Key information

  1. Reference: ST0094
  2. Date updated: 14/03/2023
  3. Level: 3
  4. Route: Engineering and manufacturing
  5. Regulated occupation: No
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Details of the occupational standard

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Occupation summary

Composite technicians work in the process manufacturing sector.

Composite components are used in the aerospace, automotive, construction, furniture, marine, medical, motorsport, oil and gas, rail, and renewables industries and many more. Composite products include doors, prosthetic limbs, shower trays, and tennis rackets.

Composites combine polymeric resins (plastics) and a reinforcing material such as carbon fibre, glass fibre, or Kevlar to produce a material with improved properties. For example, increased strength or stiffness without significantly increasing the weight.

Composite technicians produce polymer matrix composite (thermoset and thermoplastics) components or final products to a specification. They may combine the composite elements or use a pre-prepared material to produce the product using a variety of moulding processes. The processes require manual dexterity and skills. Production tends to be in batches and conducted in small-scale production facilities. Quality and process control is part of the role. They conduct quality assurance processes, check equipment and tooling for future usability, complete documentation, and participate in improvement activities. 

They work with other members of the manufacturing team. They also have contact with other functions for example, process engineers, maintenance engineers, laboratory staff, supply chain staff, and warehouse staff. They may also have contact with external people such as customers, service providers, suppliers, and regulators.

They must ensure that the process and products meet quality specifications and are produced to schedule. They must comply with health and safety, regulations and procedures including wearing personal protection equipment (PPE). They also need to meet environmental and sustainability regulations and procedures – minimising waste and recycling materials. They may work alone or as part of a team with minimal supervision. They are responsible for the quality and accuracy of their own work.

Occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Complete composite pre-processing activities. For example, organise and prepare mould tools and materials.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K18 K19 K20 K21 K22 K26 K37

S1 S2 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S12 S18 S24

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 2 Conduct composite processing activities following technical instructions.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K17 K18 K19 K20 K22 K23 K25 K26 K37

S1 S2 S4 S5 S6 S9 S11 S12 S13 S14 S15 S18 S24

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 3 Complete quality assurance processes. For example, conduct grading parameters checks (size, appearance, weight), and take samples for laboratory testing.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K8 K11 K12 K13 K16 K18 K20 K24 K26 K27 K28 K30 K33 K37

S1 S2 S4 S5 S6 S12 S16 S17 S18 S20 S21 S22 S24

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 4 Check the composite processing equipment and tooling for future usability; make repairs or escalate.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K16 K18 K21 K22 K26 K33 K37

S1 S4 S5 S6 S8 S18 S20 S22 S24 S25

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 5 Complete process manufacturing documentation - digital or paper based. For example, process and production records, traceability records, quality assurance records.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K26 K29 K33 K34 K35

S1 S4 S5 S20 S26 S27

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 6 Conduct handover responsibilities - providing information to or receiving information from other shifts or maintenance teams.

K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K26 K33 K34 K35 K36 K37

S1 S4 S5 S18 S20 S24 S25 S26 S27

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 7 Maintain the work area (housekeeping) following safety, environmental and risk management systems. Ensure waste is separated, segregated, and disposed of in accordance with environmental standards.

K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K24 K26

S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S10 S18 S19

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 8 Participate in continuous improvement activities. For example, ways to contribute to achieving Net Carbon zero by focussing on reduction of unnecessary energy use and waste.

K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K19 K20 K24 K27 K31 K32 K33 K34 K35 K36

S1 S2 S4 S5 S6 S18 S20 S22 S23 S24 S25 S26 S27 S28

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 9 Participate in risk assessment activities.

K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K34 K35 K36

S1 S3 S4 S5 S18 S20 S24 S25 S26 S27

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6



K1: Composite industry awareness. Range of composite products. Manufacturing environments. Types of customers. Back to Duty

K2: Composite technician’s role. Limits of responsibility. Escalation procedures. Back to Duty

K3: Health and safety regulations and standards awareness. Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH). Display Screen Equipment. Electrical safety and compliance. Fire safety. Hand arm vibration (HAVS). Health and Safety at Work Act – responsibilities. Human factors, ergonomics. Legionella. Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER). Lone working. Manual handling. Noise regulation. Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER). Slips trips and falls. The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR). Working at Height. Working in Confined Spaces. Back to Duty

K4: Health and safety practice. Risk assessment and risk mitigation in composites process manufacturing environment. Personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements: selection, inspection, operation, wearing, and disposal. Back to Duty

K5: Environmental and sustainability regulations and guidance. Environmental hazards that can arise from composite operations. Environmental management systems standard. Environmental Protection Act. Environmental signage and notices. Back to Duty

K6: Principles of sustainability and circular economy. Energy efficiency and reuse of materials. Recycling procedures. Principles of control and management of emissions and waste. Back to Duty

K7: Definition of a composite. Interaction between resin and fibre. Types of core. Benefits of adding core. Advantages and disadvantages of composites. Back to Duty

K8: The characteristics of finished composite products and their various applications. Back to Duty

K9: The difference between thermoset and thermoplastics: mechanical and thermal benefits, processing requirements, and re-cycling potential. Back to Duty

K10: Types of reinforcement materials: aramid, carbon, glass, natural fibres, and thermoplastic fibres; processing, cost, performance, benefits, and limitations. Back to Duty

K11: Types of matrix materials: bismaleimide, cyanate ester, epoxy, phenolic, polyester, vinylester, and bio-derived: processing, cost, performance, benefits, and limitations. Back to Duty

K12: The manufacture of materials: chopped strand mat, non-crimp fabrics, pre-impregnated, preforms, unidirectional, and woven reinforcements. Different weave styles: plain, satin and twill; impact on drape and mechanical properties. Back to Duty

