The P402 covers surveying and sampling strategies for asbestos in buildings.

The P402 is one of two surveying qualifications recognised within the asbestos industry. The other being the Royal Society for Health (RSPH) award in surveying. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) support it.

The British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) and many other companies offer ‘P’ certificates.

The P402 covers how to survey. It also provides techniques for taking samples of suspected asbestos materials in buildings. Asbestos surveyors must adopt correct methods when surveying and sampling. This ensures that surveys are accurate. It also provides representative samples for asbestos testing at a UKAS accredited laboratory.

Asbestos surveyor looking at a tablet by a mobile laboratory

The P402 covers five main topics:

  1. Legislative requirements as outlined by the:
    • Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
    • Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.
    • Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 for the management of asbestos in buildings.
  2. Asbestos in buildings - this covers topics such as:
    • Different types of asbestos.
    • How, why and where asbestos was used in construction. The course covers specific types of commercial, industrial and residential buildings.
    • Candidates also learn about machinery, plant equipment and boilers that may contain asbestos.
    • The full range of health effects asbestos exposure can cause.
    • How to conduct each type of survey.
    • How to tailor the survey to the client’s requirements; ensuring that it fulfills the brief and reason for commission.
  3. Risk assessments and management of asbestos in situ.
  4. Bulk sampling (taking samples of suspected asbestos materials safely) and personal decontamination.
  5. The final part is extensive practical work.

To take the P402 certificate, a candidate must have a minimum of six months’ site experience in the field. They also need a strong understanding of the HSG264 - surveying guide. A controlled document produced by the HSE.

UKAS accredited surveying companies need surveyors to hold a P402. 

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