Eton Environmental Group is pleading a leading role in the UK’s first fully independent trade association representing companies involved in asbestos testing and inspection.

The National Organisation of Asbestos Consultants (NORAC) was established in response to the growing number of asbestos professionals in the asbestos surveying, testing and analytical sector.

The trade body’s goal is to improve technical knowledge in all aspects of asbestos consultancy, providing a platform to share knowledge and best practice and a voice at industry and government level.

Eton’s Operations Director Toby Ford sits on NORAC’s management committee and was instrumental in turning it into a fully-fledged association in 2016.

He says: “Our members made it clear there was a need for a fully independent industry association that could take on board their concerns and ideas and make them heard.

“We now have representation on the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) technical committee and the Health and Safety Executive’s asbestos liaison group, whilst also working closely with other independent organisations in the sector.”

NORAC has been working recently with the Faculty of Asbestos Assessment and Management (FAAM) and the Asbestos Control and Abatement Division (ACAD) to launch a new skills certification card for asbestos professionals.

The card carried the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) logo and will provide evidence that asbestos professionals working on construction sites have the required training and qualifications for the type of work they are carrying out.

Toby added: “Whether its asbestos found in schools or other public buildings like hospitals, hardly a day goes by without a story appearing in the media about this subject.

“For those of us working at the sharp end, day in, day out, it’s important that companies like Eton are part of a trade body which represents our interests and can enter into partnerships with other organisations in the sector to work for the greater good of professionals in the asbestos industry.

“It’s still early days for NORAC, but we’re already helping to improve technical knowledge and raise the profile of our members.”