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Asbestos Technical Bulletin Issue 6

Since Issue 5 the following sections have been introduced:

  • [1] HSG 248 Transition for Testing Laboratories and Information for Inspection Bodies
  • [2] Publication of Lab 30 Edition 4


The updated sections reflect:

  • Removing section on colour blindness testing due to its inclusion in LAB 30 Edition 4
  • Removing section on field blank samples due to its inclusion in LAB 30 Edition 4
  • Removing section on multi-site accreditation, satellite offices and temporary sites due to its inclusion in LAB 30 Edition 4
  • Removing section on Asbestos Qualifications as now incorporated into LAB 30 Edition 4
  • Removing section on Survey Reinspections due to embedded process
  • Removal of section on 4 Stage Clearance (4SC) due to its inclusion in Lab 30 Edition 4
  • Removal of section on LAB 30 qualification as superseded by Lab 30 Edition 4


As part of UKAS’s commitment to providing a valid accreditation service to the asbestos sector UKAS reviews its asbestos-related policies, procedures and requirements on an ongoing basis through the Asbestos Technical Advisory Committee (a list of committee members and summary minutes are available on the UKAS website www.ukas.com Asbestos). UKAS also continues to discuss the assessment of the requirements of ISO/IEC 17020, ISO/IEC 17025 and sector-related publications, to ensure a consistent assessment approach, during its regular Asbestos Technical Assessor meetings.

UKAS will publish Technical Bulletins relating to accreditation within the asbestos sector to ensure all applicant and accredited organisations are aware of any necessary clarifications, interpretations, updates or changes to UKAS policy, requirements where issues have been raised, discussed and agreed at the above meetings. The content of these bulletins will be incorporated into relevant UKAS Publications (i.e. LAB 30 and RG 8) at their next revision.


The following items are included in this bulletin:

[1] HSG 248 Transition for Testing Laboratories and Information for Inspection Bodies

[2] Publication of LAB 30 Edition 4

[3] Surveying for Asbestos in Marine Vessels


1. HSG 248 Transition for Testing Laboratories and Information for Inspection Bodies

In May, the Health and Safety Executive issued the Second Edition of Asbestos: The Analysts’ Guide. Simultaneously UKAS hosted a live webinar with the HSE, regarding the publication and the intentions for recognition for accreditation purposes.

Following a recent trial involving a number of Laboratories, the process and timeline leading to formal recognition of the Second Edition, has been subsequently refined and is now detailed on the UKAS website.

Whilst this process primarily affects Testing Laboratories, it is appreciated that Inspection Bodies undertaking asbestos surveying in premises also conduct bulk sampling in support of their accredited inspection scopes.

Bulk sampling is a testing activity. It is inherently inclusive of the accredited inspection activity, and as such is not recognised on inspection schedules. That said, it is assessed by UKAS as part of the witnessing of survey activities.

Inspection Bodies are advised to review  HSG 248 (Second Edition – Amended July 2021) to ensure the relevant sections associated with bulk sampling and other relevant aspects of inspection in premises continue to meet their needs.

Note: Accredited Inspection Bodies do not need to undertake the transition process.


2. Publication of LAB 30 Edition 4 (July 2021)

Superseding Edition 3, this has been primarily revised to implement the revision to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 as well as changes documented in Edition 5 of this Publication.

Note: The recent revision to HSG 248 has not been incorporated into Edition 4.

Following implementation of Edition 2 of HSG 248 by Laboratories and the need for further interpretation as a result of the revisions made, UKAS will provide documented clarification as and when appropriate, e.g. via this Publication and/or LAB 30.


3. Surveying for Asbestos in Marine Vessels

The UKAS process for assessing and accrediting asbestos Inspection Bodies was developed at the request of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in 2001. The subsequent pilot scheme was based on a programme to support the requirements of MDHS100 in non-domestic premises.

Current schedules of accreditation for asbestos inspection are based on the initial scheme along with subsequent guidance as issued by the HSE. These are supported by ongoing assessment by UKAS of organisations accredited to ISO/IEC 17020 of domestic, commercial and industrial categories of land-based buildings.

For marine vessels used within international waters and registered with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) the requirements for surveying of such ‘premises’ differ from the current UK guidance as currently published in HSG 264, and which UKAS accreditation of asbestos surveying is currently based. Although UKAS recognises that UK Regulations cover the normal operation of marine vessels in UK waters and docks, separate accreditation will be required for those organisations that wish to undertake surveys of marine vessels to an accredited standard including:

  • cargo vessels,
  • passenger vessels, and
  • off-Shore vessels and facilities

as specified by the Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS) Convention Chapter II-1, Regulation 3.5.2 (1974 as amended) for the sole purpose of generating asbestos condition reports, (Initial, Verification and In-service, including management recommendations where appropriate).

This decision has been based on a pilot assessment which was tailored to address the specifics associated with surveying of marine vessels. This identified (amongst other aspects) that the technical competence required to undertake such surveys differed significantly from experiences associated with normal land-based building surveying.

UKAS would be willing to develop an accreditation programme for this sector to meet the needs of its customers and stakeholders (such as the Maritime and Coastguard Agency). However, it does recognise that work will be required in order to ensure the programme is fully effective in determining the competence of asbestos surveying on marine vessels, and in meeting relevant international guidelines and requirements as well the minimum requirements of ISO/IEC 17020. Following initial receipt of interest from its customers, UKAS is now looking at the viability for setting up a development project and steering committee to take this forward.

Any organisation with a keen interest in participating in any future pilot programme should contact Louise Wainwright at: [email protected].

UKAS considers marine vessels at this moment in time to mean boats/ships and (actively) mobile platforms. UKAS understands that a number of Inspection Bodies are involved with surveys within the marine sector. Therefore, where IBs have been surveying fixed rigs & platforms, they will be permitted to continue to do so under ‘industrial premises’, so long as competence has been suitably demonstrated. However, IBs should be aware that the UKAS position may change in the future pending input from marine stakeholders if a development project and steering committee is developed.


Click here to download a pdf copy of this Technical Bulletin.