How does the licensing system operate?

The Asbestos Licensing Unit (ALU) operates a permissioning regime that issues licences to carry out licensable work with asbestos as defined in regulation 2 of The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

In order to be granted a licence you will need to demonstrate that you have the necessary skills, competency, expertise, knowledge and experience of work with asbestos, together with excellent health and safety management systems.

A licence acts as a 'permit to work' with asbestos following a successful licence assessment interview. This system is in place because asbestos is the greatest single cause of work related deaths in the UK from diseases such as mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer. It is a potent carcinogen and as such, work can only be carried out with very strict controls in place to minimise the risk of exposure. 

Holding a licence incurs serious responsibilities, particularly at a senior management level. Applying for a licence to work with asbestos (or renewing a licence) requires:

  • thorough preparation
  • a commitment to continuous improvement
  • the demonstration of organisational and individual competence
  • an extensive knowledge of the industry
  • a willingness to be accountable for your company's performance
  • the provision of evidence of effective health and safety management systems

You are strongly discouraged from applying for a licence if you cannot meet all of the above requirements

Licences are issued for a fixed period of time, after which they need to be renewed. At renewal, performance as recorded following inspections by HSE inspectors and local authority officers will also be taken into account.

A fee is charged for the assessment process required for new licence-holders and on licence renewal. The fee is not returnable.

Licence application and renewals

If you wish to apply or reapply for a licence to work with asbestos details can be found on the licence application and renewal web pages.

Is this page useful?

Updated 2024-05-22