Key information

  1. Reference: ST0095
  2. Date updated: 09/08/2023
  3. Level: 2
  4. Route: Construction and the built environment
  5. Regulated occupation: No
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Details of the occupational standard

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Occupation summary

This occupation is found in both the new build and refurbishment sectors of the construction industry. Projects vary in size, scale, and duration, ranging from the repair of a garden wall to new build housing and large-scale commercial projects such as office blocks, hospitals and retail developments. Employers and contractors of bricklayers vary in size from small, local family building companies to major home builders and commercial contractors. Bricklayers sometimes choose to specialise in certain types of projects and go on to become masters in their field. Examples include refurbishment work, new build homes or commercial works. There is growing demand for Bricklayers to help meet the need for new homes.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to lay bricks and blocks, sometimes utilising modern methods of construction and premanufactured elements to construct walls. Bricklayers carry out simple setting out, prepare mortar and use a trowel to lay bricks, mortar and apply damp-proof materials to complete the project to specification and required design. Bricklayers use spirit levels and plumb lines to check building alignment and use hammers and chisels to shape and trim bricks and blocks. Bricklayers typically work outdoors on construction sites, in most weathers and at height.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with their immediate team and the site management team, which could include a senior or craft bricklayer providing advice and guidance. They would also often liaise with other construction trades such as site carpenters and roofers who could work for their own organisation or another contractor. Site managers again could work for their own company or the main contractor. In the case of smaller projects such as house extensions, liaison with the client, neighbours and officials such as building control surveyors would be expected.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for creating a high-quality product which meets standards, specifications and design plans. They are expected to do this with due regard to all safety aspects involved with working on a construction site, ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of themselves and others at all times. With sustainable construction at the forefront of all projects, it is expected they would give consideration to the environment and sustainability of materials, waste awareness and recycling.

Typical job titles include:


Occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 work in compliance with occupational health, safety and environmental requirements to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of self and others at all times. Report in a timely manner any non-compliances against the construction programme to the appropriate person.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K13 K30 K31

S1 S2 S6 S17 S19 S21

B1 B3 B4 B6

Duty 2 carry out their work conforming to all current and relevant building regulations, quality standards and work instructions.

K1 K2 K3 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K15 K17 K18 K19 K20 K21 K22 K23 K30

S1 S2 S3 S4 S9 S10 S11 S12 S13 S14 S22

B1 B2 B3 B4 B6

Duty 3 work to the construction programme, adapting to changes in schedule and requirements where necessary.

K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K9 K10 K30

S4 S22

B1 B2 B3 B6

Duty 4 prepare the work site including setting out the work and the selection of materials and tools appropriate to the project.

K2 K3 K4 K6 K8 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18 K19 K20 K21 K22 K23

S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11 S12 S13 S14 S22

B1 B2 B3 B6

Duty 5 use the appropriate tools and equipment to construct walls with brick and block to industry standards

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18 K19 K20 K21 K22 K23 K25 K29

S3 S4 S5 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11 S12 S13 S15 S22

B1 B2 B3 B6

Duty 6 carry out minor repairs or modifications to masonry

K1 K2 K3 K4 K6 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18 K22 K23 K24

S4 S5 S7 S8 S10 S11 S12 S13 S15 S16 S22

B1 B2 B3 B6

Duty 7 collaborate with stakeholders including clients and other construction trades

K3 K4 K6 K10 K24 K26 K27 K28

S4 S18 S20

B1 B2 B3 B6

Duty 8 maintain a clear and safe worksite at all times, disposing of waste appropriately and sustainably

K2 K3 K4 K6

S2 S3 S6 S17

B1 B2 B3 B4 B6

Duty 9 carry out continuous professional development to maintain knowledge of current and future developments affecting the role

K2 K3 K4 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10


B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 10 receive, unload, move and lift materials to site for installation following good handling practices preventing injury or damage.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K6 K8 K9 K11 K30

S7 S8

B1 B2 B3 B6



K1: Awareness of health and safety regulations, standards, and guidance and impact on role. Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (CoSHH). Fire safety. Health and Safety at Work Act. Asbestos awareness. Manual handling. signage, fire extinguishers. Safety signage. Situational awareness. Slips, trips, and falls. Working in confined spaces. Working at height. Electrical safety respiratory protective equipment (RPE), dust suppression. Back to Duty

K2: Safety control equipment and how to use personal protective equipment (PPE). Back to Duty

K3: Safe systems of work: Site inductions, toolbox talks, risk assessments, method statements and hazard identification in the work area. Back to Duty

K4: Impact of the sector on the environment: Efficient use of resources. Recycling, reuse, surface water contamination and safe disposal of waste. Back to Duty

K5: The importance and considerations of the environment and sustainability: Thermal qualities, airtightness and ventilation in buildings. Back to Duty

K6: Principles of building: Foundations, roofs, walls, cavity step trays, floors, utilities and services, insulation, fire, moisture and air protection, damp proof courses, the use of brick ties and quality of materials. Back to Duty

K7: Standards and regulations associated with bricklaying activities: British standards, building regulations and warranty provider standards. Back to Duty

