During the early part of 2019 UKAS was made aware of several organisations with an interest in progressing accreditation for the inspection of land for the presence of asbestos based on the understanding that the proposed update of the HSE publication HSG248 (The analysts guide for sample, analysis, and clearance procedures) would include guidance on surveying and sampling for asbestos in soil and made ground.
It is considered that the development and update of HSE criteria is made to address public interest and is therefore eligible to be supported by accreditation if requested. UKAS convened an expressions of interest meeting on the 22nd October 2019 that was well supported by industry representation that highlighted potential risks in the development of accreditation as:
- Inspected land is likely to contain a range of contaminants other than asbestos and the inspection process will need to demonstrate capability to prospect and mange other contaminants.
- Land inspection requires consideration of geological conditions such as stability, underground streams, permeability that could aid the migration of mobile contaminants such as liquid and gas for which the inspection process must be cognisant.
Before proceeding further with the development of accreditation, UKAS needs to understand and differentiate between the roles of the Asbestos Surveyor and Geoenvironmental Surveyor and determine the impact of the proposed updated HSG248 on asbestos survey activity.
ISO/IEC 17020:2012 accreditation is awarded taking into consideration the criteria of HSG264 that currently discusses the need for surveys to consider and include underground structures and pipes emanating from buildings.
Following the publication of the HSG248 version 2 in May 2021 UKAS has implemented a period of reflection for approximately 3 months to enable organisations to use and understand the new guidance document.
At the end of the reflection period, UKAS will contact interested parties to seek information about the use and application of HSG248 to enable understanding how the new guidance has been integrated with the criteria for more general geoenvironmental surveys. This data will then be collated to establish the forward approach to be adopted by UKAS that will be notified to interested parties.
Any questions with regards this proposal, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org T: +44 (0)1784 428757, M: +44(0)7769 141420.