Commercial Thermal Insulation Operative

Occupation overview
Thermal Insulation Operatives apply insulation materials and pre-formed cladding for the prevention of heat loss, heat gain, energy efficiency and personnel protection either on a construction site or within a workshop. Depending upon the industry sector, Thermal Insulation Operatives may work on a diverse range of sites including:

  • Process Plants
  •  Commercial Construction sites
  • Shipyards.

Thermal Insulation Operatives can expect to work under supervision, or where appropriate, on their own initiative. The role of a Thermal Insulation Operative involves the installation and application of appropriate thermal insulation materials, identifying the specific surface types and the changing temperature and site conditions. The Operative will apply pre-formed cladding or weatherproofing materials in line with the job specification and site instructions. When in a refurbishment environment, additional preparation tasks may be required e.g. removal of existing materials, cleaning down of and appropriate preparation of surfaces.


  • identify and correctly use tools and equipment including: Dividers, Mole grips, Drills and Safe blades
  •  comply with all organizational security, safety arrangements and procedures
  •  apply insulation materials to cylindrical and flat surfaces
  •  fit pre-formed metal cladding/and or other finishes for insulation protection
  •  work reliably and safely, sometimes without close supervision, to approved industry standards and safe working practices
  •  work effectively and efficiently, both individually and as part of a team, maintaining effective relationships with colleagues and the public
  •  safely move, handle and store resources
  •  competently erect and dismantle portable scaffold towers and work safely at heights to comply with The Work at Height Regulations which requires all persons working at height to be competent using the relevant equipment and correct personal safety apparatus.



  • the varying weather conditions of the site and how this can affect the working environment and the working conditions of all co-workers on the site, safe working and other relevant legislation
  •  how to communicate accurately/effectively with others and comply with instructions.
  •  how to interpret and use relevant product information and design specifications
  • how to calculate quantity, length and area of materials to be used in order to minimise wastage of resources
  •  the characteristics, qualities, uses, sustainability, limitations and defects associated with different types of insulation materials such as mineral wool, glass fibre, cellular glass, nitrile rubber etc.
  •  how to joint, seal, weatherproof and fit materials in accordance with BS 5970:2012. Thermal insulation of pipework, ductwork, associated equipment and other industrial installations in the temperature range of -100°C to +870°C.
  •  the importance of, and need for, the correct use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE
  • basic risks in a refurbishment environment and in particular the risks associated with the handling of asbestos



  • act professionally demonstrating a positive, dependable and responsible attitude
  •  be risk aware and help reduce risks by checking information
  •  display a self-disciplined, self-motivated, proactive approach to work understanding individual personal limitations
  •  be receptive to feedback, willing to learn new skills
  • be adaptable and able to adjust to change as required
  •  be prepared to make a personal commitment and be able to commit to the objectives of the employer and to the wider professional standards of the industry


Entry Requirements

Apprentices without Level 1 English and maths will need to achieve this level and take the test for Level 2 English and maths prior to taking the end-point assessment.



The Apprenticeship will typically be completed in 18 months


Professional Qualification / Recognition

This is a Level 2 Apprenticeship.


Originally published on, this information has been re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence.


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