Which Carpentry and Joinery NVQ is Best for your Career?


That isn’t as simple as you might think. There are seven different versions of the Level 2 NVQ in Wood Occupations (Construction), and each represents a unique specialty.

Site Carpentry

This NVQ focuses on non-structural carpentry work that is done on a work site. It can involve first and second fixing components, carcassing components, and the use of circular saws and other cutting tools. Endorsements can be sought for both timber and non-ferrous metals.

Architectural/Bench Joinery

The focus here is on shop-type work, rather than that done at a construction site. You will have to know how to produce several routine joinery products in quantity. The ability to mark out forms is also critical.

The Architectural Joinery Level 2 NVQ is a kind of specialty for Level 1 Bench Joinery. Study should include the ability to follow both verbal and written instructions or plans, and to work well as part of a team on large projects.

Shopfitting Site Work

Shopfitters produce the furniture, displays, shelving and inventory systems that shops need to operate. To earn this NVQ, you will need to understand basic workplace safety techniques, have the ability to work efficiently and effectively, and be able to handle and move resources and equipment around the workplace.

Depending on your specific focus, you may also need to install various fitments, frames and finishings, install shopfronts, and use powered equipment such as circular saws.

Shopfitting/Bench Joinery

This NVQ focuses on bench work for the shopfitting industry – that is, creating and setting out the finished pieces shopfitters will then install. You will need to understand basic HS&E principles, how to use cutting and shaping machinery and tools, and be able to demonstrate setting out details for various shopfitting/bench joinery projects.


Formwork refers to the production and setting-up of either temporary or permanent molds for the construction of concrete foundations and related works. The student will need to demonstrate basic workplace safety practices, as well as effective workplace practices, the ability to handle resources and equipment on the worksite, and of course the ability to fabricate, erect, strike and maintain timber and other formwork systems.

Of course, if you’re not sure what path your career in joinery might take, we can offer advice and assistance. Just contact us to discuss your options.

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