National Occupational Standards

The National Heritage Ironwork Group initiated the first ever blacksmithing National Occupational Standards (NOS), to be used in relation to heritage blacksmithing.

The Standards, first published June 2010, represent a new level of professional practice across the industry. They can be used by employers to write job specifications and set benchmarks of good practice, by educationalists to develop new qualifications and training and by individuals to help them develop their careers in the industry. For further information or to view all the national occupational standards please visit the UK Standards website.

Heritage Skills (Blacksmithing)

The units specifically relating to blacksmithing are:

VR 621 –  Repair, Restore, conserve, Replace or Maintain forged Heritage Metalwork (.pdf)

VR 622 –  Clean, Prepare and Protect Heritage Metalwork (.pdf)

VR 623 –  Heat, Weld or Solder Heritage Metalwork (.pdf)

VR 624 –  Thermal Cutting metal for Heritage Work (.pdf)

VR 625 –  Dismantle and Fix Heritage Metalwork (.pdf)

What are NOS?

They are statements of skill, knowledge and understanding needed in employment that clearly define the outcome of competent performance in a given trade, occupation or profession. They are the starting point for all craft qualifications; sitting at the top they ‘override’ everything in the qualification structure framework. NOS are statements of competence and all about ‘skills’; in themselves they are not ‘qualifications’, but are used for the development of qualifications.