How Often Do You Need Asbestos Awareness Training?

How Often Do You Need Asbestos Awareness Training?

There is no legal requirement for this, but your organisation probably needs asbestos awareness training every year.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), you may need to update or review your training if certain workplace conditions change.[1] These include:

  1. Daily activities like work methods
  2. Buying new equipment and disposing of the old
  3. An accident or injury

It is very rare that an organisation stays the same for a long period of time. As a result, you should prepare to update training courses accordingly. This is because being flexible is so important for health and safety policies.

What does Asbestos Awareness Training Involve?

Asbestos training will involve a number of key learning outcomes and skills. It will prepare you to correctly identify and avoid handling the dangerous material.

A training course will, therefore, get a person to:

  • Recognise the types of asbestos
  • Identify asbestos containing materials (ACMs) in the home
  • Safely use protective equipment
  • Learn about the dangers of asbestos and when it becomes harmful
  • Recognise the rights and responsibilities of both employees and employers

These things obviously change overtime, so it is important to review your training yearly to stay up to date with the newest practices. For example, a safer piece of protective equipment could become the norm in asbestos handling, and your organisation doesn’t want to be left behind. This could threaten employee health and mean you don’t fully comply with the laws.

On that note, training will also guide you through your legal duties as both an employee and organisation. It will provide details about the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 and ensure that your business is fully compliant. Furthermore, it takes you through who the regulations apply to, when you need training, and what the punishments are for failing to live up to standards.

Do You Need a Certificate?

It would be natural to assume that most training courses provide you with a certificate upon completion, and they do. However, you don’t necessarily need this to be able to handle asbestos.

HSE states that “a certificate is not proof of competency to do the job, but… a certificate shows the individual has had training”.[2] This means that it is a good measure of your abilities, but it is not a legal requirement. However, since its in the law to complete training, you may as well show it to a prospective employer.

You just need to be aware of the expiry dates. Certificates will usually have a date of expiry of around one year. This is why we recommend renewing your training yearly too. However, even if a certificate does expire, you won’t need to do a full, new course of training. It will be more appropriate to do a ‘refresher’ to jog the memory.

Asbestos training isn’t for everyone, and certificates are more appropriate for certain jobs. These tend to be practical and hands-on occupations that involve working in people’s houses or an organisation’s building. These include:

  • Carpenters
  • Plumbers
  • Painters and decorators
  • Electricians

When you are involved in any of the above jobs, then you will certainly need training. If you fail to do so, you are putting yourself in danger. If your organisation fails to do so, then they may be liable to certain punishments. These include fines and for the most serious cases, imprisonment.

Don’t be caught out, and make sure you are prepared. To prepare yourself and your organisation, you can view our full training course. It covers all the necessary areas to keep your organisation compliant.

You can view our RoSPA and CPD approved online asbestos awareness training course here.


[1] http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/training.htm

[2] http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/training.htm