Key information

  1. Reference: ST0096
  2. Date updated: 24/01/2024
  3. Level: 2
  4. Route: Construction and the built environment
  5. Regulated occupation: No

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Occupation summary

This occupation is found in both the new build and refurbishment construction sector. Project size will vary in size ranging from domestic repairs to larger contracts for home builders, commercial and retail developments. Employers and contractors of plasterers vary in size from small, local family building companies to major home builders and commercial contractors. Plasterers may choose to specialise in specific projects and progress to become masters in their field. The demand for plasterers is consistently high to support growth both in new build homes and commercial projects but also home renovation projects and heritage work on listed buildings.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to apply layers of plaster onto walls and ceilings. Plastering serves a protective function in that it makes buildings more robust, an aesthetic function as well as providing thermal values and fire protection. Plasterers need to have knowledge of dry lining to support their knowledge and skills to plaster. Solid plastering involves applying a range of plastering systems on to different background surfaces such as solid plain walls, walls with openings and returns, ceiling joists and partitions and beams using traditional and modern materials. Solid plasterers would work on site. Fibrous plastering involves creating plaster components with either a modern or contemporary design, ornamental enrichment to classical design such as column casings, ceiling roses, cornices, panel mouldings and many more. A fibrous plasterer would produce work in a workshop in addition to installing products on site. Fibrous work can be found in traditional and modern buildings and sometimes in the film industry.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with commercial, retail and domestic customers, other trades and the site management team, which could include a craft plasterer who will direct the work of the plastering team. They will also liaise with other construction trades such as bricklayers, carpenters and decorators. Plasterers can work on their own or as part of a small team.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for producing high quality work which meets standards, specifications and design plans. They are expected to comply with 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 suitability of material, waste awareness and recycling. An apprentice who completed this level can progress onto specialising in either fibrous plastering, solid plastering or external rendering.

Typical job titles include:


Core 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 K6 K7 K8 K10 K12 K13 K14 K15 K16 K19

S1 S2 S3 S4 S6 S7 S8 S9

B1 B2 B5

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

K1 K2 K6 K7 K10 K14 K16

S1 S2 S3

B1 B2 B5

Duty 3 Collaborate with stakeholders including clients and other construction trades

K1 K4 K5 K6 K9 K17

S5 S11 S12

B1 B3 B5

Duty 4 Work to the construction programme, adapting to changes in schedule and requirements where necessary

K1 K2 K4 K5 K6 K9 K11

S1 S2 S5 S12

B1 B5

Duty 5 Maintain a clear and safe workspace at all times, disposing of waste appropriately and sustainably

K1 K6 K7 K17 K18

S1 S3 S7

B1 B2 B5

Duty 6 Receive, unload, move and lift materials to site for installation following safe handling practices preventing injury or damage

K1 K6 K15 K19

S1 S4 S6 S9


Duty 7 Prepare the workspace including preparing and setting out the work and the selection of materials and tools appropriate to the project

K1 K2 K6 K10 K17

S1 S2 S7 S10


Duty 8 Carry out continuous professional development to maintain knowledge of current and future developments affecting the role

K1 K3 K6 K7 K8 K11 K12 K13

S3 S12

B2 B3 B4

Option duties

solid Plasterer duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 9 Finish drylining joints using jointing and taping

K18 K29 K31 K34

S21 S22 S23

Duty 10 Use tools and equipment to install plasterboard by direct bond to masonry or by mechanically fixing to timber or lightweight metal framing

K2 K18 K21 K23 K24 K26 K27 K28 K30 K31 K32 K34

S9 S15 S16 S18 S21 S22 S23 S24

Duty 11 Use the appropriate tools and equipment for internal surfaces and produce solid plastering finishes including two coat and skimming on plasterboard

K21 K23 K24 K25 K26 K27 K29 K31 K32 K33 K34

S13 S14 S15 S16 S17 S18 S21

Duty 12 Carry out minor repairs or modifications to plaster work

K18 K22 K23 K24 K26 K30 K31

S17 S19 S21 S23 S25

Duty 13 Use the appropriate tools and equipment for external render finishes

K18 K20 K21 K23 K24 K25 K26 K27 K28 K33 K35

S9 S14 S15 S17 S19 S20 S21



K1: Core: Awareness of health and safety regulations, standards, and guidance and impact on role. Employer and Employee responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act (HASWA) Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH). Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER). Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences (RIDDOR). Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER). Fire safety. Health and Safety at Work Act. Asbestos awareness. Fire extinguishers. Safety signage. Situational awareness. Slips, trips, and falls. Working in confined spaces. Working at height. Electrical safety. Back to Duty

K2: Core: Types of personal protective equipment (PPE) and how to use. Back to Duty

