Identification and Quantification of Asbestos in Soils using PLM and PCM P408

There is a significant gap in the market for a qualification which trains people on managing asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in soil, for those working in the land remediation industry. Areas of land which were previously built on or have had demolition work carried out on them may not have been properly cleared up. Therefore asbestos or other harmful contaminants could be buried within the soil.   

BOHS is working closely with organisations within the land remediation industry to address this training gap, and to put together a suite of appropriate qualifications for managing ACMs in soils. P408 – Identification and Quantification of Asbestos in Soils using PLM and PCM is the first qualification in this series, which will give you the knowledge and skills to be able to identify and quantify asbestos in soils, to a standard consistent with the HSL Asbestos in Soils Scheme (AISS).

Who is it for?

This qualification is suitable for anyone responsible for undertaking the qualitative and quantitative analysis of asbestos in soils, to assess contamination before remediation. This includes:  

  • Asbestos analysts 
  • Laboratory analysts 
  • Land surveyors 
  • Site investigators 

It may also be suitable for anyone who wishes to progress into these roles. 


The level of a qualification indicates the relative complexity and depth of knowledge and skills required to attain the qualification.  

This qualification is Level 5 in the BOHS qualifications framework, equivalent to NVQ Level 5, such as Higher National Certificates and Higher National Diplomas. 

How is it delivered?

P408 runs typically over four consecutive days and requires approximately 24 hours of learning time. This is split down into:  

  • 18 hours of teaching time (including supervised practical work) 
  • 6 hours of independent study (including pre-reading and evening study) 

The course can be delivered more flexibly, such as one day per week for four weeks, but should still include at least 24 hours of learning time. The Written Theory and practical examinations are carried out on the fourth day. 

Modules / Learning objectives

Overall Objective

To provide you with the knowledge and skills required to identify and quantify asbestos in soils safely. 


  1. Controlling health risks 
  2. Sample handling and waste disposal 
  3. Identification of asbestos by PLM 
  4. Gravimetric quantification of asbestos-containing materials 
  5. Discrimination and quantification of free fibres by dispersion and PCM 
  6. Analysis of soils - practical application 


You will need to pass three assessments: 

  • Formative practical assessment 
  • Written Theory examination
  • Practical examination 


BOHS provides: 

  • A comprehensive Student Manual, which covers the full range of subject areas included in the qualification 
  • A support pack for tutors which provides sample examination questions and guidance on the written examination

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