Overview of the role

Install and maintain lightning protection and earthing systems.

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This Lightning Protection Operative occupation is found in the construction, facilities management, heritage, infrastructure, transportation, utilities, petrochemical and energy production/distribution sectors.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to install and/or maintain lightning protection and earthing systems to buildings and infrastructure to minimise damage to structures and their contents and to reduce the risk of injury to people in, or working on, the equipment that is being protected. The core element of an operative’s work is the installation of lightning protection systems but most will also undertake some power earthing work to provide a safe earth for electrical systems. This is a growing element of employers’ activities and some operatives will specialise in power earthing duties.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with internal stakeholders such as company project managers, supervisors and safety representatives; and external stakeholders such as contractors, site management and safety teams, clients representatives, materials and equipment suppliers and training providers. The work is typically undertaken on construction sites or on client-owned premises or equipment and usually involves working on the outside of building structures on the roof or walls, or on equipment that is open to the atmosphere. It is an occupation that is often conducted outside in all weathers and at height.

An employee in this occupation typically works in small teams overseen by a senior operative or supervisor. They will be required to complete basic tasks, such as product installation, routine testing and maintenance, without supervision and make accurate records of work undertaken. They will also be required to assist with more complex tasks, such as specialist testing, with the support of their team and under direct supervision.

Occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Establish systems and equipment to create a safe working environment in line with organisational procedures, site requirements and budgets.

K1 K2 K3

S1 S2 S8 S10

B3 B6

Duty 2 Assess the site or workplace for hazards and identify/implement the necessary control measures.

K3 K10 K11

S2 S3 S4

B3 B6

Duty 3 Implement necessary pedestrian controls and traffic management.

K2 K3

S1 S8 S10

B1 B3 B5

Duty 4 Control manual and assisted handling of materials.

K1 K7

S2 S11

B2 B4 B6

Duty 5 Ensure compliance with British Standards BS EN 62305 (Lightning Protection) and BS EN 7430 (Earthing) is maintained at all times.

K4 K5 K6

S5 S7

B2 B3

Duty 6 Install air termination rods and isolated masts.

K3 K5 K6

S5 S7

B2 B3 B4

Duty 7 Install an air termination network, jointing of conductors and bonding of extraneous metalwork.

K3 K5 K6 K7

S5 S7

B2 B3 B4

Duty 8 Install a down conductor network either by the use of conductor tape or by the use of a building structure, testing and verifying acceptability.

K2 K3 K6 K9

S5 S7

B2 B3 B4

Duty 9 Safely install an earth network by the use of earth electrodes, earth mats or the use of building foundations including the identification and avoidance of buried services.

K4 K5 K6 K11 K12

S1 S5 S7 S8 S10

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 10 Undertake appropriate resistance testing of lightning protection and earthing system individual electrodes plus earth and down conductor networks.

K4 K5 K8

S5 S7

B2 B3 B4

Duty 11 Undertake conductor jointing techniques including pressure clamps, exo-thermic welding, brazing and crimping.

K3 K4 K5 K6

S1 S2 S5 S7 S10 S12

B3 B4 B6

Duty 12 Undertake specialist testing - low resistance electrical continuity tests for earthing system joint connections.

K4 K8

S5 S7 S13

B2 B3 B6

Duty 13 Carry out maintenance and inspection duties, including fault finding and rectification.

K5 K8 K13


B2 B3

Duty 14 Keep accurate records and have an understanding of reporting procedures.

K1 K10

S4 S9

B2 B3 B6



K1: The principles of the relevant Health & Safety legislation, including Health & Safety at Work Act 1974; Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999; Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1999 (MHOR); Working at Height Regulations 2005/2007, LOLER Regs 1998,PPE Regulations, PUWER and where to find additional information e.g. ATLAS website, Health & Safety Executive (HSE) website. Back to Duty

K2: The use of mobile elevated work platforms (MEWPS) e.g. the selection of equipment, safe positioning, correct operation and pedestrian control. Back to Duty

K3: The use of task specific personal protective equipment e.g. fall restraint/arrest equipment for working at height, goggles for drilling/cutting, face masks for dust/drilling and gloves for work with sharp/hot equipment. Back to Duty

