DMR Training is an approved assessment centre for Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Decorative Finishing ā€“ Painting and Decorating. We aim to help you gain your Level 3 Painting and Decorating NVQ as quickly and conveniently as possible.



Example of a Gold Skilled Worker card

The Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Decorative Finishing – Painting and Decorating course is for experienced decorators who meet the recognised occupational standards. The qualification validates the skills and experience you have already acquired in your construction career.

We deliver NVQ Level 3 in Painting and Decorating through the Onsite Assessment and Training (OSAT) route which allows you to work towards the NVQ at your own pace. It is a workplace and evidence-based qualification; classroom learning is rarely needed to achieve.

Please refer to the ā€˜Entry Requirementsā€™ and ā€˜Assessment Processā€™ sections for examples of job tasks assessed during the NVQ.

Once you achieve this NVQ, you will become eligible to apply for the CSCS Gold Skilled Worker card.

Depending on your level of skill and experience, you may elect to take the Level 2 Painting and Decorating NVQ first if you havenā€™t already but this is a not mandatory requirement: jump straight in at Level 3 if you have experience!

To undertake an NVQ Level 3 in Painting and Decorating, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum of three to four years experience working in painting and decorating on domestic / commercial buildings or New Build construction sites (it helps if you have experience of both environments but is not essential).
  • Must currently be working as a painter and decorator.
  • Aged 19+.

To ensure you meet the minimum entry requirements, your NVQ assessor will carry out a pre-enrolment skills diagnostic in a number of the job tasks listed below.

  • Working to specification such as using the correct type of paint (gloss, satin etc), the correct colour or correct brand (Dulex, Crown etc.).
  • Carrying out preparation for painting such as stripping wallpaper or paint, washing down surfaces, applying specified primers (wood, metal, wall etc.), applying undercoats, applying fillers (cork, powder, two-part etc.).
  • Mixing paint and thinning to correct ratio / consistency.
  • Protecting work environment or customerā€™s home using dust sheets and masking tape.
  • Safely disposing waste and properly storing paint and equipment.
  • Applying paint by brush or roller to either internal or external surfaces, walls, ceilings, windows, radiators, skirting boards and other surface types.
  • Cutting in paint to an acceptable standard.
  • Laying on and off.
  • Using and maintaining tools such as steam strippers, knives, scrapers, extension poles and dust sheets.
  • Awareness and application of safe working practices (see ā€˜Assessment processā€™ section).
  • Ordering painting and decorating materials and supplies.
  • Supervising other workers (if relevant) and communicating with site managers and clients.

To achieve the Level 3 NVQ, you will also need experience in a specialist area such as hanging standard and non-standard wallcoverings, applying paint by air or airless spray systems and installing coving and decorative mouldings. See requirements section for a full list of optional units.

At the start of your NVQ Level 3 in Painting and Decorating, we will assign you an NVQ assessor who will work with you for the duration of the course as you build a portfolio of work-based evidence.

Types of evidence may include:

  • An onsite observation while you work, carried out by your assessor in your workplace.
  • Photographs or videos of you working. You can take photos and videos yourself or ask a workmate to do it for you. Your assessor will advise you on best practice for capturing evidence this way.
  • References, employer endorsements or witness testimonies verifying your work as a decorator. For example, you can submit a witness testimony from a homeowner whose house you decorated, or an employer from a previous job.
  • Detailed job logs of work you have completed during the NVQ.
  • A recorded professional discussion with your assessor either face-to-face, over the telephone or online (e.g. via Zoom). A professional discussion is ideal for covering aspects of the job that your assessor is unable to see during the workplace observation. For example, if your assessor is unable to watch you stripping wallpaper, you could cover this topic during a recorded discussion.
  • Coursework covering the ā€˜theoryā€™ of painting and decorating, and construction health and safety. This comes in the form of a Q&A pack. You can choose to handwrite the answers, type them up on a computer, or provide them verbally using a digital voice recorder.

During your painting and decorating NVQ, your assessor will support you in gathering work-based evidence for a range of skills. As well as the job-specific skills listed in the ā€˜Entry Requirementsā€™ section, you will need to provide evidence in some of the areas listed below.

  • Knowledge and use of full PPE such as bib and brace, dust mask when sanding down or safety glasses when scraping, boots, hard hat or hi vis clothing (where relevant).
  • Attendance of site inductions and toolbox talks.
  • Working safely at height and using access equipment such as steps, ladders or mobile scaffold.
  • Following risk assessments.
  • General knowledge of paints and materials, and their application.

Your assessor will cross-reference your evidence against the NVQ units until your portfolio is complete. Our internal verification team will then check your portfolio and claim your NVQ certificate with NOCN.

Although decorators can take up to six months or more to achieve their Level 3 NVQ, we find that most complete the qualification in 3 to 4 months.

Ultimately, the qualification will fit around your professional and personal commitments. Work towards it at a speed you feel comfortable.

Please visit our Funding & Grants page to check if funding is available.

If you are ineligible for government support, we offer affordable self-funded assessment payable in four instalments of 25%.

Please contact us to discussĀ funding and costs.

On completion of your Level 3 Painting and Decorating NVQ course, you can apply for your Gold Skilled Worker card.

