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Protective coatings applicator


The purpose of this standard is to provide the delegate with the knowledge and skills to support the following scope: health and safety in the coating industry, understand the requirements for basic access plant & equipment, understand the requirements of surface preparation and pre preparation, understanding of coating types, understanding methods of coating application, understand quality control


40 guided learning hours


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


  • health and safety in the coating industry
  • understand the requirements for basic access plant & equipment
  • understand the requirements of surface preparation and pre preparation
  • understanding of coating types
  • understanding methods of coating application
  • understand quality control

Occupational relevance

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

  • operative and craft
  • supervision

Delegates pre-requisites

There are no delegate pre-requisites as part of this standard, however delegates with less than 1600 hours of experience will be regarded as trainees until they have completed the required hours upon successful completion of the training.


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 or 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 element of this standards

  • 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

Review cycle

On request or 3 years from approval date.

Learning outcomes

The delegate will be able to:

  • understand the health and safety requirements related to applying protective coatings including the following:
    • company induction
    • accident prevention
    • house keeping
    • first aid
    • using electricity and air supply
    • permit to work
    • COSHH/risk assessment
    • safety data sheets (material safety data)
    • LEL, TLV, OEL, MEL, ventilation
    • PPE inc RPE
    • basic access requirements
    • safety in surface preparation
    • safety in paint application
    • method statements
    • confined space
    • health, safety & wellbeing

  • understand all aspects of access plant and equipment, including ladders, scaffolding and mobiles working platforms (information only)

  • have a basic understanding of the different types and methods of surface preparation

  • have a basic understanding of the numerous types of substrates and materials that the protective coatings applicator may encounter

  • understand the required criteria when reviewing or conducting surface preparation to previously painted/coated substrates in readiness for new coatings

  • understand that mechanical and hand preparation standards that exist in the protective painting industry and that these standards will be specified on contracts

  • demonstrate the use of the ISO standards and identify various pre surface conditions

  • understand the importance of pre-surface condition requirements for steel surfaces and implications on coating performance

  • understand why and how to pre-prepare steel surfaces, both bare and previously painted prior to re-coating

  • pre-prepare bare and previously painted steel surfaces to specific ISO standards

  • understand and use the range of tools, equipment and materials and their uses in relation to surface preparation to include:
    • chipping hammer
    • wire brush
    • scraper
    • needle gun
    • power wire brush and grinder
    • steam cleaner
    • water washing
    • solvents
    • compressed air

  • use the following tools, equipment and materials to clean a steel substrate to the requested standard
    • chipping hammer
    • wire brush
    • scraper
    • needle gun
    • power wire brush and grinder
    • steam cleaner
    • water washing
    • solvents
    • compressed air

  • understand where and how auxiliary equipment is used in the protective coatings industry specifically:
    • compressors
    • heaters
    • lighting
    • grit removal & hoppers
    • de-humidification

  • gain an insight into the principals of high pressure water jetting and its use as a method of surface preparation

  • gain an insight into the standard ISO 8501-4

  • gain an insight into the standard SSPC – VIS 4 / NACE 7

  • understand the basic constituents and properties of coatings used for corrosion control, and gain an insight into coating systems

  • understand how to read and understand the manufacturer’s product data sheets and the importance of using the products within the guidelines

  • understand the difference between single and two part coating materials

  • understand the importance of paint mixing of both one and two part paints and material handling.

  • mix one and two part paints in accordance with industry standards and material data sheets

  • understand the importance of pot-life and induction periods when using two part paints and coatings

  • apply paints in accordance with the specified induction and pot life periods at specified temperatures

  • understand that coatings must be stored in the correct manner prior to use

  • understand the importance of batch numbers and the need to record these accurately, the configuration generally used and the meaning of the units

  • understand that paints and coatings are liquid materials made up of volatile and non-volatile components

  • understand how paint coverage is calculated and to gain basic knowledge of theoretical and practical spreading rate of paints and coatings

  • understand the difference between compatibility and incompatibility in relation to industrial coatings

  • appreciate that not all generic coatings can be applied in conjunction with each other, and provide long term performance

  • understand and how to measure relative humidity and dew point, and their effect on coating application and cure

  • measure relative humidity and dew point using a hygrometer

  • understand how to measure and assess steel temperatures and the effects on paint application

  • measure and assess steel temperature using both mechanical and digital gauges

  • understand how to use tools and equipment and the advantages and disadvantages when applying coatings including the following:
    • brush
    • roller
    • Understand the advantages and disadvantages of both methods

  • use the following tools and equipment to apply coatings to steel substrates:
    • brush
    • roller

  • give the protective coatings applicator an appreciation of airless spray painting and its use for the application of industrial coatings

  • give the protective coatings applicator an appreciation of air assisted (conventional and HVLP) spray painting and its use within the industrial coatings

  • measure the wet film thickness of an applied coating with a knowledge of the target dry film thickness and the volume solids of the paint, the applicator can calculate the required wet film thickness at which the paint must be applied

  • measure the wet film thickness (WFT) using a wet film comb

  • measure the dry film thickness (DFT) of applied coating(s) by non-destructive test methods including both type 1 and type 2 gauges

  • measure the dry film thickness (DFT) of applied coatings using type 1 and type 2 gauges

  • understand the drying and recoating process of industrial coatings

  • understand why and when stripe coats should be applied in a protective coating system

  • brush apply stripe coats to required areas of the substrate

  • understand the cleaning requirements prior to paint application

  • clean surfaces prior to applying paint using a suitable method including solvents and detergent

  • understand remedial paint application procedures for damaged coated surfaces

  • understand site & shop painting process and the duties that may be expected by the protective coatings applicator

  • understand the requirements for maintenance, cleaning of plant following coating application

  • understand the requirements for inspection test equipment and its use

  • understand how to review and use documentation with relation to quality control

Additional information about this standard

  • ISO 8501 – 1, 2, 3 & 4
  • NHSS19A