NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Construction and Civil Engineering
Operations – Construction Operations (Groundworks)

DMR Training is an approved assessment centre for NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Construction and Civil Engineering Operations – Construction Operations (Groundworks). We aim to help you gain your groundworks NVQ as quickly and conveniently as possible.


Fast & Flexible Assessment


Experienced NVQ Assessors


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Funding Available

Who should take NVQ Level 2 Groundworks?

The NVQ Level 2 in Groundworks course is for experienced groundworkers who meet the recognised occupational standards. The qualification validates the skills and experience you have gained during your career.

Please note that the official title of the groundworks NVQ is Level 2 NVQ Diploma in
Construction and Civil Engineering Operations. There are eight pathways within this qualification. They are:

  • Pathway 1 – Modular Pavement Construction
  • Pathway 2 – Laying Kerbs and Channels
  • Pathway 3 – Construction Operations
  • Pathway 4 – Drainage Construction
  • Pathway 5 – Structural Concreting
  • Pathway 6 – Non-structural Concreting
  • Pathway 7 – Excavation and Reinstatement
  • Pathway 8 – Excavation

The information on this page is for pathway three (Construction Operations). You are suitable for this pathway if you are a general groundworker with experience in more than one of the areas listed above. An alternative pathway may be more suitable if you tend to work in one specialist area, such as drainage or excavation. Please contact us for advice if you are unsure. You can also refer to the Qualification Requirements section, where you can download a copy of the NVQ handbook for Construction and Civil Engineering Operations which provides a breakdown of each pathway.

We deliver the Groundworks NVQ through the Onsite Assessment and Training (OSAT) route. This means you can work towards the qualification at your own speed. It is a workplace and evidence-based qualification; classroom learning is rarely needed. You will not need to take time off work to achieve this qualification, and travel is not required. Please refer to ‘Entry Requirements’ and ‘Assessment Process’ for examples of assessment criteria for the Groundworks NVQ.

When you have completed the NVQ and received your certificate from City & Guilds, you can apply for your blue CSCS card (Skilled Worker card).

Entry Requirements

To undertake a Groundworks NVQ, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum of three years experience in groundwork.
  • Must currently be working as a groundworker.
  • Aged 19+.

To ensure you have the range of experience to achieve this qualification, your NVQ assessor will carry out a pre-enrolment skills diagnostic in a number of the job tasks listed below. It is not an exhaustive list and is designed to illustrate some of the key areas of experience needed to achieve the Groundworks NVQ.

  • Interpreting and following specifications, risk assessments, schedules and architects drawings.
  • Installing work area protective measures such as crowd barriers, metal fencing and appropriate signage.
  • Installing drainage components through the use of skills such as measuring, marking out, cutting, laying, positioning, aligning etc.
  • Installing and testing pipework before burial.
  • Working in accordance with local authority regulations and checks.
  • Installing access chambers and manholes.
  • Placing concrete by pumping, pouring, manual placement, chute, elephant’s trunk or overhead skip.
  • Maintaining a tidy workspace and correctly disposing of waste.
  • Operating the relevant plant machinery such as forward tipping dumper.
  • Working safely (see ‘Assessment process’ section)

In order to achieve the general groundworks NVQ (pathway 3 – Construction Operations), you will also need experience in an area listed in Unit Group B (see Qualification Requirements below). These areas include (but are not limited to):

  • Preparing and mixing concrete and mortars.
  • Erecting and dismantling access platforms such as mobile scaffolding.
  • Operating plant and transport machinery.
  • Slinging and hand signalling for suspended loads.
  • Laying kerbs, channels or paving.
  • Excavation.

Assessment process

Once we have enrolled you on your NVQ Level 2 in Groundworks, we will assign you a groundworks assessor who will work with you for the duration of the course, helping you build your portfolio of work-based evidence.

Types of evidence may include:

  • An onsite observation while you work, carried out by your assessor in your workplace. Your assessor will be watching for evidence of your competency as a groundworker and your awareness and application of safe working practices (see below).
  • Photographs or videos of you working. Your assessor will provide guidance on capturing photographic evidence.
  • References, employer endorsements or witness testimonies verifying your work as a groundworker. You can submit historical references and testimonies for work you have done within the last few years.
  • Detailed job logs of work you have completed during your Groundworks NVQ.
  • A recorded professional discussion with your assessor either face-to-face or over the telephone. This is useful when your assessor is unable to observe you carrying out work directly. Instead, you can participate in a discussion that is recorded on a digital voice recorder.
  • Coursework covering the ‘theory’ of groundwork, and construction health and safety. The coursework comes as a Q&A pack. Work through the answers in your own time. You can handwrite them, type them up on a computer, or provide them verbally using a digital voice recorder.

