The RICS has unveiled plans for five accreditation schemes to be introduced in the next year.

The body is planning qualifications for surveyors on asbestos, disabled access and fire safety, and two on energy use in buildings.

Martin Russell-Croucher, the RICS' director of certification and accreditation, said the move had come from a need for more specialist qualifications and lifelong learning.

The first of the schemes, which is already up and running, is a competence assessment for working with asbestos in buildings.

Further schemes will offer training on the 2005 Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order and the delayed European Union Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, expected to come into effect later this year.

The RICS is also working up an accreditation scheme on "inclusive environments", a key requirement of the Disability Discrimination Act.

A pilot course will start in April, with a full roll-out expected in July.