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Natural slating


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 membrane, battens, flashing, and fittings.


Minimum 3 days of 6 learning hours


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: membrane, battens, flashing, and fittings.
The scope of this advanced standard covers:

  • use of a roofing rig with a valley and a hip
  • practical training using one or more sizes/types of natural slates for the time available
  • natural slate tiling system: slates, fasteners, fixings, fixing methods, ridge tiles, ornamental ridge tiles, hip tiles, verge tiles, vented tiles, valley tiles, fittings, abutments, inclined valleys, insulation, flashings, junctions
  • interpret instructions and drawings
  • tools and equipment (hand & power)
  • perform basic estimates for materials
  • calculate batten spacing and make a gauging stick
  • calculate side lap for slates and make a marking stick
  • storage, handling, and lifting
  • plan the work
  • work safely
  • roof check
  • set out
  • install: membrane, battens, natural slates, ridge tiles, hip tiles, verge tiles, fittings, and flashings
  • mark and cut tiles
  • allow for a soil pipe penetration
  • maintain a clean and tidy workplace
  • if the weather deteriorates
  • clean up and dispose of waste materials

Occupational relevance

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

  • operative and craft

Candidate pre-requisites

The candidate must have completed the natural slating introduction training course.

Before candidates perform the work on a construction site, candidates must have successfully completed roofing-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.


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.


No renewal/refreshment requirements - 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 (of the standard)

Learning outcomes

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

Describe natural slating system features including:

  • slate types, uses, and materials

  • single lap, double lap

  • fasteners and fixing methods (dry, bed, head/centre/shoulder fix)

  • resistance to wind uplift and rain penetration

  • membranes, battens, ridge tiles, hip tiles, verge tiles, vented tiles, fittings, abutments, valley slates, insulation, flashings, junctions


  • brochure

  • installation information

Samples of:

  • natural slates

  • fittings

  • fasteners and fixings

  • ridge tiles

  • ornamental ridge tiles

  • hip tiles

  • verge tiles

  • inclined valleys

  • vented tiles

  • valley slates

  • flashing

  • insulation

Describe types, materials, purpose, and features of:

  • fittings: undercloak soffit strips, support trays, comb fillers, hip irons

  • abutments: top edge, side edge, back and box gutters, hook fixing

  • inclined valleys: sheet metal, preformed, mitred, hook fixing

  • flashings and junctions: lead, aluminium, copper, zinc, lead alternative -- soakers, step flashings, step & cover flashings

Interpret instructions and drawings

Examples of:

  • manufacturer’s instructions

  • roofing drawings

  • requirements/specifications

  • architects drawings

Use tools and equipment (hand & power) for:

  • measuring, marking, cutting, and installing

  • types, uses, cleaning, setting, hazards, maintenance, and storage

Examples of tools and equipment

Examples of manufacture’s operating and maintenance manuals (O&M)

Perform basic estimates for materials:

  • slates, battens, and membrane

Sample estimates

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

Calculate side lap for slates


Make and use a marking stick

Example of a marking stick

Describe how to store and handle roofing materials including:

  • on open ground

  • in a covered building

  • on the roof


Describe how to lift materials onto the roof by:

  • hand, winch, conveyor, hoist

Videos of methods

Plan the work including:

  • access, start point, exit, set out, foot traffic, communication, materials, equipment, other trades

Access methods to/from the roof depend on availability, roof type, a risk assessment, plus working at height PPE, and may include:

  • step ladders, platform ladders, leaning ladders, trestles, elevated work platforms, scissor lifts, cherry pickers, boom lifts, travel towers, guard rails, mobile scaffold, and fixed scaffold

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

Set out including:

  • safe manual handling methods

  • safe places to put materials on the structure

Install breather membrane including:

  • eaves trays, and comb fillers

Install stop battens and counter battens

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

  • ridge, valley, hip, verge, main roof area, and abutment

Mark and cut slates using hand and power tools

Describe headlap and sidelap requirements for installing a soil pipe

Install fittings including:

  • undercloaks, eaves trays, comb fillers, and hip irons


Install lead soakers and/or metal flashings


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

The WAHSA Technical Guidance Notes 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. https://www.wahsa.org.uk

Health & Safety Executive (HSE) Working at height guides

HSE guides



  • 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


  • 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)

  • BIM software creates a 3-dimensional building model. Examples at: www.thenbs.co.uk