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Weighing up whether it’s worth obtaining a construction NVQ (National Vocational Qualification)?

Regardless of whether you’ve already considered taking a construction NVQ or you’ve only just heard of this type of qualification, rest assured, we can help you to fully explore your options.

At SB Skills Solutions, our team of assessors has guided countless NVQ course applicants through this process and helped them to achieve their chosen nationally recognised qualification.

To help you determine whether a construction NVQ is the right route for you and your career, our experts explain some of the construction industry NVQs currently available and how to choose the right type and level of NVQ to meet your needs.

We’ll also answer some of the frequently-asked questions surrounding construction NVQs such as how long they take to complete, how much they cost, and which course will help you to obtain the highest level of construction NVQ.

What is an NVQ in construction?

A construction NVQ is a type of work-based qualification that demonstrates your skills, experience, and competence in a particular area of the construction industry.

A construction NVQ (alongside passing the Health and Safety Awareness test) is essential for individuals hoping to secure a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or a Skilled

Worker Card.

With a CSCS Card or Skilled Worker Card, you’ll be instantly more employable as contractors can be confident you have the relevant health and safety knowledge to work effectively on a construction site.

As a result, a construction NVQ can make a massive difference to your job prospects and earning potential. 

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of obtaining a construction NVQ, don’t hesitate to contact the SB Skills Solutions team today.

How are construction NVQs assessed?

A type of work-based qualification, construction NVQs are assessed over a significant period (typically 6-12 months) while the learner builds up evidence of their work.

During this time, the candidate will complete relevant practical assignments in their workplace while being observed and questioned by a qualified assessor to test their competency and understanding.

To take a construction NVQ, the applicant must therefore already be working in a construction role. 

Full-time employees as well as school and college students working part-time or on a placement can take an NVQ to broaden their skills, experience, and competence in a particular construction role.

This type of assessment is known as On-Site Assessment Training (OSAT) and can be useful for individuals that want to receive national recognition for their skills, experience, and competence in a certain construction role.

How much do construction NVQs cost?

The exact cost of obtaining a construction NVQ depends on several factors. 

Not only will the price vary depending on your chosen course, NVQ level, and training assessor, but it will also be impacted by whether you choose the fast-track route or your qualification is being funded by your workplace.

While many factors can affect the price of obtaining a construction NVQ, these assessments tend to cost anywhere from just below £1,000 up to a few thousand pounds in the UK.

However, it’s also worth noting that some NVQ qualifications are CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) grant claimable. 

Put simply, thanks to the Short Period Qualification Grants scheme, this means companies that are CITB-registered can claim back £1,500 upon completed of the qualification (subject to CITB approval).

How long does it take to achieve a construction NVQ?

One of the biggest benefits to taking a construction NVQ is that there’s no set deadline for when all the work needs to be completed. 

This is because the course is designed to be taken at the individual’s pace (within reason) and suit their specific needs. 

Construction NVQs are taken while you work at your workplace in the form of OSAT. 

During this time, you’ll complete a variety of practical assignments that will be observed by a qualified assessor, helping you to build up a portfolio of evidence of your work.

The assessor will also question you while you complete this work to help test the level of your knowledge and understanding.

In many cases, however, obtaining an NVQ takes between 6-12 months to achieve, but it’s not uncommon for a learner to finish this course earlier. 

Fast-track assessments can also speed up this process if you’re keen to achieve your construction NVQ as soon as possible.

At SB Skills Solutions, for example, our fast-track option can help learners to achieve the qualification for their chosen course in as little as four weeks! However, this is dependent on the candidate having the required availability to complete the necessary units in a timely manner.

Ultimately, due to the nature of how construction NVQs are assessed and the optional fast-track route, the exact timeline for achieving a construction NVQ varies from learner to learner.

What construction NVQs are available?

Regardless of whether you’re looking for an entry-level or more advanced qualification, there are plenty of construction NVQs available to suit a variety of candidates.  

At SB Skills Solutions, we have a wide range of construction NVQs that learners can take between levels 2-7. 

Below, we list the NVQ construction courses currently available, but you can also explore some of these construction NVQs in more detail by taking a look at our NVQ course list.

  • Certificate in Interior Systems NVQ Level 2
  • Warehousing and Storage NVQ Level 2
  • Cladding Occupations NVQ Level 2
  • Controlling Lifting Operations – Slinger/Signaller NVQ Level 2
  • Curtain Wall Installation NVQ Level 2
  • Steel Erecting NVQ Level 2
  • Steel Fixing Occupations NVQ Level 2
  • Waterproof Membrane Roofing Systems NVQ Level 2
  • Wood Occupations NVQ Level 2
  • Plant Operations NVQ Level 2
  • Cladding Occupations NVQ Level 3
  • Fenestration Installation NVQ Level 3
  • Steel Erecting NVQ Level 3
  • Occupational Work and Supervision NVQ Level 3
  • Roofing Occupations NVQ Level 3
  • Controlling Lifting Operations – Supervising Lifts – NVQ Level 4
  • Controlling Lifting Operations – Planning Lifts – NVQ Level 5
  • Occupational Health and Safety Practice NVQ Level 6
  • Construction Site Management NVQ Level 6
  • Construction Senior Management NVQ Level 7

What’s the highest level of construction NVQ?