K3: Core: Employment types (self-employed and employed), small business start up principles, tax responsibilities, roles and responsibilities. Back to Duty

K4: Core: Principles of good team working. Back to Duty

K5: Core: Verbal communication techniques and construction terminology. Back to Duty

K6: Core: Safe systems of work: Site inductions, toolbox talks, risk assessments, method statements and hazard identification techniques. Back to Duty

K7: Core: Awareness of environmental and sustainability regulations, standards, and guidance. Impact of the sector on the environment: Efficient use of resources. Recycling, reuse, surface water contamination and safe disposal of waste. Back to Duty

K8: Core: The importance and considerations of the environment and sustainability: Thermal qualities, acoustics, U-values, airtightness and ventilation in buildings. Back to Duty

K9: Core: Methods of interpreting and extracting relevant information from drawings and specifications. Back to Duty

K10: Core: Principles of building: Foundations, roofs, walls, floors, utilities and services, insulation, fire, damp proof courses (DPC) and quality of materials, Damp Proof Membrane (DPM), fire protection and insulation and expansion joints. Back to Duty

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

K12: Core: Inclusion, equity and diversity in the workplace. Back to Duty

K13: Core: Well-being: Mental and physical health considerations in self and others and how to access support. Back to Duty

K14: Core: Standards and regulations associated with plastering activities: British standards, building regulations and manufacturers’ instructions and warranty. Back to Duty

K15: Core: Techniques to move and handle plastering materials and equipment, manually and with lifting equipment. Back to Duty

K16: Core: Use of power tools and equipment: pre user checks, use, maintenance, defect or fault escalation. Back to Duty

K17: Core: Methods of protecting work and the surrounding work areas, the impact of plastering work on customers’ properties, other trades and the project. Back to Duty

K18: Core: Material storage techniques, stock rotation and date order. Back to Duty

K19: Core: Principles and practices of working at height safely and the use of access equipment. Back to Duty

K20: SP: Basic Material estimation techniques for internal plastering and external rendering. Back to Duty

K21: SP: Mixing techniques for solid plastering and rendering: Ratios, pre-mixed, hand mixing and mechanical mixing. Back to Duty

K22: SP: Defects and repair: solid Plaster defects and repair methods. Back to Duty

K23: SP: Hand tools, types, use and storage techniques, for internal solid plastering and rendering. Back to Duty

K24: SP: Setting coat plaster hand application and finishing techniques: setting coat on floating coat, setting coat on plasterboard and use of beads. Back to Duty

K25: SP: Floating coat plaster hand application, consolidation, mechanical key and beading techniques Back to Duty

K26: SP: Plain face render hand application and finishing techniques: plain face render coat and forming hard angles. Back to Duty

K27: SP: Principles of machine application of plastering and rendering materials. Back to Duty

K28: SP: Render base coat hand application techniques: render dubbing out, scratch coat and render bead application. Back to Duty

K29: SP: Fixing techniques of plasterboards to backgrounds: direct bond with adhesive, mechanical fixing, reinforcement of joints, spanning joists and staggering. Back to Duty

K30: SP: Methods of measuring, marking out and cutting plasterboard using hand tools. Back to Duty

K31: SP: Principles of dry lining: application, joint reinforcement, jointing compound and finishing. Back to Duty

K32: SP: Principles of levelling compound use and materials: sands, cement, ready mixed screeds, timber rail screed and self-levelling. Back to Duty

K33: SP: Principles and characteristics of solid plastering and rendering surface preparation and beading: render beads, solid plaster beads, keying (mechanical bonding), clean surface, expanded Metal Lath (EML), Rib lath, solid plastering and render primers and sealers. Back to Duty

K34: SP: Types and characteristics of setting plaster and plasterboards, tapered edge, square edge, size, plasterboard adhesives, lightweight backing plasters, finishing plasters, bonding compounds, joint reinforcement. Back to Duty

K35: SP: Types and characteristics of traditional and modern rendering materials: sands and cements, silicone-based renders, render reinforcement mesh, pebble dash, accelerators, limes, plasticisers and waterproofer. Back to Duty

K36: FP: Basic material estimation techniques for fibrous plastering. Back to Duty

K37: FP: Mixing techniques for fibrous plastering and moulding applications: ratios, gauging and reinforcement. Back to Duty

K38: FP: Defects and repair: fibrous Plaster defects and repair methods. Back to Duty

K39: FP: Hand tools, types, use and storage techniques, for fibrous plastering. Back to Duty

K40: FP: Setting and marking out techniques for fibrous plaster cornice application. Back to Duty

K41: FP: Moulding production techniques. Back to Duty

K42: FP: Mould Casting and release techniques to produce fibrous plaster components: reinforcements, firstings and seconds, application of materials, sealing and release agent application and component removal. Back to Duty