K13: Composite process materials and consumables: peel plies, release agents, release films, sealant tapes, and vacuum bag; application and benefits of use. Back to Duty

K14: Hand lay-up techniques: open moulding, spray lay-up, and pre-impregnated. Resin infusion, resin transfer moulding, and closed moulding using vacuum techniques. Back to Duty

K15: Awareness of automated lay-up: automated fibre placement, automated tape layup, braiding, and filament winding. Back to Duty

K16: Plant, equipment, machinery, and hand tools used within composites manufacture: application and operation. Back to Duty

K17: The curing cycle. Glass transition temperature (Tg). The science of pressure and vacuum. Back to Duty

K18: Principles of process control and instrument control methodology. Back to Duty

K19: Awareness of application of digital systems to support manufacture: CAD (computer-aided design), CAM (computer-aided manufacturing), CMM (coordinate measuring machine), and additive manufacture. Back to Duty

K20: Composite tooling and product design process awareness. Back to Duty

K21: Composite mould tool manufacture methods, techniques, and considerations. Back to Duty

K22: Composite mould tool preparation and operation. Back to Duty

K23: Composite manufacture processes and principles: moulding, laminating, and curing. Back to Duty

K24: Process risk in composite manufacture and mitigation. Defect types and causes. Back to Duty

K25: Composite repair techniques: step, scarf, gel, resin injection, and riveting. Back to Duty

K26: Standard operating procedures, drawings, and work instructions: what are they, why they are important. Back to Duty

K27: Quality, cost, and delivery (QCD) standards and their importance in the workplace. Back to Duty

K28: Quality assurance, testing and inspection methods. Back to Duty

K29: Documentation requirements. Back to Duty

K30: Awareness of audits and their purpose. Back to Duty

K31: Problem solving: root cause analysis, 5-Whys. Back to Duty

K32: Continuous improvement (CI) techniques: lean, 6-sigma, KAIZEN, and 5S. Back to Duty

K33: Information technology. Management information systems, word processing, spreadsheet, email, virtual learning platforms, document sharing platforms. General data protection regulation (GDPR). Cyber security. Back to Duty

K34: Verbal communication techniques. Composite industry terminology. Back to Duty

K35: Written communication techniques. Back to Duty

K36: Principles of team working. Equality, diversity and inclusion. Back to Duty

K37: Planning, prioritising, and time management techniques. Back to Duty


S1: Review drawings, instructions, or information to understand task. Back to Duty

S2: Plan work. Identify and organise resources. Back to Duty

S3: Identify hazards and risks in the workplace. Back to Duty

S4: Apply health and safety procedures in compliance with regulations and standards. Back to Duty

S5: Apply environmental and sustainability procedures in compliance with regulations and standards. Back to Duty

S6: Apply sustainability principles for example, in choice of materials, minimising waste. Back to Duty

S7: Prepare and use mould tools. Back to Duty

S8: Select and check hand tools, equipment and machinery including calibration record. Back to Duty

S9: Use or operate hand tools, equipment, and machinery. Back to Duty

S10: Store mould tools, hand tools, and equipment. Back to Duty

S11: Select, check, and prepare materials for example, weigh resins, cut reinforcement. Back to Duty

S12: Follow quality control processes during manufacture for example, check for contaminants, record batch numbers or expiry dates. Back to Duty

S13: Apply laminate to mould for example, cut, add darts, corner definition, orientation, position, and order. Back to Duty

S14: Complete preparation for and start curing process for example, select and apply consumables for example vacuum bag, infuse with resin, add heat or pressure. Back to Duty

S15: Extract product from mould (break out). Back to Duty

S16: Conduct final product quality assurance procedure. For example, conduct grading parameters checks (size, appearance, weight), and take samples for laboratory testing. Back to Duty

S17: Identify issues for example, de-laminations, inclusions, surface defects, surface imperfections, and maintenance requirements. Back to Duty

S18: Escalate issues outside limits of responsibility. Back to Duty

S19: Segregate resources for reuse, recycling, and disposal. Back to Duty

S20: Record or enter data - paper based or electronic. For example, process and production records, traceability records, and quality assurance records. Back to Duty

S21: Interpret data for example, defect data and geometrical measurements. Use data to validate suggestions. Back to Duty

S22: Investigate a problem to identify the underlying cause. Identify a solution to the problem. Back to Duty

S23: Apply continuous improvement techniques. Devise suggestions for improvement. For example, improving the energy consumption or waste profile of processes and procedures to improve the sustainability or carbon footprint of a product, process, or task. Back to Duty

S24: Apply team working principles. Back to Duty

S25: Communicate with others verbally for example, colleagues and stakeholders. Back to Duty

S26: Communicate in written form in the workplace for example, handover notes or emails, non-conformances, design change requests. Back to Duty

S27: Use information technology for work tasks. Comply with GDPR and cyber security regulations and policies. Back to Duty

S28: Plan how to meet personal development needs. Carry out and record planned and unplanned continued professional development (CPD) activities. Evaluate CPD against plans made. Back to Duty


B1: Prioritise health and safety. Back to Duty

B2: Consider the environment and sustainability. Back to Duty

B3: Demonstrate professional integrity. Back to Duty

B4: Take responsibility for the quality of work. Back to Duty

B5: Team-focus with commitment to inclusivity. Back to Duty

B6: Respond and adapt to work demands or situations. Back to Duty

B7: Committed to continued professional development. Back to Duty

T Level in engineering, manufacturing, processing and control​

Qualification type: T Level

Qualification level: 3

Awarding organisation: City & Guilds

Approval date: 04/11/2021

Available from: 01/09/2022

Occupational specialism: Composites Manufacturing Technologies

Product page

Aligned occupational standards

ST0094 Composites technician

ST0059 Boatbuilder

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