Natural Stone Industry Training Group
Phone: Claire J Wallbridge P.G.C.E 07511 464346
Or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Training and Assessment Options
There are three principles routes to gain a qualification in Stonemasonry for operatives, advanced operatives, supervisors, heritage craftspeople and managers.
1. Full/Part Time Training
If you are looking to join the industry and are unable to find an employer, then a college course may be your best route. You can work toward training qualification which, in the words of the CITB, "enables you to gain skills and experience in a particular area of construction."
The Stonemasonry based college courses available are:
- Level 2 Diploma in Stonemasonry – Banker (Construction)
- Level 3 Diploma in Stonemasonry – Banker (Construction)
- Foundation Degree in Applied Architectural Stonework and Conservation
Employment is often easier to find on the achievement of these qualifications. Once that is secured they can then enrol for a NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) to prove their competency. (SVQ in Scotland).
2. Apprenticeships & Up-skilling
If you can gain employment, there are several options open you regarding training and assessment:
a) Non formal Apprenticeship/ Upskilling - You may attend a college course, on a part time basis, where you can achieve the training qualification referred to above. Within this scenario you may also enrol on an NVQ competency assessment programme (On Site Assessment) with the college, or through a private training provider. The NVQ that you are assessed on can be any across the Stonemasonry suite.
b)Full Framework Apprenticeship - You will attend a college course, on a block/day release basis, where you will aim to achieve the training qualification referred to above. You will also be required to achieve an NVQ competency assessment programme in the work place.
Additional components; Employment Rights & Responsibilities (ERR), Functional Skills (English & Maths).
Banker Masonry is the only option available via this route.
c) Specialist Applied-skills/Upskilling Programmes
An industry accredited Specialist Applied-skills or Specialist Upskilling Programme consists of a variable training package (between 5 to 30 days), with the relevant NVQ competency assessment. These are provided by Priestman Associates under a Service Level Agreement with CITB, contact NSITG for more information:
- Level 2 Facade Preservation (with L2 NVQ, Facade Preservation)
- Level 2 Stone Fixer (with L2 NVQ, Stone Fixer)
3. On Site Assessment and Training (OSAT)
This route is designed to enable experienced workers to gain the relevant NVQ achievement. This is the best route for a candidate that is already doing the role to an industrial standard and needs that recognising in the form of a qualification. Evidence of competency and knowledge will be required.
Stonemasonry based OSAT NVQs are available in:
- NVQ Level 2: Banker Masonry, Stone Fixing, Stone Cladding, Memorial Masonry, Stone Cutting
- NVQ Level 3: Banker Masonry, Heritage Skills Mason, Stone Fixing, Stone Cladding, Memorial Masonry
- NVQ Level 4: Senior Skills: Stonemason
Additional related OSAT NVQs are available in:
- NVQ Level 2: Facade Cleaner, Facade Restorer, Water Jetting
- NVQ Level 3:, Heritage Skills Facade Preservation
Additional Supervisor/Manager OSAT NVQs are available in:
- NVQ Level 3: Occupational Work Supervision (Construction)
- NVQ Level 3: Contracting Operations (for either: Planner, Surveyor, Estimator, Draughtsperson)
- NVQ Level 6: Construction Site Management: Building & Civil Engineering
- NVQ Level 6: Construction Site Management: Conservation
- NVQ Level 6: Construction Contracting Management
Why is the NVQ important in construction?
1) Whilst a worker with a college 'QCF Training Qualification' can apply for a CSCS Card, they can only keep it until renewal unless they achieve the relevant NVQ in the meantime.
2) A level 2 S/NVQ is the requirement for a Blue CSCS Experienced Worker card
3) A level 3 S/NVQ is the requirement for a Gold CSCS Skilled Worker card
4) A level 6 S/NVQ is the requirement for a Black CSCS Managers card
5) A level 3 Heritage S/NVQ is increasingly the requirement for projects consulted on/ managed by/ owned by: CADW, Historic Scotland, English Heritage and the National Trust
6) UKCG (UK Construction Group, made up of the most powerful construction firms) dictates that all on site hold the appropriate CSCS Card, achieved either though grandfather rights, specified professional institution membership, or the S/NVQ
7) CDM Regulations dictate that all stakeholders in a project ensure the competency of the workforce. The S/NVQ is regarded as the flagship qualification for this purpose as it is independently assessed to an agreed national standard
8) The Scottish Parliament has dictated all public funded projects will be operated by CSCS card holders. It is assumed the British Parliament and Welsh and Northern Irish assemblies will follow suit