Substrates and mortars

The purpose of this standard is to provide the candidate with the knowledge and skills to identify substrates and faults, and how to apply masonry repairs and reinforcements to façades.

CITB has developed this standard in discussion with industry


Minimum 1 day of 6 learning hours


The purpose of this standard is to provide the candidate with the knowledge and skills to identify substrates and faults, and how to apply masonry repairs and reinforcements to façades.

The scope of this standard covers:

  • personal protective equipment (PPE), respiratory protective equipment (RPE), and safety controls
  • masonry repair products
  • prepare masonry
  • identify masonry types
  • determine causes of masonry failure
  • information, supplier’s instructions, and RAMS
  • reinforcement material products
  • apply reinforcement material
  • hand and power tools
  • faults
  • work safely
  • local authority recycling/waste management

Occupational relevance

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

  • operative and craft
  • supervision.

Candidate pre-requisites

There are no candidate pre-requisites for this standard.

Before candidates perform facade work at height on a construction site, candidates must have successfully completed specific training for working safely at height.


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.


The following method(s) may be used in the delivery of this standard:

  • classroom and workshop

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 in 3 years from approval date.

Learning outcomes

The candidate will be able to Additional guidance to support learning outcome

Describe how to select, use, maintain, and store PPE, RPE, and safety controls

Videos in classroom

Practical demonstration in workshop

Candidate practice with supervision in workshop


Videos of good and bad practice

Examples of tools and equipment


Examples of:

  • cleaning specifications
  • construction drawings
  • project requirements
  • product data sheets
  • product brochures
  • RAMS


Photos/videos of substrate in good and failed condition

Physical samples of mortar repair products

Physical samples of reinforcement products

Describe types and features of repair mortar products:

  • data sheets, cure times, ambient temperature, weather conditions, product performance, and product selection

Prepare masonry for repair to a specified finish using specified materials and appropriate tools

Identify masonry types including:

  • limestone, sandstone, terracotta, brickwork

Identify masonry types and their characteristics and reasons for failure including:

  • decay, flaking, spalling, pollution, movement

Locate and interpret information, supplier’s instructions, and RAMS concerning works

Describe types and features of reinforcement products

Use appropriate reinforcement materials such as:

  • stainless steel, phosphor bronze, and copper

Select, set up, pre-use safety check, and use, hand and power tools including:

  • angle grinder/abrasive wheel, mallets, chisels, and trowels

Set down, store, and report defects for hand and power tools including:

  • angle grinder/abrasive wheel, mallets, chisels, and trowels

How to perform basic pre-checks and report faults to line manager

Work safely including:

  • follow safe work practices/procedures
  • location of emergency procedures
  • identify hazards
  • reduce/eliminate risks
  • use controls
  • use PPE
  • specific hazards include: water, chemicals, barriers, heights, work platforms, slip, trip, fall, dust, vibration, noise, reduced vision, sharp edges, hot parts, pressurised liquid, abrasives, air pressure valve
  • keep a clean and tidy work area
  • earth leakage protection (residual current device, RCD)
  • extension and power leads (connectors, trips, testing)
  • petrol/diesel fuel (fire, fumes, spills)
  • first aid equipment
  • environmental safety

Examples of:

  • PPE
  • risk assessments
  • safe work practices/procedures
  • spills and clean up
  • environmental legislation
  • safety legislation
  • SDS sheets for COSHH
  • RAMS
  • emergency procedures
  • first aid equipment

Confirm and comply with local authority recycling/waste management

Environmental considerations for waste materials

Additional information about this standard


HSE Water jetting guides

Training at height

  • BS 8454:2006 Code of practice for delivery of training & education for work at height and rescue

Advisory Committee for Roof Safety

Work at Height Safety Association

  • View WAHSA technical guidance notes. These are a free resource, provided and maintained by WAHSA and its member companies for reference. They assist specifiers, managers, and end users of fall protection equipment. 

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Working at height guides

HSE guides


See relevant legislation

  • 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

Building regulations

  • Building and Buildings, England and Wales: The Building Regulations 2010.
  • The Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004
  • Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland.

British standards

View British standards on the BSI website

  • BS 8000: 2013 Workmanship on construction sites.
  • BS 8437: 2005 Code of practice for selection, use and maintenance of personal protection systems
  • BS EN 12810-1:2003. Facade scaffolds made of prefabricated components. Product specifications
  • BS EN 12810-2:2003. Facade scaffolds made of prefabricated components. Structural design
  • BS EN 12811-1:2003. Temporary works equipment. Scaffolds. Performance and general design.