Asbestos work licences

There is no safe level of exposure to asbestos and all assessors and workers removing asbestos must be licenced.

Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral fibre and was once considered to be a very useful mineral because it is flexible, strong, affordable and can insulate from heat and electricity.

Historically, it has been mined and used by many industries worldwide and was commonly used in the construction of homes and buildings.

Exposure to asbestos fibres can cause life-threatening illnesses, so use of asbestos has been greatly reduced. It is now banned in 61 countries, including Australia.

To work with asbestos in NSW, even naturally occurring asbestos, you require a licence. There are three different licences:

  • Class A – licence to remove friable asbestos
  • Class B – to remove non-friable asbestos
  • Asbestos Assessor licence.

Only a business or someone operating as a business can apply for either asbestos removal licence or an asbestos assessor licence.

All asbestos removal work must be carried out safely in accordance with health and safety legislation. Visit our asbestos page for more information.

Our inspectors can issue on the spot fines to any individual or business that appoints an unlicensed asbestos removalist, and to licensed asbestos removalists who fail to notify us of licensed asbestos removal work.

Remember, there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos.

Asbestos removal licences

Class A licence

The class A licence allows you to remove friable asbestos, non friable asbestos and any asbestos contaminated dust or debris (ACD).

Class B licence

The class B licence is more common and allows you to remove 10 square metres or more of non friable asbestos, like fibro sheets. Having a class B licence only allows you to remove the asbestos contaminated dust or debris (ACD) that is directly associated with the removal of non friable asbestos.

Only a person who conducts (or proposes to conduct), a business or undertaking may apply for an asbestos removal licence.

No licence is required to:
  • remove less than 10 square metres of non-friable asbestos
  • ACD that is associated with the removal of less than 10 square metres of non-friable asbestos
  • a minor asbestos contamination not associated with the removal of friable or non-friable asbestos.

All asbestos removal work must be carried out safely in accordance with the work health and safety legislation. Visit our asbestos page for more information.

Eligibility criteria for a removal licence

To be eligible for a class A asbestos removal licence you must:

  • be over 18 years old and make sure any supervisor is also over 18 years of age
  • tell us the name/s of the competent person/s who will supervise the asbestos removal work
  • ensure each supervisor has completed the approved courses for removing and supervising the removal of friable asbestos and that they have at least three years industry experience in the removal of friable asbestos.

To be eligible for a class B asbestos removal licence you must:

  • be over 18 years of age and make sure any supervisor is also over 18 years of age
  • tell us the name/s of the competent person/s who will supervise the asbestos removal work
  • ensure each supervisor has completed the approved courses for removing and supervising the removal of non friable asbestos and that they have at least have 12 months industry experience in the removal of non friable asbestos

Ensure each supervisor has completed the approved courses for removing and supervising the removal of non friable asbestos and that they have at least have 12 months industry experience in the removal of non friable asbestos.

Application process for a removal licence

You must complete our interactive application form form.

You need to:

  • select either class A or class B asbestos removal work
  • provide a certificate of currency for workers compensation insurance if you have employees and are not an exempt employer
  • pay the applicable fee (as listed in our list of fees and charges)

The licence will last for five years from the date of issue.

Applications can be lodged by:

More information about asbestos licences is available in our guide for applicants.

Special requirements for asbestos removalists

Notifications

You must notify us five days before licensed asbestos removal work is commenced.

Health monitoring

You must have your workers health monitored before they begin asbestos removal work and then at least once every two years. The code of practice on how to safely remove asbestos has more information.

Adding supervisors

You can add multiple supervisors to your licence by completing this nomination form. If your internet browser won't open this form print out this static version.

Replacing a card

To replace a licence card you need to complete this application form.

Licensed asbestos assessor licence

An asbestos assessor licence is required to undertake air monitoring, clearance inspections or the issuing of clearance certificates for class A asbestos removal work.

Eligibility criteria for an assessor licence

To be eligible for this licence you must be able to demonstrate you have carried out training (or have adequate experience) in the asbestos removal industry over the past two years.

For more information see our asbestos assessor guide.

Application process for an assessor licence

You must complete an application form.

In your application you must also include:

  • a certified copy of the certificate showing completion of the required training
  • demonstrate thorough training, experience and knowledge of the industry, evidence of experience in the past two years to inspect/monitor the air for asbestos fibres at friable asbestos removal sites
  • two certified passport size and quality photos and 100 points evidence of identity.

Further information

More information about WHS asbestos removal work is available in the How to safely remove asbestos code of practice.

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