Category Archives: ARCA News

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.


ARCA Plan Standardisation Meetings for Another Year

Again, this year ARCA will be holding monthly standardisation meetings, for managers, trainers, assessors and auditors, to discuss their findings and provide feedback.

These discussions support the role of the teams and support standardisation across the organisation, increasing efficiencies and the knowledge of the team, as well as supporting consistency and facilitating updates/improvements in refresher training course content.

Additionally, external experts are invited to attend, to update the team on industry standards or demonstrate a new product. All adding to the knowledge base and providing CPD for the ARCA team.

“Our standardisation meetings are invaluable, as the discussions and feedback from all the team members, supports our task of delivering quality services,” stated Satish Patel, Training Manager for ARCA.

“We have meeting dates programmed throughout the year, and already a number of experts have agreed to attend a meeting to share their industry knowledge.”

ARCA can now confirm that HSE has published new guidance on Plans of Work

New guidance on Plans of Work, produced as result of recommendations from the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 Post Implementation Report (PIR) has now been published by HSE.

HSE have now given permission for this to be circulated to ARCA members.

This guidance is aimed at HSE inspectors to aid consistency when assessing the suitability of Plans of Work, but it is written to also be accessible to licensed contractors’ staff.  The guidance can be read alongside ALG memo 04/12, issued under the umbrella of the ALG industry forum.  The contents will eventually be included in the Licensed Contractors’ Guide (HSG 247) when revised.

This new guidance will be discussed at the remainder of the ARCA regional meetings.

The guidance can be downloaded here

All the steps for a career in asbestos removal

From your first asbestos removal training course through to proving competence as a manager, ARCA has all the training courses and competency qualifications in place.

Over the years ARCA has worked tirelessly to provide a comprehensive and quality assured routes to qualifications for the asbestos removal industry.

Through ARCA, each of the key asbestos removal job roles now have a clear career path.

Asbestos removal Printoperatives and supervisors have training courses, NVQs (Level 2 and Level 3) to recognise their competency and refresher training courses to keep up-to-date with working practices.

For managers, ARCA offers training and refresher courses, as well as providing the only qualification available, the RSPH Level 4 Certificate in Asbestos Removal for Contract Managers. After gaining this qualification, Managers can undertake the ARCA ILM leadership and management qualification, enabling them to gain professional status as a member of the Asbestos Removal Management Institute (ARMI).

All the steps are in place for your career in asbestos removal. What will be your next step? Learn more here