Providing Localised Asbestos Refurbishment Surveys in Rural Communities

Cornwall Council is responsible for providing amenities and services to a range of rural, often isolated, communities. Low population densities can make the delivery of services and works particularly challenging, with the application of projects often having unique and complex considerations.

In 2018, the Council required a competent, responsive and cost-effective supplier to provide localised Asbestos Refurbishment Surveys. They therefore approached Bloom’s extensive marketplace of specialist professional services through the delivery of the NEPRO³ framework.

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Due to their very nature, Asbestos Refurbishment Surveys require precise and expert executions – providing accurate and, crucially, comprehensible data and information. Cornwall Council required a trusted supplier that could work professionally and quickly in rural environments, enabling works to be completed in the homes of both vulnerable and disabled people. In addition, the supplier would need to maintain quality whilst keeping costs to a minimum, thereby enabling as many people as possible to benefit from grant funded money that was available at the time.


Bloom uniquely delivers the NEPRO³ framework, allowing us to rapidly source appropriate suppliers for our customers. Our managed approach to procurement also minimises internal resource requirements for the customer. It addresses each aspect of the procurement process, rapidly identifying suitable suppliers in a compliant manner. This allowed us to address Cornwall Council’s precise needs whilst meeting its tight timeframes.

Utilising a dedicated and personalised customer engagement plan, Bloom was able to identify the key requirements and project specifications of the Council. Bloom’s extensive marketplace of approved suppliers allowed us to quickly determine the best fits for their requirements. We then sourced approved suppliers via mini competition, in accordance with the project specification. Kovia Compliance, an established statutory compliance inspection body, was ultimately selected to deliver the projects, having successfully tendered in 2018.

Introducing KOVIA

Headquartered in Plymouth, Devon, Kovia was appropriately located in relation to the Council’s targeted communities. It directly employs thirty people across the Southwest region and, collectively, delivers over 10,000 compliance-related inspections each year. Its established and permanent workforce ensures that it’s able to consistently meet its clients’ callouts and delivery KPIs.

The scope of Kovia’s ISO/IEC 17020:2012 accreditation means it is within the top 10% of accredited suppliers nationally in terms of the breadth of services it can offer its clients. It covers all asbestos survey types and building sector capabilities. In addition, it also offers the added coverage of ‘priority assessment’. Accreditation for Priority Assessments enabled Kovia to accurately risk assess, in relation to the Council’s specifications, the possibility of exposure present for building occupants and / or third-party contractors.

All of Kovia’s staff possess Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults (SoVA) training and are DBS checked at predetermined internals. This was essential for the project, as the homes were being used by isolated, vulnerable and disabled occupants. An unblemished three-year Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Asbestos Removal License enabled Kovia to provide integrated support for the Council and their supply chain, ensuring that all identified asbestos was removed safely prior to any work commenced by contractors.

In addition, Kovia was able to provide a number of associated services. These included UKATA accredited Asbestos Awareness and BOHS course provision. This ensured that the Council met their statutory obligations under the Control of Asbestos Regulations 1012, Regulation 10: Information, Instruction and Training.

Finally, Kovia created dedicated project teams for each contracted work stream. This ensured excellent communication and accountability throughout the Council’s project. They also provided the Council with clear and comprehensive reports, which could be utilised easily by the Council’s staff.


Throughout the duration of the project, Kovia completed more than 1,000 localised Asbestos Refurbishment Surveys for Cornwall Council. Its average delivery timescale stood at five-working days, from receipt of works to final reports.

Due to Kovia’s area of operation, and the number of clients they serve in the Southwest, they were able to provide a highly competitive pricing structure. Throughout 2022, they were able to commit to not rising prices from the unit cost provided as part of the 2018 tendering process. Due to their thoroughness, competitive pricing structure and rapid delivery times, Kovia was ultimately chosen as the sole service provider for the entirety of the County of Cornwall.

Bloom’s marketplace enabled Cornwall Council to rapidly secure a local supplier of specialist services. The result was considerable savings, KPIs being consistently met and all necessary accreditations being in place. We remain committed to providing the public sector with innovative procurement solutions that centre social value. We continue to champion SMEs, delivering both savings and value for money for broader society.