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Natural slating introduction


The purpose of this standard is to provide the candidate with the knowledge and skills to install natural slates for a new roof, including the: battens, ridge tiles, and verge tiles.

CITB has developed this standard in discussion with industry


Minimum 2 days of 6 learning hours

Purpose / scope

The purpose of this standard is to provide the candidate with the knowledge and skills to install natural slates for a new roof, including the: battens, ridge tiles, and verge tiles.

The scope of this basic standard excludes installing the:

  • membrane, flashings, ornamental ridge tiles, hip tiles, vented tiles, valley slates, inclined valleys, junctions, fittings, insulation, accessories, protrusions, and abutment.

The scope of this standard covers:

  • use of a simple roofing rig without: dormers, chimneys, valleys, or hips
  • practical training using one size of natural slates (centre nailed, pre-drilled or not) for the time available
  • slating system: slates, battens, fasteners, fixings, tile fixing methods, ridge tiles, hip tiles, verge tiles, valley slates, vented tiles, fittings, abutments, inclined valleys, insulation, flashings, junctions
  • interpret instructions and drawings
  • tools and equipment (hand and power)
  • calculate batten spacing and make a gauging stick
  • calculate side lap and make a marking stick
  • work safely
  • roof check
  • install: battens, main area slates, ridge tiles, and verge tiles
  • mark and cut slates
  • maintain a clean and tidy workplace
  • if the weather deteriorates
  • clean up and dispose of waste materials.

Occupational relevance

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

  • operative and craft.

Candidate prerequisites

There are no candidate pre-requisites as part of this standard. However, a basic knowledge of slate and/or tiling roofing terminology and techniques would be beneficial.

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

Instruction / supervision

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 practical 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

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

Describe the natural slating system features including:

  • slate types, uses, and materials
  • single lap, double lap
  • fasteners, fixings, and fixing methods (dry, bed, head/centre/shoulder fix)
  • membranes, battens, ridge tiles, hip tiles, verge tiles, vented tiles, fittings, abutments, valley slates, insulation, flashings, junctions


  • brochure
  • installation information

Samples of:

  • natural slates
  • fasteners
  • fixings
  • ridge tiles
  • verge tiles

Interpret instructions and drawings

Examples of:

  • manufacturer’s instructions
  • roofing drawings

Use tools and equipment (hand and power) for:

  • measuring, marking, cutting, and installing
  • types, uses, cleaning, setting, hazards, maintenance, and storage

Examples of tools and equipment

Perform basic calculations for batten spacings including:

  • bottom datum, top datum, and gauge

Sample calculations

Make and use a gauging stick

Example of a gauging stick

Perform basic calculations for side lap

Sample calculations

Make and use a marking stick

Example of a marking stick

Work safely including:

  • follow safe work practices/procedures
  • identify hazards
  • reduce/eliminate risks
  • use controls
  • use personal protective equipment (PPE)

Videos/photos of good and bad practice.

Examples of:

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

Roof check including:

  • defects, slope angle, spacings, dimensions, squareness and compensation techniques

Video in classroom

Practical demonstration in workshop using a roof rig

Candidate practice with coaching using a roof rig

Install stop battens and counter battens

Install slates (centre nailed, pre-drilled or not) including:

  • main roof area, ridge, and verge

Mark and cut slates using hand and power tools

Maintain a clean and tidy workplace


Describe what to do if the weather deteriorates including:

  • hot, cold, windy, and wet
  • before, during, and after the work

Clean up and dispose of waste materials

Environmental considerations for waste materials

Additional information about this standard

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 all available British Standards at the BSI website.

  • BS 6100-6: 2008 Building and civil engineering – Vocabulary – Part 6 Construction parts (roofs)
  • BS 5534: 2014+A2: 2018. Slating & tiling for pitched roofs and vertical cladding. Code of practice.
  • BS 743:1970. Specification for materials for damp-proof courses.
  • BS 8000-6: 2013. Workmanship on building sites. Code of practice for slating & tiling of roofs and claddings. Replaced By BS 8000-0:2014. Workmanship on construction sites. Intro and principles
  • BS 8612: 2018. Dry fixed ridge, hip, and verge systems for slating and tiling. Specification.
  • BS EN 1024: 2012. Clay roofing tiles for discontinuous laying. Geometric characteristics.
  • BS EN 12326-1: 2014. Slate & stone for discontinuous roofing & external cladding. Specs for slate
  • BS EN 1304: 2013. Clay roofing tiles and fittings. Product definitions and specifications.
  • BS EN 13748-2: 2004. Terrazzo tiles. Terrazzo tiles for external use
  • BS EN 490: 2011+A1: 2017. Concrete roof tiles & fittings for roof & wall cladding. Product specs.
  • BS EN 492: 2012+A2:2018. Fibre-cement slates and fittings. Product spec and test methods.
  • BS 5250: 2011+A1: 2016. Code of practice for control of condensation in buildings.
  • BS 8437: 2005 Code of practice for selection, use and maintenance of personal protection systems

National Building Specification (NBS)

  • A multi-volume subscription library of clauses covering most elements of building construction.

Building information modelling (BIM)