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Types and uses of mortars used for brick and block work


The purpose of training against this standard is to provide candidates with an overview of the different mortar types and uses used in masonry.

Standard details

CITB has developed this standard in discussion with industry


½ day of 3 learning hours

If e-learning only, the duration is to be at least 50% of this.


The purpose of this standard is to provide the delegate with the knowledge to support the following:


  • introduction to the general considerations when selecting mortar, including appearance, structural requirements, type of construction and position, exposure, compatibility
  • specification
  • prescribed mortars and designed mortars
  • defects and hazards when mortar is not mixed correctly
  • the different joint profiles
  • mortar components
  • workability and performance
  • mortar types
  • mortar storage and delivery
  • how to follow manufacturers’ instructions on proportions
  • control of substances hazardous to health and safety (COSHH)
  • traditional lime mortars

Occupational relevance

Training delivered against this standard would be relevant to the following occupational group(s):

  • operative and craft
  • supervision
  • management and leadership

Candidate pre-requisites

There are no delegate pre-requisites as part of this standard, however a basic knowledge of bricklaying terminology and techniques would be beneficial.


As a minimum, course trainers must be able to demonstrate that, in relation to this standard, they have:

  • an award in education and training (or equivalent, as per requirements for approved training organisations)
  • successfully completed training to this standard
  • at least 2 years relevant industrial experience
  • a verifiable CV


Delivery may be in an on or off the job environment.

All materials and equipment must be of a suitable quality and quantity for delegates to achieve learning outcomes and must comply with relevant legislation.

The class size and delegate/trainer ratio must allow training to be delivered in a safe manner and enable delegates to achieve the learning outcomes.

The following delivery methods may be used in the delivery of this standard:

  • classroom
  • e-learning
  • remote
  • a blend of classroom and e-learning
  • a blend of classroom and remote

This standard is considered to contain 51% or more theoretical learning.

This standard is considered to be set at a basic level.


Methods of assessment considered appropriate for training delivered against this standard are:

For the successful completion of training, the trainer must be satisfied that the delegate has achieved all learning outcomes.

Quality assurance


Quality assurance against this standard will require initial approval of the training organisation and their content mapped to the standard.

CITB will also conduct an approval intervention, either desk-based or centre visit, to ensure the training organisation can meet the requirements of the training standard.

Approved training organisations (ATOs) will be required to present information on records of training and assessment upon request to CITB for desk-based analysis. They will also be visited annually by the CITB quality assurance team.


There are no mandatory renewal or recommended refresher requirements for this standard.



(Please note standards using this classification will only be grant aided once per delegate)

Approval date


Review cycle

On request or 3 years from approval date.

Learning outcomes

The candidate will be able to:

  • identify the general considerations when specifying mortar
  • list the different joint profiles and describe the desired look and application methods for each
    name the mortar components
  • describe what admixtures are and what they are used for
  • identify different mortar types
  • discuss the use of lime mortar, including what the differences are between hydraulic and non-hydraulic limes
  • identify the hazards when using lime mortars
  • discuss mortar storage, to include:
    • wet ready to use
    • dry ready to use
    • silo types
  • understand COSHH requirements related to the use of mortar
  • explain what is meant by workability and performance in relation to mortars

Additional information about this standard

It is recommended that candidates use a copy of “Mortar for Brickwork” when training to this standard

This standard was written by The Association of Brickwork Contractors (ABC) and The Brick Development Association (BDA). Training against this standard is delivered through The ABC Assessment Centre.


Related standards

Forming cavities and correct installation of wall ties