Why Painting & Decorating?

A painting and decorating apprenticeship will teach you how to prepare surfaces, match colours, apply coatings and wallpaper and work with a variety of materials like gloss and Artex. You will also learn specialist techniques like marbling and rag-rolling to create decorative effects and spraying.

Qualification and Level

Intermediate Apprenticeship (Level 2) or Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3) in Decorative Finishing & Industrial Painting. Most candidates start on an Intermediate Apprenticeship and progress to the Advanced Level although the level may be determined by the role in the workplace and previous qualifications.

What will be studied?

Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Decorative Finishing & Industrial Painting

Units include:

Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Decorative Finishing & Industrial Painting

College based units include:

Additional Study

Are there any entry criteria?

To start the course you must be employed in a relevant role for a minimum of 30 hours per week.

In addition, for an Intermediate Apprenticeship (Level 2) you will have a minimum of 3 GCSE’s at Grade D or above to include English and Maths. You must have completed the Intermediate Apprenticeship (Level 2) prior to starting the Advanced Apprenticeship (Level 3).

Method of Delivery

Apprentices attend College on block release (approximately one week per month) and work for their employer the rest of the time.

How is the qualification assessed?

For the NVQ you will build up a portfolio, which is a collection of examples or evidence of your work that demonstrates your skills and ability, including a work diary, photos, statements from your employer and colleagues and examples of completed tasks. Assessment consists of practical tasks, observations, oral questioning, written questions, assignments, projects and written tests.

The Diploma is assessed using both practical and written tests.

The Functional Skills are assessed through online tests.


The Intermediate Apprenticeship takes two years to complete.

The Advanced Apprenticeship takes one year to complete.

What next?

Many learners progress from the Intermediate Apprenticeship to the Advanced Apprenticeship. There is then the opportunity to progress to higher-level courses such as the National Certificate or National Diploma in Construction.