Funding is now available through TTA  to obtain NVQ Level 2 qualification

Funding is now available through TTA to obtain NVQ Level 2 qualification

September 2021

The Tile Association is encouraging fixers to sign up for OSAT or EWPAR assessments, for which there is CITB funding available.  This funding will not be available indefinitely, so any interested fixers should not delay in applying!

 The opportunity is open equally to TTA members and non-members, and should not be missed, as an NVQ Level 2 is required in order to get a CSCS card.

The CITB funding received means that TTA is able to offer these assessments at a much reduced rate and, furthermore, TTA members are eligible for a further substantial discount on the cost.

In view of the discount available, it makes sense for fixers to join TTA and enjoy all the other membership benefits, in addition to their OSAT or EWPAR assessments.

Training by either route leads to an NVQ Level 2, which is required by all fixers in order to get a CSCS card. Most principal contractors and housebuilders require construction workers on their sites to have a valid card. Contractors are also becoming more rigorous in checking that workers on their sites hold the correct card.

Previous routes to getting a CSCS card, not based on a formal qualification - such as Industry Accreditation - are no longer allowed by CSCS. New applicants and those renewing their cards now have to have an NVQ Level 2 in order to obtain a CSCS card.

EWPAR (Experienced Worker Practical Assessment) is a one-day assessment aimed at experienced tilers, who for whatever reason do not have an NVQ Level 2.  These assessments are carried out at an approved training centre.

An OSAT (On-Site Assessment & Training) is more suitable for those fixers who are new into the industry, have less experience and who require an element of training, as well as assessment. These are carried out on site at the trainee’s place of work and generally last two to three days.

The EWPAR assessment costs £500+VAT for TTA members - £600+VAT for non-members plus a £71 registration fee. TTA members pay £650+ VAT for the OSAT, while non-members pay £750+VAT, in addition to the registration fee. OSAT assessments will also incur travel expenses, which should be paid direct to the assessor.

“This funding is time limited, so it is important that those interested contact us as soon as possible,” says David Rowley, Chairman of TTA Training Committee. “It is also another great reason why tile fixers should be members of TTA, since they benefit from a £100 discount on the cost of the assessments.

Independent fixers and companies who wish to put their fixers through the assessments are encouraged to contact TTA for more information on 0300 365 8453 or by emailing

TTA to pilot a range of new short courses
TTA is to pilot a new range of short courses, which will be based around each of the 16 TTA Technical Publications.

As David Rowley, Chairman of the TTA Training Committee, explains: “Our aim is to provide training of real value to fixers in line with our excellent technical publications. The short courses will be accredited by the CITB and so will attract CITB funding and will be run by the technical & training departments of our manufacturer members.”

The full range of TTA technical publications can be viewed on the TTA website and are available as free downloads to members. More information will be publicised via TTA social media and elsewhere in due course.

New Welsh qualification due to start this month
TTA has been working with Cardiff & Vale College and Qualifications Wales to develop a new suite of national qualifications in Wall & Floor Tiling for Welsh trainees.

Due to launch in September, there are new post-16 vocational qualifications in Construction and Building Services Engineering. These include a Foundation Qualification, a Progression Qualification and an Apprenticeship Qualifications. All these are developed by City & Guilds/EAL.

There are also new school-based qualifications – GCSE Built Environment and GCE AS/A-Level Built Environment, the latter starting in September 2022. These school-based qualifications are developed by WJEC.

The Wall and Floor Tiling Pathway includes two trade experiences at Foundation level, one of which can be Wall and Floor Tiling. It then progresses to a three-year Construction Apprenticeship Qualification which includes coverage of the Advanced Wall and Floor Tiler Occupational Competence Statement.

These courses are only available through Cardiff & Vale College in Wales. As the only college in Wales to offer Wall & Floor Tiling courses, the College occupies a unique position within the Welsh tiling and construction sector.

“High quality training is of great importance and The Tile Association is therefore proud to recognise the important work which Cardiff & Vale College carries out, as we did earlier this year by recognising them as one of only five TTA Centres of Excellence in the whole UK,” says the Chairman of TTA Training Committee, David Rowley.

“Their Wall & Floor Tiling courses are very well-regarded and a large number of students have taken them since their inception in 2012. These new courses broaden what the College can offer to its students and I’m delighted that we have been able to work with the relevant qualifications authorities to enhance the opportunities available to students and apprentices in Wales,” continues Rowley.

Preparation continues for WorldSkills 2022
As Paul Doran, UK Training Manager and Lecturer at Southern Regional College, says, Covid has forced the postponement of the next ‘skills Olympics’, which will now take place in Shanghai in October 2022.
This delay has led to the launch of a ‘world first’ in Wall and Floor Tiling. A Virtual Pressure Test saw the UK replicate a competition simultaneously in eight countries. Switzerland, South Korea, Australia, Brazil, Sweden, Denmark, Russia and the Netherlands were all invited to participate.

By leveraging international policies in skills development and moving WorldSkills training online, WorldSkills UK is able to open up its development programmes to equip trainers in the UK with the knowledge to embed world-class standards into their own training programmes, helping more young people and their employers succeed.

During the three days of pressure testing, the apprentices were tested on skills which are essential not just for competition but also for the workplace. The team has had support from industry, with Nicobond, BAL Adhesives, The Tile Association, Southern Regional College and the Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers all supporting the virtual training.

Entries welcomed for Master Craftsman Award
TTA works with the Worshipful Company of Tylers & Bricklayers to encourage and recognise the highest levels of craftsmanship.

This recognition takes the form of Master Craftsman status by the Company at a ceremony in the City of London in March each year.

The Master Craftsman award is for those in our industry who have achieved a minimum of Level 3 NVQ or who can prove they have served a three-year apprenticeship, as well as demonstrating experience in complicated or heritage projects.

Applicants also need to demonstrate at least 15 years’ experience as a tile fixer, either on the commercial, industrial or domestic side of our industry.

The application form to enter for a Master Craftsman award can be found on the TTA website at

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