Training is an important part of the new licensing system for both licensed and unlicensed asbestos workers.

Training for licenced workers

In order to hold a licence, workers undertaking class A and B work, supervisors and assessors will need to receive specified training.

Relevant unit standards have been developed and providers are now offering training under the NZQA Framework.

The training requirements were specified in a safe work instrument - Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos - Prescribed Relevant Courses) Safe Work Instrument 2017. The courses are:

  • Supervision of asbestos removal work - a course that assesses against NZQA unit standard 29767
  • Class A asbestos removal work  - Remove Friable Asbestos - a course that assesses against NZQA unit standard 29766
  • Class B asbestos removal work - Remove Non-Friable Asbestos - a course that assesses against NZQA unit standard 29765.

Class A Licence holders can do both friable and non-friable removal, using the appropriate methodologies for each type of asbestos only if their supervisors and workers hold the appropriate qualification for the type of asbestos to be removed; these are Remove Non-Friable Asbestos and Remove Friable Asbestos. Supervisors must also hold certification in Supervise Asbestos Removal.

The Remove Friable Asbestos standard does not give the competencies to remove non-friable asbestos. The Remove Non-Friable Asbestos standard does not give the competencies to remove friable asbestos.

Please see our flowchart for more information.

Flowchart: when removing asbestos what training do you need? (PDF 31 KB)

Training for unlicenced workers

A Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) must ensure that workers carrying out asbestos-related work or unlicensed asbestos removal work are trained in the identification and safe handling of, and suitable control measures for, asbestos and asbestos-containing material. This can be delivered through in-house training or instruction. Information on safe-handling and identification and control measures are available from resources on the WorkSafe website and section 12 of the ACOP: Management and Removal of Asbestos.

Workers doing asbestos-related work or unlicensed asbestos removal

  • Asbestos identification and safe handling instruction (this training can be provided in-house).

Workers doing licensed asbestos removal

  • Class A removal training, and/or
  • Class B removal training.


Supervisor training

  • Class A, and/or Class B, worker removal training plus separate unit on supervision.

Assessor training

NZQA training or a qualification listed in the Regulations, plus relevant knowledge and experience.


A supervisor must now hold the relevant unit standards assessed by training providers under the NZQA Framework.

Asbestos-related work is:

  • genuine research and analysis
  • sampling and identification in accordance with the regulations
  • the transport and disposal of asbestos or asbestos waste in accordance with the regulations
  • demonstrations, education, or practical training in relation to asbestos or ACM
  • fire-fighting
  • demolition
  • a response to an emergency
  • maintenance and servicing work involving ACM in accordance with the regulations
  • rectifying work to ACM undertaken in accordance with these regulations
  • display, or preparation or maintenance for display, of an artefact or thing that is, or includes, asbestos or ACM
  • work that disturbs asbestos during mining operations that involve the extraction of, or exploration for, a mineral other than asbestos
  • laundering asbestos-contaminated clothing in accordance with these regulations
  • work carried out in accordance with a method approved by WorkSafe
  • work involving naturally occurring asbestos managed in accordance with an asbestos management plan. 

 See Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016, regulation 7 (2), (3) and (4)(external link)