Working in a hazardous field

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous material that has been a popular building material since the 1950s. Although it’s hard to recognise if a building contains asbestos, as it’s often mixed with other materials, if you work in a building built before the year 2000, it’s likely that some parts of the building will contain the material.
There have been a few cases in recent months of asbestos found in hospitals. Dust from asbestos pipes at several Glasgow hospitals, including the Southern General and the Royal Infirmary, has been claimed as the reason for killing a top GP who worked at the hospitals in 1986.
And City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, Kayll Road, Sunderland was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £4,582.40 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching asbestos control regulations, when contractors drilled through door surrounds containing asbestos.    

A brand new institute has been launched in the UK that will represent the professional individuals working in the asbestos removal industry. The Asbestos Removal Management Institute (ARMI) will recognise the many dedicated individuals that work in this hazardous and challenging industry.
ARMI is a joint venture between the three main trade associations representing HSE licensed asbestos removal contractors, ARCA, ACAD and the NFDC. ARMI has been established as the professional body to recognise and promote effective leadership and management within the asbestos removal management industry. Members of ARMI are recognised as professionals within the asbestos removal management industry and can demonstrate this by the use of letters after their name.

The requirements for the grades of membership offered, Fellow, Member and Affiliate are fully described in the Rules of Membership. ARMI members are required to hold recognised qualifications in asbestos management and leadership and management.
In addition, members are required to attend a professional interview in order to satisfy ARMI of their suitability for membership, and to participate in the Institutes’ Continuing Professional Development Scheme. ARMI requires its members to pursue exemplary standards of leadership and management. Members are encouraged to develop a culture of continuous improvement and to demonstrate competency.

Membership of ARMI is aimed at employees of licensed asbestos removal companies who have a leadership and management role and a direct influence over the way that asbestos removal work is carried out. In effect this means supervisors, contracts managers and senior managers / directors.
In order to apply for membership of ARMI applicants are required to complete the membership application form and return it to ARMI. In order to be considered for membership certain qualifications need to be held, depending upon the grade of membership applied for.
It is important to bear in mind that the decision as to whether a leadership and management qualification meets the requirement for membership will be decided by the board on a case by case basis. In making their decision, the board will consider whether the qualification is at the right level for the membership grade applied for, in doing this the qualification must be able to be mapped to the appropriate Qualifications and Curriculum Framework (QCF) level.
In effect these are the types of qualifications provided by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) of the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM). General health and safety qualifications or waste management qualifications, such as those issued by NEBOSH or WAMITAB will not usually be acceptable, unless they meet the criteria relating to managing people and teams, etc.

Subject to the applicant providing evidence of holding acceptable qualifications, and paying the appropriate fee, an appointment to attend the professional review meeting will be made. It is intended to hold these professional review meetings at various locations around the country, namely Hemel Hempstead, Burton upon Trent, Darlington and Glasgow. The professional review meeting will be conducted by one ARMI assessor and the meeting will be audio recorded for quality control purposes and for review in the event of any appeal.
The object of the professional review is to assess the applicant’s knowledge and competence of work with asbestos and their approach to leadership and management within the role in which they are employed. The professional review will last between 45 minutes and one hour. Depending on the overall level of response of the applicant the assessor will recommend the membership category that can be offered to the applicant.

Subject to meeting the membership requirements and paying the appropriate fees an applicant will be accepted in to membership. The member will be able to display letters after their name indicating that they are members of ARMI and the grade of membership which they hold.
Members and Fellows are required to participate in the Institutes Continuing Professional Development Scheme. Members at all grades of membership are required to abide by the Rules of the Institute and the Institutes Code of Conduct.