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Asbestos in Materials Scheme (AIMS)

AIMS logo

AIMS R83 Samples Will be Despatched by

w/c 26th August 2024

Results Deadline Date is

18th October 2024

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 laboratories.

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 analysis.

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'.

Contact details

The Proficiency Testing Team

The HSE Science and Research Centre

Harpur Hill



SK17 9JN


Tel: +44 (0) 203 028 3382

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