This apprenticeship is in the process of being revised. In the meantime, the version below remains approved for delivery. Further details of this and other occupational standards and apprenticeships in revision are available in the revisions status report.

Overview of the role

Design, manufacture, fabricate and install signage.

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in the manufacturing sector, in the signage industry. Signage technicians mainly work in small and medium enterprise (SME) businesses, although there are larger businesses including national franchises. Signage businesses supply signage products and services to a wide range of customers, within the private and public sector.

Signs may be made from wood, vinyls, plastics, metal, glass, textiles, card and composites. They may be illuminated or non illuminated. Types of signs can include:

  • vehicle signage including wraps
  • post mounted signage including road signage, directional, traffic signs, gantry signs
  • building signage for example, entry & exit signs, health and safety signs, fascia signs, window signs and manifestations
  • freestanding signs and displays including pavement signs and exhibition displays

The broad purpose of the occupation is to design, manufacture, fabricate and install signage.  Technicians work with customers to agree the signage requirements and will produce costings and quotations. Design work is completed using computer aided design (CAD). They manufacture component parts and/or complete products. They may also identify components that cannot be manufactured at their premises that would be outsourced to a third party. They assemble the final product and perform finishing operations. On completion of the finished components/product, they ensure its safe storage and transport to the installation site. They may directly install or work with others to install signs. Throughout the process, they use a range of machines, tools and equipment. Signage technicians diagnose issues and resolve problems to ensure high quality products and services.

They work in a manufacturing workshop at their premises, customers premises or public spaces. Depending on the size of the company they will work within a team or alone.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation may interact with internal colleagues/teams undertaking design, manufacturing, installation, sales, project management and organisational management, depending on the structure and size of the company. External contacts include customers and personnel in the supply chain.

An employee in this occupation is responsible for the design, manufacture and installation of signage products to customer specification/requirements, signage regulations and company quality standards. They must work within the health, safety and environmental regulations, including use of appropriate protective clothing and equipment and working at height. They are responsible for the correct use and maintaining machinery, tools and equipment. They will need to ensure production is efficient and cost-effective. The role may involve the supervision of others.

Some signage technicians may require a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card.

Typical job titles include:

Graphic sign maker Graphics installer Large format printer Letter maker Neon glass bender Production department team member Road sign maker and fitter Sign designer Sign installation technician Sign maker Sign writer Signage fitter Transport and vehicle wrapper Vinyl applicator Wide format printer

Occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Review the customer brief and undertake site surveys to work out the signage design, manufacturing and installation methods.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K9 K10

S1 S2

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 2 Organise signage work activities, ensuring machinery, tools, equipment, materials and work-space are available and resolve any issues.

K4 K6 K12 K13 K14 K16

S4 S5 S20 S21 S22

B1 B3 B4 B5

Duty 3 Prepare signage illustrations, costings and quotes.

K7 K8 K9 K11 K13 K14 K16

S3 S15 S20 S21 S22

B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 4 Design signage using graphic design software (Computer Aided Design).

K1 K2 K3 K4 K7 K8 K9 K14 K16

S6 S15 S16 S18 S21

B1 B3 B4 B5

Duty 5 Prepare pre-fabrication files and instructions for signage production and manufacture.

K3 K6 K7 K8 K14 K16

S7 S14 S15 S16 S17 S18 S20 S21

B1 B3 B4 B5

Duty 6 Manufacture signs using machinery, equipment and/or tools.

K3 K4 K5 K6 K7

S8 S9 S10 S11 S14 S15 S16 S17 S18 S20 S21

B1 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 7 Perform finishing operations on signs. For example, trimming, cleaning and adding fixing features such as eyelets, hinges and brackets.

K4 K5 K6 K16

S1 S8 S10 S11 S14 S15 S16 S17 S18 S20 S21

B1 B3 B4 B5

Duty 8 Apply, install or erect signage products to end point location.

K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K10 K13 K14 K16

S2 S12 S14 S15 S16 S17 S18 S19 S20 S21

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 9 Keep stakeholders for example, customers, colleagues and line managers informed about signage work.

K7 K13 K14 K16

S20 S21

B2 B3 B4

Duty 10 Conduct quality assurance checks and rectify or report issues.

K13 K14 K15

S13 S20 S21 S22

B1 B3 B4 B5



K1: The signage industry: types of markets/customers and different types of signs produced and their use: vehicle signs, wraps and graphics, window graphics, building frontage signs (sign trays, projecting signs, flat panels), post mounted signs (totem’s and road signage), street furniture and pavement signs, point of sale, floor graphics, exhibitions and displays, built up 3D letters, flat cut letters, health and safety warning signs, plaques and nameplates, information signs, road traffic signs (standards, chevrons, directional, advanced directional and gantry signs). Option for signage illumination by a variety of means. Back to Duty

K2: Regulations and guidelines: British Standards for Signage BS559 2020, Consumer Rights. Back to Duty