K43: FP: Mechanical and direct bond securing and finishing techniques for fibrous plastering components. Back to Duty

K44: FP: Methods of measuring, marking out and cutting fibrous plastering products to produce straight and 90 degree (mitred) joints and stops. Back to Duty

K45: FP: Background surface preparation techniques for fibrous plastering component application: keying (mechanical bonding), clean surface, Expanded Metal Lath (EML), Rib lath, surface primers and sealers. Back to Duty

K46: FP: Types and characteristics of materials, for fibrous moulding: timber, zinc, flexible moulds, cold pour compounds, release agents, grease, pre-mixed plasters, benches, running rules, busks, casting plaster, canvas, laths, sealants, shellac, retarders and adhesives. Back to Duty

K47: FP: Production methods of positive and negative fibrous moulding: running mould, reverse moulds, flexible moulds, plain reverse mould, loose piece moulds, insertion mould, metal template, horsing up running mould, metal template stock, horse or slipper and brace. Back to Duty

K48: FP: Types and characteristics of fibrous components: cornice, dados, skirtings, ceiling centres. Back to Duty

K49: FP: Setting out techniques for fibrous plaster dados and ceiling centres. Back to Duty


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

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

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

S4: Core: Use access equipment for example, hop ups, podiums or low-level scaffolding. Back to Duty

S5: Core: Interpret information from drawings and specifications. Back to Duty

S6: Core: Store materials considering date order for rotation of stock. Back to Duty

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

S8: Core: Check, use and store power tools and equipment, escalate faults or defects. Back to Duty

S9: Core: Move and handle materials and equipment manually and with lifting equipment. Back to Duty

S10: Core: Protect finished work and the surrounding area. Back to Duty

S11: Core: Verbally communicate with others, for example colleagues, other tradespeople, managers and customers. Back to Duty

S12: Core: Applies team working principles to their own and the wider build team. Back to Duty

S13: SP: Estimate quantities and select solid plastering and render materials. Back to Duty

S14: SP: Select, use and store hand tools for solid plastering and rendering. Back to Duty

S15: SP: Mix materials for solid plastering and render to ratio. Back to Duty

S16: SP: Apply floating coat plaster to solid back grounds, including the formation of 90 degree angles with bead, consolidation and mechanical key application. Back to Duty

S17: SP: Apply setting coat plaster to floating coat plasters, including forming 90 degree angles with bead. Back to Duty

S18: SP: Apply setting coat plaster to plasterboard surfaces. Back to Duty

S19: SP: Apply plain face render to scratch coat renders, including forming a hard angle. Back to Duty

S20: SP: Apply scratch coat renders, including mechanical key, dobbing out coats and application of render beads. Back to Duty

S21: SP: Prepare background surfaces to receive solid plasters, and renders, including the application of solid plastering and render primers and sealers. Back to Duty

S22: SP: Measure, mark out and cut plasterboard to fit area and obstacles, using hand tools. Back to Duty

S23: SP: Install plasterboard to timber surfaces and reinforce joints. Back to Duty

S24: SP: Direct bond plasterboard to solid backgrounds, including sealing around obstacles. Back to Duty

S25: SP: Carry out solid plaster repair: For example, replace plasterboard, patch plaster to solid background. Back to Duty

S26: FP: Select, use and store hand tools for fibrous plastering applications. Back to Duty

S27: FP: Estimate quantities and select fibrous plastering materials. Back to Duty

S28: FP: Prepare and mix fibrous plaster materials, including reinforcement. Back to Duty

S29: FP: Prepare and mark out background surfaces to receive fibrous plaster components. Back to Duty

S30: FP: Construct moulds. Back to Duty

S31: FP: Prepare bench and moulds for casting. Back to Duty

S32: FP: Run mould and release casts. Back to Duty

S33: FP: Measure and cut fibrous components to form straight and mitred cuts. Back to Duty

S34: FP: Set and mark out for cornice installation. Back to Duty

S35: FP: Fix cornice including straight runs, stops and 90 degree internal and external angles. Back to Duty

S36: FP: Carry out fibrous plaster repair, for example, replacement or patching. Back to Duty

S37: FP: Set out for fibrous plaster dados and ceiling centres. Back to Duty

S38: FP: fix fibrous plaster dados and ceiling centres. Back to Duty


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

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

B3: Contribute to an inclusive and diverse culture. Back to Duty

B4: Seeks to maintain and enhance competence of self through continuous improvement. Back to Duty

B5: Team-focus to meet team goals including, considering the wider 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: Plastering

Product page

Aligned occupational standards

ST0096 Plasterer

Options: Solid Plastering , Fibrous Plastering

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