Visual concrete - perception, practicalities and specifying

The purpose of this standard is to highlight the nuances of visual concrete specification, interpretation and achievability.

CITB has developed this standard in discussion with industry


Minimum 1 day of 6 learning hours


The purpose of this standard is to highlight the nuances of visual concrete specification, interpretation and achievability.


  • effect of concrete composition
  • effect of form-face materials
  • visual concrete specifications
  • formed concrete
  • unformed concrete
  • practicalities in placing visual concrete
  • significance of blemishes
  • making good.

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 candidate pre-requisites as part of this standard. However a basic knowledge and experience of concrete would be beneficial.


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

  • a train the trainer or instructional techniques course certificate
  • successfully completed training to this standard
  • at least 2 years relevant industrial experience
  • a verifiable CV.


Delivery may be in a classroom environment.

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

The class size and candidate/instructor ratio must allow training to be delivered in a safe manner and enable candidates to achieve the learning outcomes. 


For the successful completion of training, candidates must complete an end of course practical assessment or knowledge test that measures the learning outcomes and has a pass or fail criteria.

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 refreshment requirements for this standard.

Approval date

November 2018

Review cycle

Either on request or 3 years from approval date.

Learning outcomes

The candidate will be able to: Additional guidance to support learning outcome
Recognise origin of specification EN 13670, BS 8110, NSCS, CESWI, NBS etc.
List form-face types
Describe finishes and practicalities Formed, unformed 
Explain how to reduce risk of blemishes
Recognise blemishes and describe their formation Visual concrete series-CS

Additional information about this standard

Concrete Society guidance documents:

GCG 8 Concrete practice
Visual concrete series
Plain formed concrete finishes
On-site 8 Making Good

Concrete Society CA 6 Reinforcement ripple,  CA 8 Crazing: power trowelled concrete floor slabs, CA 18 Delamination of concrete surfaces, CA 21 Dark discoloration on smooth formed concrete surfaces (mottling) CA 36 Blemishes in power trowelled floors, CA 38 Rain damaged finish, CA 52 Staining by pyrites and lignite on concrete surfaces, CA 61 Cold joints, CA 62, Pour lines and shadow marks, CA 63 Brushed and tamped finishes

Health & Safety Executive (HSE) guides:

Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974

Health and safety in construction

Personal protective equipment a brief guide







Manual handling


Hand-arm vibration



  • Health and Safety at Work etc Act (HSWA) 1974
  • The Work at Height Regulations (WHR) 2005
  • Work at Height (Amended) 2007
  • Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Regulations 2002
  • Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) at Work Regulations 1992
  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) (1998 UK 1999 NI)
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH )2002
  • Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) 1998
  • Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR ) 1995
  • Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM) 2015
  • Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996
  • Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 as amended 2002
  • Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005
  • Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005.