K3: Materials used in sign-making; their uses and characteristics, including self-adhesive vinyls (monomeric, polymeric, cast, reflective/fluorescent, grades of vinyl), self-adhesive laminates, adhesives for different applications (removable, permanent, high tack), banner material (scrim and mesh, total block out), wallpapers (self-adhesive and pastable), card, rigid substrates, plastic and metals (PVC, foamed PVC, acrylic, resin, fluted PVC, polycarbonate), aluminium composite material, aluminium (panels and extrusions), steel, fibreglass, soft signage (polyester fabric) and paint, powders and ink. Illumination (LED, Neon). Back to Duty

K4: Health and safety regulations and requirements: Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, manual handling, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (CoSHH), Working at Height, Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER), Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Risk assessments, method statements. Back to Duty

K5: Environmental policy and requirements: Environmental Protection Act 1990. Sustainability. Disposal of waste, segregation of recyclable materials. Back to Duty

K6: Machinery, tools and equipment used in sign-making – their purpose and use: Inkjet printers (roll fed or flat bed), vinyl cutters/plotters, laminators (roll fed and table), Flat bed cutters, routers, laser cutters, engraving and etching machines, 3D printers, spray equipment, screen print equipment & guillotine. Portable Appliance Testing requirements. Back to Duty

K7: Information technology: Management Information Software, Computer Aided Design and Manufacture. Back to Duty

K8: Colour management and coding references: Pantone, RAL (European colour matching system), Cyan Magenta Yellow Black (CMYK), Red Green Blue (RGB). Back to Duty

K9: Design principles: layout, colour selection, positioning, scale and proportion. Back to Duty

K10: Installation techniques: self-adhesive vinyl application (vehicle wrap, windows, substrates), screw or resin fixing, concrete post fixing, channel and clip post fixing, wallpaper (self-adhesive and pastable), electrical. Site survey requirements. Back to Duty

K11: Commercial operations: costing and quotation considerations and requirements. Back to Duty

K12: Planning techniques; work scheduling. Back to Duty

K13: Communication techniques – verbal and written. Signage terminology. Back to Duty

K14: Documentation requirements: client records, works order/job bag, invoices. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Back to Duty

K15: Quality assurance requirements. Back to Duty

K16: Equality and diversity in the workplace. Back to Duty


S1: Interpret information, for example customer briefs, specifications and work instructions. Back to Duty

S2: Conduct site survey. Back to Duty

S3: Calculate costs and prepare quotations. Back to Duty

S4: Plan and schedule work. Back to Duty

S5: Prepare for signage work. Back to Duty

S6: Use graphic design software to design signage. Back to Duty

S7: Create pre-fabrication files/instructions. Back to Duty

S8: Select and use materials and components. Back to Duty

S9: Assemble signs. Back to Duty

S10: Trim, clean and add fixing features to signage such as eyelets, hinges and brackets, as required. Back to Duty

S11: Protect materials and signs to prevent damage during manufacture, transportation and storage. Back to Duty

S12: Apply, install or erect signs. Back to Duty

S13: Check signage materials and products against quality requirements. Back to Duty

S14: Identify and document risks and hazards in the workplace; advise on and apply control measures. Back to Duty

S15: Comply with health and safety regulations and requirements. Back to Duty

S16: Comply with organisational and statutory environmental and sustainability considerations: safe disposal of waste, recycling of materials and efficient use of resources. Back to Duty

S17: Select, set up, complete pre-checks and operate sign-making machinery, tools and equipment. Back to Duty

S18: Maintain work area, tools and equipment for example, charge batteries and sharpen blades. Back to Duty

S19: Use access equipment in the installation process, for example ladders, fixed and mobile platforms. Back to Duty

S20: Communicate with colleagues and/or stakeholders – verbal, written or electronic; use industry terminology. Back to Duty

S21: Complete documentation for example job sheets, maintenance records. Back to Duty

S22: Rectify or report issues. Back to Duty


B1: Prioritises health, safety and the environment. Back to Duty

B2: Acts professionally, for example represents employer well, uses appropriate language, neat and tidy in appearance and takes account of equality and diversity considerations. Back to Duty

B3: Takes responsibility, for example completes work with minimal supervision, knows own limitations and asks for help where required. Back to Duty

B4: Team player, for example keeps colleagues informed and supports colleagues to complete work and develop. Back to Duty

B5: Adaptable, for example to changing priorities and deadlines. Back to Duty

B6: Committed to continued professional development, for example keeps up to date with developments in the industry. Back to Duty


English and Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Additional details

Occupational Level:


Duration (months):



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

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 3
Reference: ST0824
Version: 1.0
Date updated: 26/07/2021
Approved for delivery: 9 November 2020
Route: Engineering and manufacturing
Typical duration to gateway: 24 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £10000
LARS Code: 607
EQA Provider: Ofqual
Employers involved in creating the standard: Signs Express, Cogent, Simplex Limited, AST Signs, Sign Scope, Reade Signs, The Binary Box, Allen Signs, Spectrum Signs, Butterfield Signs, BAM Nuttall, Blaze Signs Limited, The Sign Group, Harrison signs, Astra Signs, South West Highway Signs, Swift Signs, Vinyline, Fleet Grafix, Sussex signs, Eurosigns, Morelock Signs, octink, Sign 2000 Lmt, Action Signs, Morgan Consult, Spencer Signs, Barhale, A1Designs

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.0 Approved for delivery 09/11/2020 Not set Not set

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