« Go Back

Apprenticeship Painter and Decorator Level 2 StandardApply Now »

Course Image
Level: 2

Location: Hudson Building

Years: 3

Interview: Y

Course Summary

This course meets the needs of students who have gained an apprenticeship position as a painter and decorator.  It allows them to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for their employment.

The course is delivered in conjunction with the apprentice's employer and support is given to ensure specific training is available to meet all needs.


Entry requirements

You should have gained employment as an apprentice with a construction or building company, with the main focus of your role being on painting and decorating

You will need a minimum of GCSE grade D/3 or above in English and Maths and you will be required to undertake a basic skills test in literacy and numeracy at the College.

A Pass or above in a Construction-based course or an equivalent qualification is desirable, although not always required.

A commitment to your own learning and performance in a working environment is essential.

Course Content


A painter and decorator will know and understand:

Work methods:

  • The purpose of a range of equipment, tools and materials.
  • The characteristics of materials and their reaction to atmospheric conditions.
  • Safe and efficient methods of use, maintenance, movement, protection and storage of materials and equipment.
  • Work hazards, safe working methods and appropriate safety requirements.
  • How to work at height including the safe use of platforms, steps, ladders and scaffold.

Identify and respond to customer needs:

  • The most appropriate products and use of colour in different settings.
  • The company’s services.
  • Methods of formal and informal communication.
  • The uses of information technology in the workplace.
  • Principles of costing, pricing and budgeting.
  • Time, scheduling and costs associated with a project.

Construction industry and building methods:

  • Key factors and systems of working in different sectors, such as occupied properties, health and education facilities where residents, patients and students may be present.
  • Key differences between modern and traditional construction methods.

Product and specification information:

  • Differences of each product type, for example: water-borne, solvent-borne and epoxy.
  • Drying, curing and recoating times.
  • The effect of colour in relation to good design and colour and contrast for people with impaired vision.
  • The causes of common problems, how these can be prevented and how to correct them.
  • Data sheets, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health sheets, method statements and risk assessments.

Preparation and application and removal:

  • Difference in systems for new and pre-decorated surfaces.
  • Types of preparation methods including removal of previous coatings and wallcoverings using hand tools, power tools and chemicals.
  • Traditional and modern methods of making good surfaces.
  • Different systems for metals, wood, plastic and factory finishes.
  • Techniques of application by brush, roller, pressure assisted roller and spray application.
  • Specialist decorative techniques, for example: graining, marbling and gilding.
  • The skills of removal and application of wallcoverings.


A painter and decorator will be able to:

Work methods:

  • Prepare the work area safely, providing dust sheets and protection to furniture and adjacent surfaces.
  • Identify hazards and risks in the workplace, ensuring a safe environment is maintained at all times.
  • Select, use, maintain and store paint, tools, wallcoverings, spray equipment, steps, ladders and towers safely.
  • Follow and maintain work procedures and method statements.
  • Make the most efficient and effective use of resources, time and materials.
  • React correctly using the correct method of actions and reporting in the event of an accident or incident.

Identify and respond to customer needs:

  • Identify different industry sectors such as new construction, social housing, residential, refurbishment, commercial and heritage.
  • Identify different building methods e.g. steel frame, reinforced concrete frame, traditional solid wall and cavity wall, block and dry-lined which determine the appropriate paint products and specifications.

Product and specification Information:

  • Interpret specification documents and ensure correct preparation and systems are followed.
  • Refer to manufacturers’ product information and data sheets to avoid errors.
  • Advise clients about basic colour choices.
  • Recommend appropriate products for differing scenarios and sectors.
  • Identify and rectify common surface coating and wall covering problems.
  • Interpret and use health and safety documents.

Preparation and application and removal:

  • Identify substrates, hard wood, soft wood, ferrous and non- ferrous metal, factory finished etc.
  • Prepare and strip surfaces using abrasives, chemical etchants, power sanders, heat and liquid methods.
  • Understand and apply powder, two-pack, surfacers and resin fillers.
  • Use different application methods: brush, roller, spray, power-assisted rollers and special effect tools.
  • Wallpaper using techniques for the hanging of lining paper, standard papers, digital print and wide width including matching patterns, internal and external corners.


Painters and decorators will be expected to demonstrate:

  • Their responsibilities towards their own and others' safety in the workplace. 
  • A strong work ethic, being motivated, reliable and adaptable.
  • Attention to detail, quality and continuous improvement. 
  • An awareness of the mission, aims, markets, products and services of the business.
  • A customer-focused attitude. 
  • Effective communication in a team, with clients or with management. 

How will I be assessed?

The apprenticeship will be completed through an end-point assessment (EPA) which will assess how the apprentice can apply the skills, knowledge and behaviours they have acquired during the programme. This will be through the following three assessments carried out after the gateway point of the apprenticeship:

  1. Knowledge test – consisting of multiple-choice questions on either a paper-based or computer-based platform.
  2. Skills test – assessed over three consecutive days by an Independent Assessor to holistically assess the skills, knowledge and behaviours acquired throughout the apprenticeship. 
  3. Professional discussion – assessed by an Independent Assessor following the skills test, this discussion will consist of questions that clarify and probe the apprentice’s knowledge and skills based on the portfolio of evidence they have developed.

The EPA can only be taken after the conditions of the Assessment Gateway have been successfully achieved. 

If not already achieved, the apprentice will have to attain Level 1 English and Maths and take the test for Level 2 prior to their end-point assessment.

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

Your employer should provide you with Personal Protective Equipment.

What can I do after this course?

You can progress to supervisory, management or professional and technical courses and qualifications.


Did you find the course information on this page useful?


This course is run at the Hudson Building

Hudson Building

About the Hudson Building»

Angela Ward

Angela Ward

Brushing up on skills for a decorating business

Mother-of-two Angela Ward returned to Derby College to study painting and decorating with a clear goal in mind – to set up in business.
With skills and qualifications under her belt, she is now planning to launch her own venture decorating children’s bedrooms with bespoke artwork and murals. Angela had previously worked with elderly people as a carer before giving up her job to bring up her children.
But she was determined to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams, so enrolled at College as a mature learner. Her high quality work, dedication and professional approach earned her the Construction Built Environment prize, sponsored by Bowmer & Kirkland, at our 2014 Peak Awards.

It has been a struggle to juggle College and home life but I have loved every minute of it. The Peak Awards were a lovely way to finish my Derby College experience.


Go to top