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Advanced techniques for working with lime in buildings


This standard covers the necessary knowledge and skills for trainees to work with lime products in traditional buildings including fibrous work, repairing, maintaining and moulding to existing fabric.

CITB has developed this standard in discussion with industry. 


Minimum 5 days of 6 learning hours per day

Purpose / Scope

This training module, ‘Advanced techniques for working with lime in buildings’ is intended to provide the trainee with the necessary knowledge and skills to work with lime products in traditional buildings including fibrous work, repairing, maintaining and moulding to existing fabric.

The scope of this standard covers:

  • material technology
  • risks, hazards and personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • traditional techniques
  • tools and equipment
  • repairs to fibrous plasterwork

Occupational relevance

Training delivered against this standard would be relevant to the following occupational groups:

  • operative and craft
  • supervision
  • management and leadership.

Candidate pre-requisites

There are no candidate pre-requisites as part of this standard.

Instruction / Supervision

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 e.g. NVQ Level 3 award in learning and development or higher
  • Successfully completed training to this standard 
  • At least 5 years relevant industrial experience
  • A verifiable CV.


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

All materials and equipment should be of 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.

The following delivery methods may/may not be used in the delivery of this standard:

  • classroom
  • workshop

This standard is considered to contain 51 per cent or more practical learning.

This standard is considered to be set at an advanced level.


For the successful completion of training, candidates must complete an end of course 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.

Renewal / refresher

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

Approval date


Review cycle

Either on request or in 3 year(s) from approval date.

Learning outcomes

The candidate will be able to:

  • Identify appropriate types of lime products including additives in order to batch mixes for different circumstances.
  • Explain the lime cycle.
  • Describe the risks and hazards associated with working with lime in buildings.
  • Select and use the appropriate PPE for the work required.
  • Demonstrate the appropriate use of batching and mixing equipment, hand and power tools when mixing and applying lime mortars and plasters.
  • Mix and apply standard and specialists lime mortars and plasters to produce appropriate repairs to solid and fibrous applications.
  • Demonstrate lime mortar repair techniques to external mouldings

Additional information

Further reading:

P Swallow, R Dallas, S Jackson and D Watt (2004) Measurement and Recording of Historic Buildings London: Donhead 

R Chudley (1996) Building Construction Handbook London: Laxtons 

R D Pickard (1996) Conservation in the Built Environment Harlow Essex: Longman 

John and Nicola Ashurst (1990) Practical Building Conservation Vol 1,3 Aldershot: Gower Technical Press