Currently, the highest level of construction NVQ you can achieve is the Construction Senior Management NVQ Level 7. 

Aimed at senior managers in the construction industry, this Level 7 qualification covers the higher responsibilities that senior managers working in a wide range of job roles should possess.

Obtaining this qualification will also make you eligible to apply for your Black CSCS Card – a card that demonstrates your occupational competence and ability to safely hold a management position on a construction site. 

As a result, it can help broaden your employment opportunities and boost your earning potential. 

Which construction NVQ level is right for me?

Unsure where to start when it comes to choosing the right construction NVQ level for you? 

Construction NVQs can be anywhere between level 2 to level 7, so understanding which one you should apply for can feel complicated.

Generally, the higher the NVQ level, the harder the qualification is to complete in terms of the candidate’s knowledge, skills, experience, and competence.

It’s also worth noting that some construction NVQs can be taken based on the level appropriate to your current job role and experience. 

As a result, it may not be necessary for you to complete a level 2 NVQ qualification before you can take your level 3.

In other cases, passing the lower-level qualification may be a prerequisite before you can move onto the higher-level construction NVQ. 

To help you make the right level decision to suit your requirements, we list the different construction NVQ levels, a general overview of what’s covered at each level, and their equivalent (or nearest comparable) academic level.

Level 2

To take a level 2 construction NVQ, you must have some knowledge or experience in the topic that you want to be assessed on. It will concentrate on ensuring you have the fundamental skills and understanding.

Academically equivalent to achieving GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) grades 9 – 4 standard pass or BTEC (Business and Technology Education Council) first certificate, this is a common starting point for those who have just started working in the construction industry.

Level 3

A level 3 construction NVQ will cover a wide range of duties and more complex work in your chosen role than level 2, but it will also have a focus on developing your supervisory skills, including autonomy and responsibility.

So, how does it compare to other qualifications in the UK? It’s academically equivalent to two A-Level qualifications, a BTEC National, and an Ordinary National Certificate (ONC).

Level 4

If you’re considering taking a level 4 construction NVQ, then it’s likely that you’ll have obtained some degree of management experience.

This NVQ level 4 qualification is often taken after an individual has achieved A-levels, an Access to Higher Education programme, or a similar Level 3 course. It’s equivalent to the first year of a bachelor’s degree, a Licentiateship (LCGI), and a higher apprenticeship.

Level 5

A level 5 construction NVQ is similar to level 4 in that it has a focus on management and the training of others. You’ll need to demonstrate significant experience and a deeper understanding of your chosen role in the construction industry, including how to respond to more complex situations.

Broadly comparable to academic qualifications such as a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE), a Foundation Degree, and an IVQ (International Vocational Qualification) Advanced Technician

Diploma, a level 5 NVQ can help candidates to pursue a career in a variety of construction disciplines.

It’s also equivalent to the second the year of a bachelor’s degree.

Level 6

Designed for senior managers, a level 6 construction NVQ is designed for individuals that are either currently working as a construction site manager or a role at the same level. Often, this level of NVQ is taken by individuals that oversee larger construction projects and sites.

It’s also equivalent to a degree apprenticeship, degree with honours, Graduateship (Graduateship of the City and Guilds of London Institute or GCGI), and Associateship (Associateship of The City and Guilds of London Institute or ACGI).

Level 7

Similar to the level 6 qualification, the level 7 construction NVQ is also aimed at senior managers and is the highest construction NVQ you can achieve. Applicants for this qualification should have substantial experience with both leading and controlling construction projects, covering topics like design and procurement.

Unsure what this high-level NVQ qualification is equivalent to academically? A level 7 construction NVQ is broadly comparable to working at a postgraduate level, achieving Membership (Membership of the City and Guilds of London Institute – MCGI), or a Master of Professional Studies (MPS).

How SB Skills Solutions can help with construction NVQs

At SB Skills Solutions, we have a professional team of experienced instructors that can help you to achieve a wide range of NVQ qualifications. 

Offering a selection of courses between levels 2-7, you can work your way all the way up to a Construction Senior Management NVQ Level 7 qualification.

By achieving an NVQ related to a particular industry or sector, you’ll have a recognised qualification that can be invaluable for demonstrating your competence, skills, and experience in this area.

Regardless of whether you want to expand your career in the construction industry, increase your earning potential, or achieve a nationally recognised qualification to confirm the skillset you’ve acquired, our knowledgeable NVQ assessors can help!

Unsure whether we’re the right choice for you? We have a wide range of clients including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), blue-chip companies, and even individuals looking to improve their skills and obtain sought-after recognition.

All our NVQ courses are supervised by fully qualified trainers and testers with extensive experience in the construction industry as well as a wealth of knowledge. Maintaining a high level of professionalism and support at all times, we can help you to gain your desired NVQ at your own pace.

To learn more about the variety of NVQ courses available at SB Skills Solutions or to book a course today, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our helpful team of qualified assessors.

If you’d like to discuss your specific construction industry training requirements in more detail, simply give us a call on 01695 558420. Alternatively, you can also get in touch via email by sending your enquiry to

No matter how you choose to reach out, we look forward to learning more about your NVQ training and assessment requirements soon.