News & Events


Martin Sadler is EQA/Technical Officer at GQA Qualifications, and he here outlines the qualifications that are available to site-based operatives. GQA is the fenestration industry’s leading awarding and qualifications-writing body.

The Building Safety Act has an underlying need for strong training regimes underpinned with proof of learning. Ensuring correct installation and site practice are a key part of this requirement. Installers must ensure they are equipped to deal with the Act’s edicts. We are here to help ensure they do just that. Through accredited training and the acquirement of vocational qualifications we can ensure that installers do not succumb to the pitfalls that ignoring the Act’s requirements will engender. In addition, we can help with ensuring that companies’ own training courses are assessed for consistency, structure and quality of outcome.

It is not only for the purpose of compliance that strong training regimes and proof of learning are becoming increasingly important in site-based work. There are of course the twin requirements of maintaining and raising standards. And of course, in so doing, the fenestration industry is safeguarding its installers against accidents and injury.

So, what types of qualification and training are available for site-based fenestration employees today? Firstly, for those who wish to join the industry or are new to it, the Level 1 Certificate in the Principles of Window and Door Installation is ideal. This is a knowledge-based qualification that has been developed to give individuals an understanding of the principal aspects of window and door installation. The qualification does not require candidates to complete practical tasks. However, it is strongly recommended that practical tasks are included.

For people who install windows, doors or conservatories, who have some experience but may still need some support in their role, either the Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Fenestration Installation, or SVQ in Fenestration Installation at SCQF Level 5 in Scotland, would be a good choice. These are suitable for both new build and refurbishment work.

Moving on to more experienced on-site operatives including those in refurbishment work, the Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Fenestration Installation, or SVQ in Fenestration Installation and Surveying at SCQF Level 6 (Installation Pathway) in Scotland, are acceptable. These qualifications are suited to those who could lead a team of installers, do more complex work and conservatories or are involved in traditional, facetted or structurally glazed curtain walling installation.

For those who carry out surveys for windows, doors and conservatories in the new build or refurbishment sector, the Level 3 NVQ Certificate in Fenestration Surveying, or SVQ in Fenestration Installation and Surveying at SCQF Level 6 (Surveying Pathway) in Scotland, would be ideal.

People who work for themselves and carry out both surveying and installing should check out the Level 3 NVQ Diploma in the Combined Surveying and Installation of Windows and Doors or Conservatories, SVQ in Fenestration Installation and Surveying at SCQF Level 6 (Installation and Surveying Pathways) in Scotland,.

Suitable for those who work as part of a team installing stick and unitised curtain walling systems is the Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Curtain Walling Installation. The SVQ in Fenestration Installation at SCQF Level 5 can be achieved in the context of Curtain Walling.

When it comes to those who have some experience in glazing, the Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Glazing, or SVQ in Glazing at SCQF Level 5 in Scotland is the qualification for which to aim.

Finally, workers experienced in glazing who carry out more complex glazing work and are also in charge of others will find either the Level 3 NVQ in Glazing or SVQ In Glazing at SCQF Level 6 are ideally suited to them.

With the exception of the Level 1 in the Principles of Window and Door installation the level 2 qualifications ensure that candidates can achieve a Blue Skilled Worker CSCS Card, whilst the Level 3 Qualifications can secure successful candidates a Gold Advanced Craft, and depending on the units achieved, may also give access to a Supervisor CSCS Card. GQA Qualifications is the only organisation issuing CSCS cards for the Glass and Glazing industries.

Attaining qualifications is one of the best ways for an individual or company to prove that they have the required levels of competency and knowledge, skills and behaviours. This also goes a long way towards demonstrating motivation to develop and improve skills.

At GQA we are keen to ensure we have qualifications that are right for the industry and the individuals within that industry. If installers and other site-based operatives feel there is a requirement for a new qualification, they can speak to us since we may be able to develop one. Please email me at

Our latest news

19th Mar

Qualifications and Training - choosing a trusted...

Employers in any industry who wish to hone the skills of their workforce in order to improve their businesses competitiveness face two challenges: carefully managing training budgets whilst also addressing staff time constraints. How to choose a partner organisation that can help them achieve their goal at the same time as ensuring these challenges are met need not be difficult. Dan Brown, Strategic Relationships Manager of GQA Qualifications explains.

... Read more