WorkSafeBC Home

Learn about certificates

Training requirements for asbestos abatement workers are now in effect to help keep you safe from the dangers of asbestos. As of January 1, 2024, anyone doing asbestos abatement work in B.C. must have certification from an approved training provider.

Who needs a certificate?

If you do asbestos abatement work in relation to buildings, you need a certificate.

Asbestos abatement work means doing any of the following activities for the purpose of the abatement of asbestos in relation to a building:

  • Identifying material that is or may be asbestos-containing material
  • Collecting samples of material that is or may be asbestos-containing material
  • Assessing the risk posed by material that is or may be asbestos-containing material
  • Assessing the risk posed by working with or near material that is or may be asbestos-containing material
  • Removing, repairing, transporting, or disposing of material that is or may be asbestos-containing material
  • Planning or supervising any of the above activities

The level of certification you need depends on the type of asbestos work you will be doing.

Levels, scope of practice, and prerequisites

Level 1
Foundational Awareness
Scope of practice:
  • Transport asbestos-containing materials
  • Dispose of asbestos-containing waste
Prerequisites: None
Level 2
Asbestos Safety
Scope of practice:
  • Perform abatement work
Prerequisites: Level 1 (unless the course combines both levels)
Level 3
Asbestos Safety Leader
Scope of practice:
  • Level 1 and Level 2 scope of practice
  • Plan, oversee, and manage asbestos abatement sites
Prerequisites: Level 2
Level S
Surveyor Safety
Scope of practice:
  • Perform asbestos surveys
Prerequisites: Level 1 (unless the course combines both levels)

You can use this tool to help you determine which level you need: Do I need a certificate?

Level 1 is also recommended for those who do not need a certificate but who would benefit from general asbestos safety knowledge. For example, if you sometimes encounter asbestos-containing materials during your work (e.g., electricians, plumbers, HVAC contractors, flooring contractors) but are not an abatement worker, taking Level 1 training can help you learn how to work safely around asbestos.

How to get certified

To be certified, you must complete a training program from an approved provider and pass a written exam. For Level 2, a practical assessment is required before the exam. Exams for Levels 1 and 2 will be available in Chinese (simplified and traditional), Punjabi, Spanish, and Tagalog. Only training from a WorkSafeBC-approved provider qualifies you for a certificate.

You can find a list of approved providers here: Find training. Please contact training providers directly to learn more about their asbestos abatement training offerings, including dates, length of training, location, and cost.

Once you have successfully completed the training and passed the exam, you will need to agree to the terms and conditions and code of practice. You will then be given your certificate. The certificate will be valid for three years from the date of issue, which applies regardless of whether or not you stay in B.C. for that period.

Receiving full or partial credit for previous training

Workers who are not certified in B.C. but have completed relevant asbestos abatement training (e.g., at an earlier time or in another province) may be eligible for reciprocity, equivalency, or recognition of prior learning.

Reciprocity is recognition of valid asbestos abatement certificates issued in another province (Alberta or Prince Edward Island). If you have an asbestos certificate from one of these provinces, contact Certification Services for information on how to receive a WorkSafeBC certificate.

Equivalency is recognition of apprenticeship programs in B.C. and training programs in other provinces (Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador) that that meet the curriculum and/or practical skills standards required by WorkSafeBC. Workers who are eligible for equivalency must take our certification exam and, for Level 2 certification, our practical skills test. If you believe you are eligible for equivalency, contact a WorkSafeBC-approved training provider.

Recognition of prior learning is how we acknowledge courses offered by a WorkSafeBC-approved training provider that satisfy our training requirements but predate our certification requirement. If you believe you are eligible for recognition of prior learning, contact a WorkSafeBC-approved training provider.

For more information, see Reciprocity, equivalency, and recognition of prior learning for asbestos abatement workers.

How to renew your certificate

Once you get your certificate, it will be valid for up to three years. It then must be renewed to enable you to continue to do asbestos abatement work in relation to buildings.

You can renew your certificate by retaking and passing the appropriate exam from an approved training provider. If your certificate expires, you will not be able to do asbestos abatement work until you renew. You can renew within 12 months by retaking and passing the appropriate exam without also needing to retake a training program. If there have been changes in the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation or asbestos safe work practices since you first received your certificate, some additional training may also be required.

If more than 12 months have passed since your certificate expired, you must retake the full training program and pass the appropriate exam to be recertified.

Plan ahead to renew your certificate before it expires. Visit Find training and contact your chosen training provider to learn more about their asbestos abatement renewal and training offerings, including dates, location, and cost.

If you have more than one level of certification

If you have more than one asbestos abatement certificate level, you only need to renew the highest level and not the lower prerequisite level(s):

  • If you hold Level 3, you do not need to also renew Level 2 and Level 1.
  • If you hold Level 2, you do not need to also renew Level 1.
  • If you hold Level S, you do not need to also renew Level 1.

For more information

To find information and resources about working safely with asbestos, visit our Asbestos page.

For updates about asbestos certification:

  • Subscribe to receive email updates (select the “Asbestos certification and licensing updates” option)
  • Read the current and past updates

You can also contact our Prevention Information Line if you have questions: 604.276.3100, or toll-free 1.888.621.7233.