K8: Materials and their characteristics: Bricks and blocks, efflorescence, mortar, damp proof courses (DPC), wall ties, plasticisers, concrete and steel lintels, Rolled Steel Joist (RSJ), fire stopping, insulation, cement and building sand. Back to Duty

K9: Modern methods of construction: Rapid build technology, precast components, corner profiles, alternative frame and cladding systems, masonry support systems. Back to Duty

K10: Methods of interpreting and extracting relevant information from drawings and specifications. Back to Duty

K11: Basic principles of digital design and modelling systems. Back to Duty

K12: Simple resource estimation techniques: Quantity of bricks and blocks, amount of mortar, quantity of wall ties, DPCs, cavity trays and lintels. Back to Duty

K13: Hand tool use, maintenance and storage: Levels, measures, hammers, bolsters, brick hammers, trowels, brick jointer, line blocks and pins, scutch, chariot and brick clamps. Back to Duty

K14: Power tool use and limitations: Disc cutters, mixers and drills. Back to Duty

K15: Bond types: English bond, flemish bond, garden wall bonds and broken bond. Back to Duty

K16: Brick solid wall setting out, construction and capping methods. Back to Duty

K17: Joint finishes: Half round, flush, weather struck and recessed. Back to Duty

K18: Principles of basic decorative walling and piers: projecting and contrasting brick, isolated and attached pier, banding. Back to Duty

K19: Principles of the use of expansion joints. Back to Duty

K20: Mixing Mortar: Ratios, silos, pre-mixed, gauging, hand mixing and mechanical mixing. Back to Duty

K21: Cavity wall setting out techniques: Bricks and blocks, openings and levels, use of profiles, gauge rods and squares. Back to Duty

K22: Cavity wall construction using stretcher bond brick and block walling, forming openings, closing cavities. selection and placement of wall ties, insulation, damp proof courses (DPCs), cavity trays, weep holes, lintels and fire stopping. Back to Duty

K23: Brick on edge and soldier courses: setting out and construction techniques. Back to Duty

K24: Defects and repair: Construction defects and repair methods. Back to Duty

K25: Methods of protecting materials and work: Frost, water and construction damage. Back to Duty

K26: Verbal communication techniques and construction terminology. Back to Duty

K27: Principles of good team working. Back to Duty

K28: Inclusion, equity and diversity in the workplace. Back to Duty

K29: Methods of cutting bricks and blocks using hand tools. Back to Duty

K30: Brick walls with raking cut: Setting out and construction techniques. Back to Duty

K31: Well-being: Mental and physical health considerations in self and others and how to access support. Back to Duty


S1: Comply with health and safety regulations, standards, and guidance. Back to Duty

S2: Identify and use personal protective equipment (PPE). Back to Duty

S3: Comply with environmental and sustainability regulations, standards, and guidance. Segregate resources for reuse, recycling and disposal. Back to Duty

S4: Comply with industry regulations, standards, and guidance. Back to Duty

S5: Read and interpret information from drawings and specifications. Back to Duty

S6: Estimate and select required resources: For example, the quantity of bricks and blocks, mortar, wall ties and insulation. Back to Duty

S7: Prepare and maintain a safe working area. Back to Duty

S8: Select and use hand tools. Back to Duty

S9: Maintain and store hand tools. Back to Duty

S10: Set out brick and block cavity wall to given tolerances, including an opening. Back to Duty

S11: Construct a stretcher bond brick and block cavity wall with return and opening to given tolerances, including installing a lintel with soldiers, brick and edge sill, closure around opening, insulation, fire stopping, cavity tray, damp proof course (DPC) and weep holes. Back to Duty

S12: Apply joint finishes: For example, half round, flush, weather struck and recessed. Back to Duty

S13: Set out and construct a simple brick solid wall with capping. Back to Duty

S14: Gauge and hand mix mortar to ratio. Back to Duty

S15: Measure and cut bricks and blocks using hand tools, to given tolerances. Back to Duty

S16: Carry out a simple repair: For example, replacing damaged bricks. Back to Duty

S17: Protect materials and finished work. Back to Duty

S18: Verbally communicate with others, applying construction terminology. Back to Duty

S19: Follow equity, diversity and inclusion guidance. Back to Duty

S20: Applies team working principles to their own and the wider build team. Back to Duty

S21: Identifies well-being support available to self and others. Back to Duty

S22: Construct a brick wall with raking cut. For example, gable end wall or garden wall with raking cut. Back to Duty


B1: Put health, safety and wellbeing first. Back to Duty

B2: Consider the environment when using resources and carrying out processes. Back to Duty

B3: Take ownership of given work. Back to Duty

B4: Contribute to an inclusive and diverse culture. Back to Duty

B5: Seek learning and development opportunities. Back to Duty

B6: Team-focus to meet team goals including, considering the wider build team. Back to Duty

T Level in onsite construction

Qualification type: T Level

Qualification level: 3

Awarding organisation: City & Guilds

Approval date: 17/12/2020

Available from: 01/09/2021

Occupational specialism: Bricklaying

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Aligned occupational standards

ST0095 Bricklayer

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