Identifying blemishes, defects and deteriorating concrete


This standard was previously known as Defects and deterioration in concrete. This training standard is designed for candidates who want to identify blemishes defects and deterioration in concrete and explore remedial options.

CITB has developed this standard in discussion with industry


Minimum 1 day of 6 learning hours per day


This training standard is designed for candidates who want to identify blemishes defects and deterioration in concrete and explore remedial options.

The scope covers:

  • essentials of concrete composition and performance
  • specifications for visual and durable concrete
  • concrete blemishes, defects and causes
  • concrete deterioration processes including carbonation, chloride, reinforcement corrosion, ASR, DEF, fire
  • types of cracking
  • typical times of appearance of deterioration
  • cosmetic reinstatement and repair methods of deteriorated concrete.

Occupational relevance

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

  • 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.

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


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
Identify concrete blemishes and defects For example: surface blemishes (blowholes, scouring, colour variation) cracking, crazing, curling, delamination, dusting, efflorescence, pop-outs, spalling, staining
Identify concrete damage due to reinforcement corrosion Low cover, cracking, environment
Recognize deterioration and probable causes For example: construction technique, loading, environmental factors, material properties (ASR, DEF, fire)
Suggest reinstatement methods Cosmetic, repair (general)
Recognise specifications Specifications. BS EN 13670, NSCS, CESWI, NBS

Additional information about this standard

Concrete Society - Visual concrete series

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.