K4: The key elements of an earthing system (BS 7430) and the parameters that are required in order to ensure compliance Back to Duty

K5: The principles of the British Standard for Lightning Protection (BS EN 62305) and, in particular, Part 3: Physical Damage to Structures and Life Hazard and how this is provides for 4 different levels of protection. Back to Duty

K6: Material and component requirements for all parts of a Lightning Protection or Earthing System, including fitting/surface compatibility and preparation, fixing distances, jointing requirements. Back to Duty

K7: The methods of handling, storing and transporting lightning protection and earthing materials e.g. conductor materials, earth electrodes and fixtures and fittings. Back to Duty

K8: The procedure for testing and verification of a Lightning Protection or Earthing System, including equipment required and its correct use. Back to Duty

K9: The correct and safe method of erecting and dismantling mobile aluminium towers. Back to Duty

K10: How to interpret design layout drawings and determine the correct and safe methods for access, work tasks and egress. Back to Duty

K11: The methods of surveying and investigating ground conditions, paying particular regard to the safe identification and avoidance of buried services e.g. cable avoidance tools and techniques and service plan drawings. Back to Duty

K12: The safe and correct use of power tool equipment, giving particular regard to safe exposure limits of vibrating hand tools. Back to Duty

K13: The use of surge protection devices for electrical, data and telecom systems. Back to Duty


S1: Organise the workplace and other areas affected by the activities. Back to Duty

S2: Cross reference to Method Statements and Risk Assessments Back to Duty

S3: Identify shortfalls in the process and/or changes to the workplace which will have a safety, production or budgetary impact. Back to Duty

S4: Solve problems - predict and prevent H&S problems through observation and preventative action. Back to Duty

S5: Select the correct materials and equipment for the application and to ensure that the installation is compliant with the 'Standards' and that it meets client requirements/specification Back to Duty

S6: Ability to fault-find and determine and/or apply suitable corrective action. Back to Duty

S7: Installation of lightning protection and earthing products including air termination rods, down conductors and earth electrodes, isolated masts with associated testing and verification of products, networks and systems Back to Duty

S8: Installation of pedestrian controls including temporary traffic management Back to Duty

S9: Effective communication skills including oral, written including the keeping of accurate records, listening and body language. Back to Duty

S10: Installation of safety barriers or exclusion zones where hazardous work tasks are performed or mechanical plant is being used. Back to Duty

S11: Effective loading, unloading and distribution of materials Back to Duty

S12: Conductor joining techniques including pressure clamps, exo-thermic welding, brazing and crimping Back to Duty

S13: Specialist testing and verification: low resistance electrical continuity tests for earthing systems joint connections Back to Duty


B1: Teamwork: engage collaboratively with others Back to Duty

B2: Independent working: take responsibility for completion of own work. Back to Duty

B3: Logical thinking: use clear and valid reasoning when making decisions to undertake work instructions. Back to Duty

B4: Time management: use own time effectively to complete the work instructions to schedule. Back to Duty

B5: Respect: apply equality, diversity and inclusion in dealing with others. Back to Duty

B6: Compliance/Instruction: abide by employer procedure/company values, site inductions, Risk Assessment and Method Statements, tool box talks. Back to Duty


English and Maths

English and maths qualifications form a mandatory part of all apprenticeships and must be completed before an apprentice can pass through gateway. The requirements are detailed in the current version of the apprenticeship funding rules.

Additional details

Occupational Level:


Duration (months):



this apprenticeship will be reviewed in accordance with our change request policy.

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 2
Reference: ST0651
Version: 1.0
Date updated: 15/02/2023
Approved for delivery: 12 November 2021
Route: Construction and the built environment
Typical duration to gateway: 18 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £14000
LARS Code: 664
EQA Provider: Ofqual
Employers involved in creating the standard: Cuttings London, BEST Services, Churchill SC, Delta International, J Redpath Buchanan, Omega Red Group, Orion LP, PTSG Electrical Services, Rafferty International, Sentinel

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.0 Approved for delivery 12/11/2021 Not set Not set

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