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Diploma in Construction (Painting and Decorating) Level 1* at Dearne Valley College (DVC)

Course description

Workshop Environment

We’ve recently invested in our construction workshops to ensure this purpose-built area provides a high-quality and industry-standard learning facility.

Each trade has its very own workshop space, fitted with both individual booths and large work spaces for you to work on your own projects and tasks.

All of our tools and materials are sourced through suppliers who provide equipment for the construction industry.

Work Experience

Gaining experience in the workplace will give your portfolio a boost and will show employers that you have gained a broad range of work skills whilst studying for your qualifications. This is a great way to improve your confidence around both clients and colleagues.

Our Placement Officers will find you a suitable employer and workplace, where you will undertake a work placement of over 30 hours throughout the academic year. Depending on which qualification you are working toward, this may be in a block or split over a number of weeks.

Upon successful completion of your work placement, we would hope that you would gain a glowing work reference for your portfolio.

It is also an excellent opportunity to develop links with a business who may be interested in employing an Apprentice.

Skills Competitions

Each year the College enters its very best students into Skill-build, which is the largest multi-trade competition in the country for construction. Many of our former students have competed at a regional level, with two recent students achieving 1st and 2nd place in the regional heats.

Construction Events and Trips

An important part of learning your trade is to gain inspiration from others. Whether it’s attending a trade exhibition or visiting a construction business, we endeavour to provide you with opportunities outside of college to broaden your knowledge of the industry. In previous years, students have enjoyed visits to British Gypsum and Ibstock Brick Limited, and more recently, students have benefitted from two-week educational visits to Belgium.

Through our excellent relationships with local businesses, we often invite experienced tradesmen into the College to talk about their journey to success. Previously, BAL Adhesives and Paslode Nails Performance have demonstrated their products to students and some students have gained awards in the use of their products.

English and Maths

Alongside your main programme, you will attend classes to develop your skills and confidence in English and Maths. These skills are extremely important for any future job role that you may have.

Functional skills are essential for tasks such as calculating the stock required, the price of a project, writing quotes and invoices, understanding hazard signs and communicating with others.

If you are interested in pursuing self-employment and dream of being your own boss, English and Maths skills are absolute necessities when it comes to completing your tax return, calculating your finances, creating professional documents and promoting your business.

Additional Qualifications

Depending on the course that you are studying, you may have the opportunity to gain additional qualifications that will really add some ‘oomph’ to your portfolio. Awards include; Employee Rights and Responsibilities, Customer Services, Abrasive Wheels, Health and Safety in a Construction Environment and CSCS (Construction Skills Certificate Scheme Card which is necessary if you wish to work on a Construction site).

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

It’s imperative that all of our students adhere to Health and Safety regulations in our workshops.

Therefore PPE is required to be worn at all times during practical sessions. This includes safety boots, long trousers, high-visibility vest or jackets, appropriate gloves, dust mask, and eye protection.

You will be required to provide your own boots for hygiene purposes. However all other PPE equipment will be available in each workshop.

Assessment Methods

• Portfolio: You will create a portfolio or workbook of evidence such as practical work, presentations and case studies

• Assignments: You will be given specific assignments or projects to complete

• Practical Work: Your tutor will assess you completing practical work in the workshop or workplace

• Most courses also have end of unit tests

Course content

Level 1

• Building Craft Occupations (BCO)

• Bricklaying

• Carpentry and Joinery

• Painting and Decorating

• Plastering

• Wall and Floor Tiling

Are you an aspiring Bricklayer or hoping to pursue a career as a Joiner?

Is ‘Professional Plasterer or Painter and Decorator’ the perfect role for you?

The Level One Certificate in Multi-trade Construction Activities allows you to gain the foundation knowledge and practical skills you need to work in the Construction sector, whilst specialising in your chosen trade. Set in the College’s purpose-built construction workshops, our students are immersed in a fully equipped study space with industry standard tools, and will gain the relevant practical experience that is looked for by employers.

You will specialise your qualification in one of the trade areas, including Building Craft Occupations, Bricklaying, Carpentry and Joinery, Painting and Decorating, Plastering, and Wall and Floor Tiling.


This course also includes the following mandatory units:

• Health and Safety in Construction Trades

• Working and Communicating Effectively in Construction Trades

Are you unsure of which trade area you would like to pursue?

The flexibility of this programme means that you can choose to take modules across a number of the trade areas until you decide upon an area completely suited to you with the help of your Tutors and Progress Coaches.

Upon successful completion of your chosen trade, you will achieve an industry-recognised Certificate in Multi-Trade Construction Activities Level One.

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements:
  • Successful construction skills assessment
  • Completion of a GCSE programme is preferred, but not essential
  • You will attend a college-based assessment for English and Maths, where we will be looking for an Entry Two or Entry Three level


Assessment Methods

Portfolio: You will create a portfolio or workbook of evidence such as practical work, presentations and case studies

Assignments: You will be given specific assignments or projects to complete

Practical Work: Your tutor will assess you completing practical work in the workshop or workplace

Most courses also have end of unit tests

Financial information

Money Matters

The College has a number of funds which are there to help support you if you find yourself in financial difficulties that are affecting your attendance at college or your studies.

