Center for Asbestos Safety

Asbestos Professional Required Training

There are federal laws that govern asbestos removal. These laws require professionals to take specific training courses to learn how to properly and safely remove, repair and dispose of asbestos products. There are EPA guidelines for these courses and they are offered in many states. Asbestos professionals must take yearly refresher courses to continue to earn their accreditation.

The Asbestos Hazardous Emergency Response Act of 1986 requires asbestos abatement professionals to receive specific training. The EPA issued the Model Accreditation Plan, which requires five training disciplines and one recommended discipline. All states must have training programs that are similar to the MAP. The Asbestos School Hazard Abatement Reauthorization Act of 1990 (ASHARA) requires an increased amount of training for asbestos professionals.

In addition to hands on training, the EPA determined that yearly refresher courses can be done online because MAP does not require in-person training. The EPA no longer approves online courses and each state must be responsible for approving such training.

The MAP (model accreditation plan) set out by the EPA does not require hands on training and the annual refresher courses can be completed online. The current requirements of MAP state that the online courses must be as stringent as the EPA MAP and that initial courses must be completed in person. All new courses must be approved by the state even if they follow an earlier syllabus. All credentials of training instructors must be presented to the state for approval. Each refresher course must contain all pertinent and new information with regards to the specific MAP discipline. The information included in the course must be submitted to the state for online course approval and each course must fulfill the minimum training hour requirements for each specific discipline. All other MAP requirements apply to online refresher courses as well.

Considerations for States Evaluating Proposed Online Courses

Instructors for online courses should verify the eligibility of students taking the annual refresher course and authenticate each student using personal information such as social security numbers or state asbestos license numbers. Training providers should utilize online interactive tools to ensure students are actively participating in the entire training program and ask students to record the actual time spent online for each section of training. Message boards or other online discussion venues should be used to enable students to ask questions throughout the training. There should also be technical assistance available so that participants who are experiencing technical difficulties can ask questions. All testing done online should be verified or a testing center should be used to ensure the proper identity of students taking exams. Test questions should be randomly put to use so that the same exam is not given continuously. In addition, test screens should not be saved or printed by students. Training providers should use processes that ensure no fraud is possible with regards to certificates earned online. States can require original signatures to ensure authenticity. Due to differences in state regulations regarding asbestos, training providers should indicate to online students the state the course relates to. States may also want to require training providers to ask students to complete evaluation forms of the course to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the training. The Model Accreditation Plan requires at least 8 hours of refresher training each year. This can be done over the course of a two-week period at a specified time of day. This allows students to ask questions and work with instructors in real-time.

More on training.

Center for Asbestos
Safety in the Workplace