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About standards and frameworks

If you want to study to improve your career prospects, or get training for your employee, you need to be sure that the course is worthwhile. When courses are benchmarked against national standards, you can compare like-for-like courses to study and all employers can recognise that these qualifications prove you have reached an agreed level of competence.

CITB is the Sector Skills Council for the construction industry. Standards for nationally recognised qualifications are developed and maintained by Sector Skills Councils and registered by qualification boards in England, Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland. Standards need to be frequently reviewed and updated to make sure that they are always relevant to industry needs.

We develop and maintain a range of standards for the construction industry.

National Occupational Standards

The most widely used standards are National Occupational Standards (NOS). The NOS provide the building blocks for more substantial qualifications, describing the learning content for each unit in a qualification at all levels, from certificates and diplomas to degrees and masters qualifications.

Standards for NVQs/SVQs

Each unit of an NVQ follows the content of the related national occupational standard, but the structure of the whole qualification also needs to meet standards. NVQs in the UK are now progressively being replaced with Qualifications and Credit Framework awards, certificates and diplomas. CITB also develops the new recommended qualification structures for these awards.

These structures are regulated by Ofqual in England and the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) in Northern Ireland; SQA Accreditation in Scotland; and Credit and Qualification Framework for Wales (CQFW) for Wales.

Standards for short training courses

What if you need to complete a half-day’s training in using a new piece of equipment? How do you know that your training course is good enough?

CITB wants to help ensure that all the training you or your employees receive is delivered and assessed to a recognised standard. We are consulting with industry stakeholders to provide standards for short training courses as well as for more substantial qualifications.

This wider reform will mean that all levels of training are more standardised and more easily transferred in the UK construction industry.

This helps target CITB funding on the training areas of most impact and importance to the construction industry. It will reduce wasted effort and resources spent on repeated training for the employee.

Standards for apprenticeships

CITB coordinates the reviews of apprenticeship standards. The structure and delivery of apprenticeships vary across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and CITB works with industry and the relevant government department to ensure that apprentices get the best training which is going to ensure their skills meet the future demands of the industry.

CITB works with a large network of training providers who deliver the qualifications needed for intermediate or advanced apprenticeships. We monitor the quality of our training providers to ensure that our apprentices receive the best possible education and training they need to succeed in their apprenticeship and to develop their skills.

Join the debate

If you have a comment or query about these standards, contact the standards team for more information.