Asbestos in Materials Scheme (AIMS)
AIMS R78 Samples Will be
w/c 2nd January
Results Deadline Date
Proficiency Testing Scheme Overview
Asbestos In Materials Scheme (AIMS) assesses the
performance of laboratories carrying out the identification of
asbestos in bulk materials. The AIMS scheme is operated by HSE
Testing and Monitoring, which oversees management, registration,
and membership matters together with distribution of the samples
and processing the participant data.
Analytes in the Scheme
Amosite, chrysotile, crocidolite, tremolite, anthophyllite and
actinolite in various matrices such as lagging materials,
insulation board, flooring materials and cemented
products. The scheme has the advantage that it includes both common
and less common forms of asbestos.
Who Should Participate?
UK laboratories are required to be accredited by the United
Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to ISO 17025 to undertake this
particular analysis as part of assessing whether materials contain
asbestos under the Control of
Asbestos Regulations (CAR). Participation in AIMS in the United
Kingdom is recommended in the Health and Safety Executive's
Guidance - HSG 248,
"Asbestos: The analyst's guide for sampling, analysis and clearance
procedures" and is a precondition for accreditation of this
analysis to ISO 17025.
Participation in the scheme is also open to non-UK
Operation of the Scheme
Four samples are distributed to participants 3 x per fiscal
year. No specific test method is required, although in the UK
it is recommended that the method used in a laboratory be based on
procedures set out in HSG 248. The AIMS scheme also supplies
test samples specifically for participants that undertake TEM
Laboratories typically have 20 working days to analyse
the samples and report the results. The scheme requires
participants to qualitatively assess the supplied samples and to
report, if present, the type of asbestos found. Upon
completion of the round participants receive a performance
report and a round summary report.
Performance is classified as 'satisfactory' or 'unsatisfactory'
provided participants have completed three consecutive rounds of
the scheme. Laboratories, which have not yet participated in three
consecutive rounds, are categorised as 'unclassified'.
The Proficiency Testing Team
The HSE Science and Research Centre
Tel: +44 (0) 203 028 3382
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