ACAD, the not for profit trade association leading the Asbestos sector, secures substantial funding from CITB to ensure high quality VQ assessment for the Asbestos sector throughout the UK.
The Construction Leadership Council decision of January 2015 firmly established VQ standards at the heart of all skilled occupations throughout the UK Construction sector, a £118 Billion industry representing a 6.1% share of UK GDP. The highly specialised Licensed Asbestos sector is made up of over 400 HSE Licensed Asbestos Removal Companies of which approximately 80% are SME’s and around two thirds are CITB levy payers.
CITB is the recognised Standard Setting Body for the Asbestos sector and has been working to ensure standards for VQ assessment via their National Specialist Accreditation Centre (NSAC). As part of its evolving model CITB invited bids from across the Asbestos sector for organisations to step up and take responsibility for ensuring these standards and thereby free up NSAC to focus their support on other specialist sectors. ACAD submitted a detailed bid for ensuring standards that included a scalable model to make this accessible to all. In late 2017 ACAD was notified that the ACAD bid had been selected to ensure high quality VQ assessment delivery at the required standard across the full asbestos sector.
Graham Warren, ACAD Manager commented “ACAD has a long history of successfully delivering VQ so it seems an obvious choice that CITB, the Standard Setting Body for the Asbestos sector, has selected ACAD to ensure high quality VQ assessment throughout the entire sector. It’s particularly pleasing that the two organisations who have worked to raise standards of commercial training providers, IATP and UKATA, will also be heavily involved. The involvement of IATP and UKATA opens the door for all of their members to expand their commercial offer and deliver VQ to their clients. The sector faces a challenge in moving to a qualified workforce and it is clear to me organisations need to work together for the betterment of the sector as a whole. ACAD will therefore be looking to continue to expand our umbrella of quality VQ delivery to support other organisations right across the sector”.
Paul Beaumont, Chief Executive at IATP noted “The IATP and its members exist to develop and maintain the highest level of standards for the delivery of high quality asbestos training to raise awareness and protect lives from the ever present danger of asbestos exposure. We are proud to be working with ACAD and other industry bodies in the promotion and implementation of high quality Vocational Qualifications (NVQ and SVQ) for asbestos workers at all levels.”
Craig Evans, General Manager at UKATA stated “UKATA is committed to working collaboratively with industry to raise training standards and awareness throughout the sector. We are pleased to be working alongside ACAD to support the standards for VQ delivery whilst allowing UKATA members to further support licence holders”.
Richard Miller, Assessment & Verification Manager at CITB, commented: “We identified a need in the asbestos sector to qualify its specialised workforce. CITB’s Assessment Infrastructure fund will support the sectors aim to rectify this, ensuring high quality assessment delivery, qualifying hundreds of workers with Vocational Qualifications across the three nations. We are confident this funding will have a really positive impact for the Asbestos Sector.”
ACAD envisaged two dedicated VQ centres to support the entire Asbestos sector. The first is a Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) centre dedicated to supporting employers, assessors and learners across Scotland delivering SVQ. The second is a CSkills/NOCN centre to support employers, assessors and learners across the remainder of the UK delivering NVQ.
VQ’s are competence qualifications so fit hand in glove with the longstanding HSE requirement to only have competent employees working with Asbestos. VQ’s also underpin the ACAD Skill Card, the Asbestos sectors first CSCS affiliated card scheme. CSCS have announced they will no longer issue cards to the Asbestos sector after the end of this month.
Individuals with experience of the Asbestos sector as well as Assessor and/or Verifier qualifications (including older versions such as D31/D32/A1/V1) are encouraged to register with ACAD to ensure they and their company can take advantage of the Asbestos sectors VQ centres. If you are an existing member of the IATP or UKATA you can contact them directly so they can compile this information on their members for subsequent amalgamation with the ACAD register of assessors.
All Licensed Contractors should register with ACAD to ensure they receive a personal invitation to the regional VQ briefing sessions that are being arranged and hosted by partner organisations throughout the UK over the coming months. These will explain the process and support available in detail.