Non-licensed work with asbestos

Most higher risk work with asbestos must only be done by a licensed contractor but any decision on whether particular work is licensable is based on the risk. Licensed work is explained at 'Licensable work with asbestos'.

To be exempt from needing a licence the work must be:

Examples of non-licensed work with asbestos

Maintenance work involving:

Removal of:

Short duration work:

Other work:

Further examples of non-licensed work are available in Asbestos Essentials.

Examples of notifiable non-licensed work (NNLW) with asbestos

Removal of:

  • asbestos cement products (eg roof sheeting) where the material will be substantially damaged or broken up (eg as a result of fire or flood damage)
  • asbestos cement products (eg roof sheeting) where the material will be substantially broken up, creating significant quantities of dust and debris (eg 'dropping' an asbestos cement roof)
  • asbestos paper and cardboard products if not firmly bonded in a matrix

Short duration work:

  • to remove asbestos insulating board as part of a refurbishment project
  • involving asbestos insulation eg repairing minor damage to a small section of pipe insulation where the exterior coating has been broken or damaged

Other work on:

  • large-scale removal of textured decorative coatings using steaming or gelling methods (eg beyond that required for maintenance activities such as installation/replacement of smoke alarms and fittings)

Examples of licensable work


  • removing sprayed coatings (limpet asbestos)
  • removal or other work which may disturb pipe lagging
  • involving loose fill insulation
  • on asbestos millboard
  • cleaning up significant quantities of loose/fine debris containing ACM dust (where the work is not sporadic and of low intensity, the control limit will be exceeded or it is not short duration work)
  • on AIB, where the risk assessment indicates that it will not be of short duration

Some types of non-licensed asbestos work will have additional requirements – notification of work, medical surveillance and record keeping. This work is known as notifiable non-licensed work (NNLW).

Risk assessment

All non-licensed and notifiable non-licensed work with asbestos needs a risk assessment and must be carried out with the appropriate controls in place, and those carrying out the work must have had the correct level of  information, instruction and training, to protect themselves (and others in the area) from the risks to health that exposure to asbestos causes.

Further information

Updated: 2020-05-22