As well as many of the specific groundwork skills listed in ‘Entry Requirements’, you will need to provide evidence of your knowledge of health and safety, and its application in the workplace. These areas may include:

  • Correct procedure for reporting accidents, emergencies and spills.
  • Safe and proper use of groundwork tools and plant machinery.
  • Wearing full PPE where applicable, such as hi-vis clothing, hard hats or ear defenders in a noisy environment.
  • Correctly moving, handling and storing heavy objects.

Once your assessor is satisfied that you have submitted sufficient evidence, our internal verification team will check your portfolio. They will then claim your NVQ certificate with City & Guilds.


Although groundworkers can take up to six months or more to achieve their NVQ, we find that most complete the qualification in 2 to 3 months.

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

A groundworker in Hi-Vis jacket and hard hat working on a concrete foundation on a construction site during his NVQ Level 2 in Groundworks

Costs & Funding

We currently have access to NVQ funding for groundworkers in Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Sheffield City Region (includes Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster and Sheffield). Please contact us so we can check your eligibility for funding.

If you are ineligible for government support, we offer affordable self-funded assessment payable in two parts – 50% upfront and 50% on completion.

Please contact us to discuss funding and costs.


On completion of your groundworks NVQ course, you can apply for your Skilled Worker card (blue 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 2 and depending on your experience, you may have the option to advance to NVQ Level 3 in a similar occupational area, NVQ Level 3 in Occupational Work Supervision (Construction) or NVQ Level 4 in Construction Site Supervision.

Getting Started

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 City & Guilds 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 on 01942 673047 or send us your details and we will get back to you.

Qualification Requirements for NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Construction Operations and Civil Engineering Services – Construction Operations (Groundworks)

Mandatory Units – Candidates must complete the four mandatory units

  • Conforming to general health, safety and welfare in the workplace
  • Conforming to productive working practices in the workplace
  • Moving, handling and storing resources in the workplace
  • Installing, maintaining and removing work area protection and safety
    equipment in the workplace

Optional UnitsCandidates must complete at least one optional unit from each group

Group A

  • Installing drainage in the workplace
  • Pouring concrete to form structures in the workplace

Group A

  • Preparing and mixing concrete and mortars in the workplace
  • Erecting and dismantling access/working platforms in the workplace
  • Preparing and operating forward tipping dumpers to receive, transport
    and discharge materials in the workplace
  • Preparing and operating ride-on rollers to compact materials in the
  • Slinging and hand signalling the movement of suspended loads in the
  • Preparing and operating powered units, tools or pedestrian plant,
    machinery or equipment in the workplace
  • Reinstating ground condition in the workplace
  • Pouring concrete to form structures in the workplace
  • Identifying and marking the location of utilities apparatus and substructures in the workplace
  • Controlling, directing and guiding the operation of plant or machinery in
    the workplace
  • Locating and excavating to expose buried utility services in the
  • Cutting, drilling and shaping construction related materials in the
  • Laying, placing or applying construction related materials in the
  • Preparing and mixing construction related materials in the workplace
  • Installing, maintaining and removing temporary excavation support in
    the workplace
  • Installing, constructing, maintaining, dismantling and removing
    temporary works in the workplace


DMR Training was formed in 2013 and has since grown into one of the country’s leading centres for groundworks NVQ assessment. In that time, we have helped over 1000 construction workers gain their NVQ and CSCS card.

We are on the government’s Register of Training Organisations (ROTO), which means we can deliver funded assessment to eligible workers and employers.

If you would like to verify our status as a fully approved training and assessment centre for groundworks, please contact:

City & Guilds
5-6 Giltspur Street
London, UK

Tel: 0844 543 0033
Email: learnersupport@cityandguilds.com

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 – Why Should You Do an NVQ?

Before starting your qualification, an assessor will be assigned to work with you and provide ongoing support.

DMR assessors are former construction workers with at least five years’ experience in NVQ assessment.

They hold an A1 or TAQA assessor’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 groundworks NVQ, your assessor will draw up an assessment plan tailored to your needs.

An NVQ is a workplace competency qualification. As a competent groundworker, you will be expected to document your skills and experience through various types of ‘evidence’.

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 £600 for every employee or contractor who completes an NVQ Level 2 to 7. You can find more information on the CITB website.

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

When you have completed your NVQ portfolio, our internal verification team will check it for compliance. They will then claim your certificate with City & Guilds.

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 the CITB Health, Safety & Environment Test 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 £36 fee.

Yes, if you need a CSCS card while you are doing your groundwork 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 Skilled Worker card once you have finished the qualification.

You can call us on 01942 673047 or get in touch through our contact form.