does it cost to test for asbestos in the UK?

As mentioned above, the price of an asbestos survey will vary depending on the size of the property being tested and the number of samples taken. An asbestos survey usually costs around £250 to complete, and sample testing usually costs between £8 and £20 per sample.

If an asbestos survey identifies maintenance or removal work that needs completing, this will incur additional costs. Encapsulating the asbestos-containing material starts at around £8 per square metre, and full removal starts from around £50 per square metre. These costs can quickly add up, with the removal of all asbestos materials from a large area, such as a garage, potentially costing up to £2500.