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It is a very exciting time to be a heritage plastering. With traditional materials such as lime and clay now being at the forefront of modern construction, a new world of opportunity is opening up for those with experience of natural and traditional materials. 
However, unlike other trades where careers paths are clearly written, opportunities to start a career in heritage plastering can be limited - this may be due to a lack of apprenticeships in your area, or the employers requirements for formal qualifications or experience.
Our part-time professional heritage plastering course aims to break down the many barriers into Heritage plastering and provide a stepping stone to a new career. Applications will be open to those who have a passion for working on traditionally built buildings, natural materials and starting a career with lime. No prior experience will be needed and there will be no long application forms.
Career opportunities
This is an entry level programme which follows the NVQ Level 3 in Heritage Plastering learning outcomes. What you can expect to achieve on completion will depend on your skill set entering the programme.  We encourage all of our students to continue their learning on completion of the course - whether this be with work experience, CPD sessions or by taking on their own jobs. 
On completion, you may want to continue onto an NVQ 3 in Heritage Plastering. This is an assessment only process and you will need a minimum of 18 months onsite experience before you are likely to be ready for assessment. We can help you though this process.
Eligibility Criteria
  • Students must be 18 and over
  • UK resident
  • Have basic reading and writing skills
  • Physically able to carry out manual work which will involve lifting
If you are a homeowner looking to carry out some renovation work on your home, you may find that our short courses are more suitable. Please contact us to discuss if you are not sure.

Course Programme

This intensive 4 month part-time course starts by exploring the principles of building construction and traditional building physics. We take a whole-house approach and look at how changes to one aspect of construction can effect another. Students also receive lessons in marketing skills, legal understanding, business set up, finance and get to completion a live job. Students will leave the programme with the real life practical experience, confidence and business skills to start working in the heritage industry.

Teaching sessions will take place on Thursday an Fridays every week throughout September and December.

Building Physics Theory
  • Construction methods

  • Understanding the use of appropriate materials in traditionally built properties

  • Diagnosing issues

  • Types of lime and when to use

Practical Skills
  • Safe removal of old plaster and mortar
  • Making repairs
  • Plastering - wall preparation, base coats, tops coats, skim coats
  • Plaster finishing techniques
  • Lath repairs
  • Ceilings
  • Problem solving
Onsite experience
  • Preparing a work area
  • Sourcing materials
  • Client communications
  • Time management
Business skills
  • Quoting and invoicing
  • Setting up a business
  • Understanding CIS and CSCS
  • Scheduling work
Optional Qualification - students have the option of sitting the exam for the Level 3 Award in Repair and Maintenance of Traditional Buildings. 
* This list is not exhaustive.

Programme Outcomes

The programme is a stepping stone into the Heritage Industry. There will be many options open to those who complete the full programme depending on their career aspirations and skill level on starting the programme:
  • Gain own work in Heritage Plastering
  • Work with other heritage plasterers
  • Apply for other training courses such as The Kings Foundation Building Craft Programme
  • Go onto to study for an NVQ in Heritage Plastering

Application Process

We want to make the application process as easy as possible. There is a short form to complete in which applicants will be asked why they wish to attend the programme and how they intend of using their new skills. Shortlisted students will then be invited to attend an informal in-person selection day. The selection day is a chance for students to get some practical experience of working with lime and find out if the course is suitable for them.
Application Timings
  • Applications Open - 26th April
  • Application deadline - 7th June
  • Selection day - 9th July
  • Course starts - 5th September
  • Course ends - 20th December
* Dates subject to change


2024 Full programme Cost: £4,500 inc vat. Payment plans will be available to spread the cost.
Partially funded places: £2,000 inc vat
A number of partially funded places are available for those who meet the eligibility criteria
Eligibility criteria:
  • Receiving means tested benefits
CITB Members may be able to claim a training grant for this programme. Prior approval of training is required from CITB. Get in touch with your local CITB training manager to find out more.

Proof of eligibility will be required.


2024 Funders

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