Draft NVQ/SVQ for Hard-Landscaping

Over recent weeks, a team of dedicated people from the Hard Landscape Training Group have been busy creating the draft proposal for the first ever, stand-alone NVQ/SVQ for Hard Landscaping. This work was commissioned by Lantra , the training council responsible for what they term "Land-based Skills", and is the first step on a ladder that will, we hope, lead to a proper apprenticeship scheme and genuine qualifications for the hard-landscaping industry.

As we're all aware, our trade isn't the most over-qualified in the construction industry, and most professional contractors will welcome some way of formally assessing and accrediting their skills and those of their operatives, which will lead to a better trained, more competent workforce for the future, and we may, finally, be able to put an end to the unfair perception of our trade being riddled by cowboys and thieves.

The draft proposal envisages a series of units and sub-units (known as "elements") as follows:

Unit X1

Construction of Pavement Sub-Layers Element X1.1 - Construction of Sub-layers

Unit X2

Constructing Pavement Laying Courses Element X2.1 – Screed preparation Element X2.2 – Individual bed preparation

Unit X3

Laying Block Paving Element X3.1 – Laying flexible block paving Element X3.2 - Laying rigid block paving

Unit X4

Laying Flag Paving Element X4.1 – Laying flexible flag paving Element X4.2 - Laying rigid flag paving

Unit X5

Laying Sett Paving Element X5.1 – Laying flexible sett paving Element X5.2 - Laying rigid sett paving

Unit X6

Laying road kerbs and related large kerb units Element X6.1 – Laying kerbs, channels and edgings

Unit X7

Laying combined kerb-drain units Element X7.1 – Laying combined kerb-drain units

Unit X8

Laying small unit kerbs Element X8.1 – Laying small unit kerbs

Units for further consideration:

Unit XX9

Laying concrete

Unit XX10

Laying macadam and asphalt

Unit XX11

Constructing timber edgings

Unit XX12

Constructing gravel surfaces

Unit XX13

Constructing steps and ramps

Unit XX14

Constructing flag-on-edge retainers

Unit XX15

Installing linear drainage channels

The draft document is now online and Lantra are inviting review and comment from those involved in the trade. Here's your opportunity to have some input on how we train the next generation of block layers, flaggers, kerbers and hard-landscapers. Those of us involved in creating the draft like to think we've done a reasonable job, but it's only by putting it put there for peer review by those of you involved in the trade on a day-to-day basis can we be sure we've produced a suitable framework for future development.

Bear in mind the NVQ/SVQ Level 2 is aimed at youngsters in the sort-of 16-21 age group and is intended to give them elementary skills while working under supervision. These qualifications will NOT make them into full-fledged paving and landscaping contractors, but will give them the basic skills required before they move on to level 3 and level 4 qualifications, which will make them almost tradesman standard.

Review the draft here :

Comment on the draft here :

Read the Lantra page discussing these proposals here:

Remember: it's your industry. It's no use complaining about the lack of skills and the presence of cowboys if you do nowt when the opportunity to improve the trade is presented to you.