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Improving The Quality of Your Asbestos Survey Reports

Create high-quality asbestos survey reports for your clients.

To create an excellent asbestos survey report, you need to sweat the details.

We've seen a lot of survey reports; the good, the bad, and the ugly. Excellent survey reports have one thing in common—their meticulous attention to detail.

Here are some steps you can easily implement, to improve your report quality.

Cover Page

The first thing your client sees is the cover page. The cover page should be striking, with a clear image of the building.

Include details such as:

  • Type of survey.
  • Site location.
  • Company branding.
  • Contact details.
  • UKAS Accreditation.

Multiple Photos

A single close up photo of asbestos-containing bitumen is pretty useless. It could be any asbestos-containing bitumen, anywhere.

It's best to take one close up photo and one context photo. Two photographs mean less room for misunderstanding. The context photo should be taken from further away, to show the general area you located the asbestos.

Arrows on Photographs

Show the exact location of asbestos-containing materials, by adding arrows to your photographs.

Adding arrows is time-consuming, but you should assume your client has no knowledge of asbestos.

Photograph Your Sample Bags

Photograph sample bags next to sample locations, to prevent sample bags getting mixed up.

Summary Totals

Show summary totals to help your client understand the report findings at a glance.

Scope of Works

Your asbestos survey report should include a clearly-defined scope of work.

The scope outlines areas of the building(s) included in the survey. The scope should be agreed with the client before the work starts. A clear scope covers you if there's ever a legal dispute. Some surveying companies ask clients to sign the scope before starting.

Variations to Scope

You’ve agreed a scope of work with your client, but what happens if you can’t survey part of the building on the day?

You should indicate these “variations to scope” clearly within your report.


No Access Areas

Did access issues prevent you from surveying a location?

Mark no-access areas clearly on your report. Reasons for no-access can include live electrics, locked rooms, or even infestation!


Colour Coding

Add colour-coding to your reports, to allow your clients to review important information rapidly.

Bright colours capture readers attention. This is especially stimulating for visual learners. Start by colour-coding the material risk bands throughout your report.


Location Numbers

If you’re UKAS accredited, you need to number your locations, for example:

  • 001 - Hallway
  • 002 - Kitchen

Numbering locations is good practice even if you’re not UKAS accredited. This technique stops you getting similar rooms mixed up.

Include an Index Page

You should number each page of your report carefully, and include an index page at the start of the survey report for easy reference.

The index page highlights crucial parts of your report. Clients and contractors should be able to find information quickly when reading the printed document.


Map View of the Site Location

To make your report stand out, you can include a map of the site-location. Use a map-marker to pinpoint the exact location of the surveyed building.

Annotate Your Floor Plans

Annotate your floor plans to show the location of:

  • Asbestos Containing Materials.
  • Suspected asbestos, which proved to be non-asbestos containing.
  • No-access areas.

You may also show the asbestos type here too.


Embed Your Floor Plans and Bulk Surveys

Embed your floor plans and bulk surveys directly into your reports, rather than including them in an appendix. This approach looks much smarter and lets you keep your page numbering consistent.

Keep it Concise

The HSG 264 guidance for writing asbestos survey reports states:

“Large reports can be unwieldy and even intimidating. Clients are most interested in the summary, results, conclusions and actions.”

Keep your report concise. Include relevant information, but make sure the survey report is readable and understandable for your clients. No-one wants to read pages of irrelevant text.

Quality Control Checks

Once you’ve finished your asbestos survey, you should perform some quality control checks. Make sure the report quality is a high standard, and there are no human errors.

  • Have all sample results been included?
  • Are the floor plans attached?
  • Has another person checked it?
  • Have risk scores been calculated correctly?


These tips will help you improve the quality of your asbestos survey reports. Even small changes can make a big difference in your report quality.

Do have any tips to enhance the quality of survey reports? Please email them to