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Abrasive blast cleaning

We have doubled the grant rates for short course tiers 1 – 3. To address rising costs, you can now receive higher rates on course achievements from 1st April 2023

Grant Tier

Achievement date before 1 April 2023

Achievement date on or after 1 April 2023

Grant Tier 1

Grant Tier 1 Refresher





Grant Tier 2

Grant Tier 2 Refresher





Grant Tier 3

Grant Tier 3 Refresher






The purpose of this standard is to provide the delegate with the knowledge and skills to support the following scope: introduction to abrasive blast cleaning, health and safety in blast cleaning, understanding blast media, understanding standards and quality control, understanding of operational procedures, understanding of process control.


24 guided learning hours


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


• introduction to abrasive blast cleaning

• health and safety in blast cleaning

• understanding blast media

• understanding standards and quality control

• understanding of operational procedures

• understanding of process control

Occupational relevance

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

  • operative and craft
  • supervision

Delegate pre-requisites

Delegates must have successfully completed training to the Protective coatings applicator standard


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

  • ICorr, NACE or Frosio level 2
  • an award in education and training (or equivalent, as per requirements for approved training organisations)
  • at least 2 years industrial experience relevant to the scope of the standard
  • successfully completed the 2 day Train the Trainer course
  • a verifiable CV


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 learning environment, 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:

  • face to face learning environment only (such as classroom/workshop etc.) for theoretical training
  • e-learning only (independent learning using an on-line platform) for theoretical training
  • a blend of face to face and e-learning for theoretical training
  • face to face learning environment only (such as classroom/workshop etc.) for all practical training

This standard is predominantly theoretical training.

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


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

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

  • multiple choice questions
  • practical assessment

Pass or fail criteria for the practical elements of this standard:

  • 100%

Where this training is assessed using multiple-choice questions, all learning outcomes must be covered over a minimum of 50 questions and delegates are required to achieve an overall pass mark of at least 70%.

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.


Refresher every 10 years

Buffer / grace period

3 months


Recommended Refresher

Approval date

November 2022

Review cycle

On request or 3 years from approval date.

Learning outcomes

The delegate will be able:

  • gain an understanding in the many applications of abrasive blast cleaning and the various uses of preparation
  • appreciate the role of the abrasive blast cleaning operative for industrial application
  • gain a basic understanding of the corrosion process relating to steel structures
  • gain an appreciation of how corrosion can be controlled by abrasive blast cleaning and coating application
  • gain a basic understanding of how millscale is formed, what it is and the importance of its removal during abrasive blast cleaning
  • gain an understanding of the various substrates that may require abrasive blast cleaning in some form or another
  • understand the importance of pre-surface condition requirements on steel surfaces and implications on coating performance
  • gain an understanding of mechanical surface preparation using centrifugal blast cleaning equipment
  • gain a thorough understanding of the blast cleaning equipment available
  • understand how and when wet abrasive blast cleaning is conducted and the equipment types utilised
  • gain an understanding of the health and safety issues relating to abrasive blast cleaning
  • understand why method statements are developed and who should develop them
  • understand the requirements for conducting risk assessments
  • understand the requirements for personal protective safety equipment when using abrasive blast cleaning equipment
  • demonstrate correct use and inspection of personal protective safety equipment
  • understand the requirements for breathing air during abrasive blast cleaning and the need for an abrasive blast cleaning helmet
  • demonstrate correct use of respiratory equipment and the inspection and correct use of a blast cleaning helmet and related air supply
  • gain a thorough understanding of the various type of abrasives used for surface preparation
  • demonstrate using abrasives and selecting the correct size and type
  • gain an understanding of surface profile and its effect on coating systems
  • gain a thorough understanding of recognised standards used in the coatings industry
  • demonstrate the use of the relevant ISO or SSPC standards for abrasive blast cleaning and confidently select pre surface condition to the relevant standard
  • understand the importance of surface cleanliness after abrasive cleaning, prior to coating
  • understand the requirements to use, control and monitor environmental plant and equipment during and after abrasive blast cleaning
  • use, control and monitor environmental plant equipment
  • understand the requirements of compressed air during portable abrasive blast cleaning
  • use compressed air equipment during the abrasive blast cleaning process
  • understand the use and requirements for the abrasive blast hose and associated equipment
  • use and check the abrasive blast hose and associated equipment including safety whips
  • understand the importance of nozzles used during abrasive blast cleaning
  • understand the various types of nozzles available to the abrasive blast operative
  • use various types of abrasive blast cleaning nozzles during the blast cleaning process
  • understand the requirements for adequate ventilation and lighting during abrasive blast cleaning
  • set up ventilation and lighting
  • understand the methods of communication between the abrasive blast operative and abrasive blast operative assistant
  • understand and use various communication techniques whilst abrasive blast cleaning
  • understand how to check and test abrasive blast cleaning equipment (including associated equipment) prior to use
  • check and test abrasive blast cleaning equipment prior to use
  • understand how the abrasive blast cleaning operative should safely and efficiently abrasive blast clean surfaces
  • use abrasive blast cleaning equipment
  • understand that various abrasive blast cleaning standards exist in the coatings industry
  • understand the abrasive blast cleaning standards differ depending upon the initial condition of the steel
  • abrasively blast clean the surface to a recognised ISO standard and required profile

Additional information about this standard

  • ISO 8501-1
  • ISO 8501-2
  • SSPC VIS 1
  • NHSS19A