Training and NVQ Essentials: Heritage Stonemasonry


We are thrilled to share that we have been awarded the contract for delivering the Heritage Construction Skills NVQ3 in Carpentry, Plastering, and Masonry in 2024. These contracts are a part of CITB's Specialist Applied Skills Programme.

Our flexible training programme lets you decide if you would like to follow only the training, or if you would like to get an industry recognised qualification by follow our NVQ3 Training and Assessment programme.

An NVQ, or National Vocational Qualification, is a work-based qualification that assesses an individual's competence and skills in a specific job role. These qualifications are designed to enhance professional development, validate practical skills, and contribute to a skilled and qualified workforce.

Tailored for construction professionals aiming to enhance their skillset, the programme ensures the achievement of a recognised training qualification. CITB-registered companies may be eligible for grants covering training and assessment costs, as well as support for travel, accommodation, and off-site expenses. If your company isn't CITB registered, self-funding options are also available.

Why learn heritage skills?

Training individuals in heritage skills is paramount for various reasons. These skills play a pivotal role in guaranteeing the preservation and effective management of our historical buildings. The cultivation of such expertise is needed to foster a community that not only values but actively safeguards its rich cultural heritage.

As repair and maintenance of the existing building stock accounts for almost half of all construction industry expenditure, these skills are also essential to the Welsh economy. Also, the most sustainable building is the one that already exists - understanding how to care for our older buildings is crucial in reducing emissions and working towards a more sustainable future.

Here is a breakdown of what to expect:

What are the elements of NVQ Heritage Stonemasonry?

  • Setting out and erecting complex masonry structures
  • Best Practice in Conserving or restoring masonry
  • Knowledge and identification of materials for heritage masonry
  • Specialist Techniques used in heritage masonry
  • Architectural Recognition
  • Recognition of defects- cause and effect
  • Knowledge and understanding of Conservation Law

There is a total of 20 days training. This is normally delivered in 4 x 1-week blocks.


We were thrilled to welcome Oliver Coe, Coe Stone Ltd. to our team of tutors and assessors this year. Oliver is a Master Mason with a wealth of experience working on prestigious projects. His learners this year included Matthew James (Cadw); Max Dixon (Jones and Fraser Ltd.) and Chris Haxton (The Wessex Conservation Company).

As part of 2023’s course, we were grateful to both National Trust in Dinefwr and The National Botanic Gardens of Wales for providing us with interesting stonework repair projects for the group to get their teeth in to.

Speaking on the course, here’s what each learner had to say:

Matthew James

“I found it really valuable because it was a chance to learn and improve my skills and use them in a practical sense on heritage building and on a working site. Rather than in a classroom.

Work put me through the course and I am very grateful. The in depth knowledge of different lime mortars and details explanations of how they work and when to use them. Now I use these skills every day, ensuring that when working on the ancient monuments, we are doing so correctly. I would definitely recommend the course. The training staff are very engaging and helped me a lot through the process.”  

Max Dixon

“I found out about the course through my employer. I wanted to go through it to go to the next stage of stonemasonry. All the hands-on stuff was brilliant – a good experience. Onsite work was perfect for me. If you are new, don’t be worried about not knowing enough, you start off with the basics and fundamentals and go from there.

“The skills I learned on the course come into play everyday – I fully recommend the course to others. It is a confidence boost knowing I can deal with the variety of work and add another layer to my skillset.”

To register your interest, and for further details, visit the dedicated course page here, and fill in the contact form.