Category Archives: ARCA News

NVQs require effective planning

ARCA can provide an efficient assessment process

Candidates can gain an NVQ in the shortest possible time when the assessment process is planned well in advance, especially as a candidate can need up to three assessment sites and dates scheduled.

By discussing appropriate sites and timings, ARCA will be able to provide members with the best possible assessment plan for a Level 2 and Level 3 NVQ. Also, members can plan by prioritising candidates based on their CSCS card requirements or card expiry.

“It is important for members to plan well in advance, as we need a number of suitable asbestos removal sites to assess a candidate and construct a portfolio of evidence that covers all the necessary criteria,” commented Satish Patel, Training Manager for ARCA.

“More members are now effectively planning all NVQs with us, so that candidates are able to complete their NVQ assessments in the most efficient and cost-effective way.”

Don’t delay… start planning your NVQs with ARCA today, call us on 01283 505777.

ARCA to Colour Code Site Audit Reports

Coding to confirm type of audit

Going forward ARCA site audit reports will be colour coded and clearly labelled to indicate the type of audit, such as, ‘ARCA Site Audit – Unannounced’. Therefore, all parties, including the HSE, will know exactly the type of ARCA audit a report refers to.


Gold for ‘ARCA Site Audit – Unannounced’ – an unannounced Site Accreditation Audit Scheme audit to maintain membership

Dark Green for ‘Additional Site Audit – Unannounced’ – an additional ARCA site audit booked by a member for ARCA to choose site and carry out without any prior notice

Light Green for ‘Additional Site Audit by Arrangement’ – an additional ARCA site audit booked by a member for a specific site and time

“This system wilARCA Site Audit Report Headings - 680kbl confirm, to all parties, including the HSE at licence renewal application, which audits were unannounced. That is, those the member had no prior notice of an auditor arriving on-site, which therefore gives a stronger level of reassurance of performance,” commented Geoff Silver, ARCA Membership Compliance Manager.

New Developments to ARCA Site Audit App

ARCA announces two new developments to the Association’s Site Audit App to enhance communication of information to Members.

ARCA auditors use the App to record performance against all site audit criteria, including photographs, and once completed a report is emailed to the member’s manager.

Now the App identifies and collates any non-ARCA Member Internal Site Audit App - Aconformities within the audit report and presents the information within a separate Corrective Action Report. This is made available to the member immediately the site audit is completed, via email, and improvements are highlighted in importance so a member can take action in a timely manner. This enables some actions to be rectified without delay and for many projects, this could be while the asbestos removal work is still being undertaken.

Also, the App now scores the audit automatically.  By using numerical scoring, which reflects the ‘standardised’ marking scheme, the App sums the scores and this is then cialis generic converted into, and communicated as, a grade.

“These developments to our unique Audit App have been undertaken to support our members by supplying audit information in a clearer way and more quickly. There have been no changes to the actual audit criteria,” commented Geoff Silver, ARCA Membership Compliance Manager.

“The scoring has been tested on both simulated audits and live audits, and all were verified, showing that the automatic scoring is highly accurate.”

Once an ARCA Auditor has completed a site audit the member will receive an email confirming the grade given to the site audit, along with a full audit report attached, and a corrective action report attached if appropriate. Verification of awarded grades will be carried out on all audits for a short period and then on a selected basis.

Further information on ARCA site audits and the Site Audit Accreditation Scheme can be found here.

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.


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.