16–19 Bursary

If you’re aged between 16 and 19 years and in full-time education or training, you may be eligible for a mandatory or discretionary bursary. Young people in the following groups are eligible to receive a mandatory bursary of up to £1,200 a year.

  • Young people in care
  • Care leavers
  • Young people claiming income support/Universal Credit in their own name
  • Disabled young people who receive both Employment Support Allowance/Universal Credit and Disability Living Allowance/Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in their own name

However, other students facing genuine financial difficulties may be awarded a smaller, discretionary bursary which is means-tested and allocated based on specific priorities and eligibility criteria.

College eligibility criteria are currently based on a maximum household income of £25,000, good standards of behaviour, and over 90% attendance.

The bursary can help with costs such as food, transport, books and other course-related equipment and/or essentials.

Learner Support and Welfare Fund

The Discretionary Learner Support Funds can be used to buy equipment, help with travel expenses, childcare, and other costs related to attending college to study. These means-tested funds are limited, and allocated based on specific priorities and criteria.

If you are 19 years old or more, have a good attendance and your gross household income does not exceed £25,000, you could be eligible for these funds. The College also operates a small discretionary Emergency Welfare Fund to help students in crisis situations. Funds are limited and are intended to help in the short term.

Support with Childcare Costs

The College may be able to provide support for your childcare costs if you are a full-time student, either for part of, or for the full year.

If you are 20 years old or more, the College receives funding which may contribute towards the childcare you require.

In addition, young people under the age of 20 with childcare needs may be eligible for childcare and travel costs through the national ‘Care to Learn’ scheme. Find out if you’re eligible by visiting:

16-18 Student Concessionary Bus Pass

If you are attending college on a full-time basis and you meet the qualifying criteria, you may be eligible for a concessionary bus pass for bus and tram travel, and halved fares on local Northern Rail services in South Yorkshire.

For more information and to apply online, please visit:

Free school Meals

If you are aged 16 to 18 on 31st August 2014, you may be eligible for free school meals if you or your parents are in receipt of certain benefits. Please visit the Student Services Centre for more information.

NUS Extra Card

NUS extra is the ultimate, must-have student card! It gives you access to hundreds of discounts exclusively for students – including ASOS, Amazon, Topshop, House of Fraser, National Express, New Look, JJB Sports, Pizza Hut, Superdrug and many, many more.

The card costs just £12 and can be purchased directly from the NUS website:

Future opportunities

Opportunities after the course:
You may have the opportunity to progress onto a Level One programme or an Apprenticeship.
Job opportunities may include junior and entry positions within the construction industry.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 06 November 2017
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  • More information
    • A 2014 Ofsted report officially commended Dearne Valley College as an overall ‘GOOD’ college, in fact all areas of the college that were inspected were commended as ‘GOOD’ too.  

      A full copy of the report is available at, however here are just some of the reports highlights.

      Why we are good:

      “Success rates for 16- to 18-year-old students are high”

      “Practical, vocational and employability skills are developed effectively”

      “Support for students is highly effective”

      “Much teaching is good”

      “The culture and ethos of the college promote mutual respect and positive attitudes to learning”

      “Leadership and management have effectively brought about significant improvement since the previous inspection”

      Outcomes for learners

      “Overall success rates have shown steady improvement over three years and are now well above the national average”
      Our success rate for 2012/13 was 90%, which is 6% above national average.

      “Achievement rates have also improved well and were significantly above the national average in 2013”
      Our achievement/pass rate for 2012/13 was 97%, which is 3% above the national average.

      “Students develop good practical and vocational skills” 

      “The culture and ethos in the college encourage students to recognise the importance of mathematics and English”
      All our 16 to 18 year olds learners work towards improving their study mathematics and English attainment.

      “Students enjoy coming to college and this is reflected in their high attendance rates”

      The quality of teaching, learning and assessment

      “Teaching, learning and assessment are good which is reflected in the high success rates for students”

      “Good support arrangements help those students with barriers to learning to achieve and make sustained progress”

      “Teachers use their industrial experience well to develop students’ vocational skills”
      Our staff refresh their industry skills via our thorough staff development programme.

      “Students with additional learning needs are carefully identified at an early stage and offered flexible bespoke assistance”
      The College proudly holds the Matrix Quality Standard for Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance.

      “The college pays close attention to equality and diversity”
      The College is proud to have gained Investors in Diversity Status.

      “Students respect each other and their views are valued and taken seriously”

      “Students enjoy working in safe environments and understand the importance of safe working practice”

      What our students say:

      “I feel safe at College” – 98% of students asked agree

      “I know the kind of support I can get from College” – 97% of students asked agree

      “I am aware that English, Maths and IT forms part of my course” – 97% of those asked agree

      “I understand the rights of others to be treated with respect” – 99% of those asked agree

      “The College will not permit bullying in any form” – 99% of those asked agree

      “I feel I am on the right course” – 98% of those asked agree

      Source: 2013 Induction Survey


      Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. They report directly to Parliament and are independent and impartial. They inspect and regulate services which care for children and young people, and those providing education and skills for learners of all ages.