If you require a CSCS card while you are working towards your NVQ, you can apply for your temporary Experienced Worker card (red card).

All CSCS card applicants must first pass the CITB Health, Safety and Environment test (HS&E test).

After achieving Level 3 and depending on your experience, you may have the option to advance to NVQ Level 3 in Occupational Work Supervision or NVQ Level 4 in Construction Site Supervision.

When you decide to proceed with your NVQ, we will carry out a quick skills diagnostic to confirm your suitability for the qualification and the onsite assessment route.

We will then enrol you on the qualification with NOCN and issue your welcome email. Your assessor will contact you for your introductory telephone conversation and put together your assessment action plan.

For an initial commitment-free consultation, please call us onĀ 01942 673047Ā orĀ send us your detailsĀ and we will get back to you.



Candidates must complete the seven mandatory units

  • Applying Surface Coatings by Brush and Roller in the Workplace
  • Confirming the Occupational Method of Work in the Workplace
  • Confirming Work Activities and Resources for an Occupational Work Area in the Workplace
  • Conforming to General Health, Safety and Welfare in the Workplace
  • Developing and Maintaining Good Occupational Working Relationships in the Workplace
  • Erecting and Dismantling Access/Working Platforms in the Workplace
  • Preparing Surfaces for Painting and/or Decorating in the Workplace


Candidates must choose two optional units – one from each optional unit group


  • Hanging Non-Standard Width Wallcoverings in the Workplace
  • Hanging Wallcoverings (standard and foundation papers) in the Workplace


  • Applying Coatings by the Air Spray Method in the Workplace
  • Applying Coatings by the Airless Spray Method in the Workplace
  • Applying Coatings to Produce Textured Finishes in the Workplace
  • Applying Metal Leaf to Surfaces in the Workplace
  • Hanging Wallcoverings (specialised paper) in the Workplace
  • Hanging Wallcoverings to Complex Surfaces in the Workplace
  • Installing Coving and Decorative Mouldings in the Workplace
  • Producing and Applying Complex Stencils in the Workplace
  • Producing Broken Colour Effects in the Workplace
  • Producing Comb Textured Finishes in the Workplace
  • Producing Marbling Effects in the Workplace
  • Producing Quality Replica Marble Finishes in the Workplace
  • Producing Quality Replica Wood Grained Finishes in the Workplace
  • Producing Stencilled Designs Using Pre-cut Stencil Plates in the Workplace
  • Producing Straight Wood Grained Effects in the Workplace


For an initial commitment-free consultation about your NVQ please call us on 01942 673047 or register your interest via the APPLY NOW link.

Once we receive your enquiry, a member of our training and assessment team will contact you to discuss your NVQ and answer any questions you have.


If you’re an employee or self-employed worker interested in NVQ assessment for yourself, please send us your enquiry via the link below.


If you’re enquiring about a group booking on behalf of your company, please use the link below.


There are several reasons you might take an NVQ, ranging from increased earning potential and career prospects, to gaining your CSCS card. See our short guide ā€“Ā Why Should You Do an NVQ?

Before starting your level 3 qualification, an assessor will be assigned to work with you and provide ongoing support. DMR assessors are former construction workers with at least five yearsā€™ experience in NVQ assessment. They hold an A1 or TAQA assessorā€™s qualification, a minimum of NVQ Level 2 in their occupational area and a blue or gold CSCS card.

We provide full training to all our assessors in supporting people with dyslexia or learning disabilities. If you need extra support and guidance with the written elements of your Painting and Decorating NVQ, your assessor will draw up an assessment plan tailored to your needs.

An NVQ is a workplace competency qualification. As a competent painter and decorator, you will be expected to document your skills and experience through various types of ā€˜evidenceā€™.

Your assessor will carry out at least one observation in your place of work. You will also complete coursework in your own time.

To achieve your qualification, you will not need to travel, there are no exams to sit, and you will not need to take time off work. Your assessor will provide support and guidance face-to-face, by phone and by email.

CITB-registered employers can claim a grant of Ā£600 for every employee or contractor who completes an NVQ Level 2 to 7. You can find more information on theĀ CITB website.

Government NVQ funding is available for construction workers who meet specific criteria. PleaseĀ get in touchĀ with us to find out if you are eligible for funding.

When you have completed your Level 3 NVQ portfolio, our internal verification team will check it for compliance. They will then claim your certificate with NOCN. Once we have received your certificate from the awarding body, we will forward it to you by recorded delivery. This process usually takes between two and four weeks.

To get your CSCS Skilled Worker card, you will also need to pass theĀ CITB Health, Safety & Environment TestĀ at your local test centre.

You can apply for your card by visiting www.cscs.uk.com/applying-for-cards. You will need to upload a copy of your NVQ certificate and have a debit or credit card ready to pay the Ā£36 fee.

Yes, if you need a CSCS card while you are doing your qualification, you can apply for the Experienced Worker card. You can request this card as soon as we have enrolled you on the NVQ (you will also need to pass the CITB Health, Safety & Environment Test).

To apply for the temporary card, we will email you your proof of enrolment which you must submit to CSCS.

You will then upgrade to the Gold Skilled Worker card once you have finished the qualification.

You can call us onĀ 01942 673047Ā or get in touch through ourĀ contact form.

Scroll to Top