Monthly Archives: March 2019

First Supervisor to gain Level 3 NVQ through ARCA

Asbestos Removal Supervisor gains NVQ Diploma and Gold CSCS card

ARCA announces the first asbestos removal supervisor to gain the Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Supervising Licensed Asbestos Removal (Construction).

Gavin Widdows, supervisor at Maylarch Environmental Limited, completed his assessment over three allocated days at three different refurbishment/demolition sites. The ARCA assessor witnessed Gavin running well managed removal work on all three sites, and that end-clients were keen to give positive feedback on his site management.

“Congratulations to Gavin on a magnificent effort,” commented Satish Patel Training Manager for ARCA. “He performed very well on all sites, delivering solid evidence, which verified his knowledge, understanding and skills.”

“My thanks to Maylarch, who were supportive in planning suitable sites for assessment. This helped our planning and enabled Gavin to complete his NVQ in the shortest possible time.”

This Level 3 NVQ Diploma was developed by ARCA specifically for asbestos removal supervisors, following consultation with industry, as otherwise supervisors needed to gain two qualifications to apply for a CSCS card.

On gaining this one qualification, ARCA, at Maylarch’s request, processed Gavin’s CSCS card application, so he received an NVQ certificate from RSPH (awarding body) and a gold CSCS card.

Information on the Level 3 NVQ for asbestos removal supervisors is available on the ARCA website, along with details on CSCS cards.


Association retains ISO9001:2015

Following gaining the new ISO9001:2015 last year, the Association was audited last month and retained certification to this standard with no non-conformances identified.

The Association has followed and been annually audited under the ISO9001 quality management system for the last 14 years. The ARCA quality management system (QMS) describes the approach, procedures and processes to be followed in order to demonstrate the Association’s ability to consistently provide quality membership, training and auditing services.

The 2015 version of this standard includes more emphasis on assessing leadership; what are the organisation’s goals and how will these be achieved. Also, there is more emphasis on risk based thinking; ability to look at the bigger picture to see and take action on any risks to the business, as well as opportunities.

The auditor from NQA commented in his report; ‘of note was the extent of planning the Associations processes as supported by the Strategy Meeting and Work Plan.’

“In February the Association was audited as part of this quality management system to check conformity to the standard. It is testimony to the team here at ARCA that we retained this standard again this year. The team continues to work hard in meeting our mission of delivering the best possible service and support,” commented Steve Sadley, Chief Executive of ARCA.

ARCA introduced unannounced audits to the industry – Two years on

Supporting high standards and good practice across membership

ARCA’s commitment to maintaining standards can be seen over the years, especially through the development of the Association’s site audit accreditation scheme. Two years ago ARCA enhanced the scheme by becoming the only organisation to introduce unannounced audits as standard in the industry. Thereby taking a further step towards supporting consistent high standards and a higher level of reassurance.

“Moving to unannounced site audits was a huge change, but one that has been embraced by our members. It is very satisfying to see that, after running the unannounced scheme for two years, the overall results are nearing those when members were notified in advance of a site audit. The results for ARCA and members, in fact for all parties, are very positive,” stated Steve Sadley, Chief Executive of ARCA.

ARCA’s poARCA auditor_ARCA hi vis_ref 1795_320kblicy means that members still need to complete two satisfactory site audits every year (in place since 2000), however, these audits are now unannounced. Meaning ARCA members (excluding Ireland) have no prior knowledge of when, or where, an ARCA auditor would be assessing their performance. Therefore, being unannounced, ARCA site audits are an even stronger system of reassurance of standards for all parties.

“We recognised the value of unannounced audits so approached the HSE and negotiated access to information from the licensed contractors’ notification form (ASB5), on a weekly basis, indicating who would be removing asbestos where and when. We then ran a pilot in 2016 before making unannounced audits standard in January 2017.”

“We took the realistic assumption that the change to ‘no prior notice’ of a site audit would inevitably see an initial dip in overall results (grades), as that is completely understandable when a new dimension to any scheme is introduced,” commented Steve Sadley.

“Over the first year we did see a small dip in the number of members gaining an upper grade. Then in the second year (last year) we saw a significant increase in the top grade being awarded compared to previous years, which is very encouraging as shows many companies have moved up the grade scale, even when audits are unannounced.”

“As far as I’m aware, no other trade association for asbestos removal contractors carries out a policy of conducting completely unannounced site audits or as many as ARCA does. In fact, I believe we are the only trade association to run this type of audit scheme across any premissioning regime.”

Steve Sadley concluded, “Even though we are still taking a financial hit on running this scheme,* it is a price ARCA is willing to pay to run this unrivalled audit scheme so maintaining high standards across membership.”


* with the basic information received ARCA auditors can arrive at some sites which are not at a stage of removal work suitable for auditing – last year this was around 25% of site visits.