Interior systems installer

Occupation overview

This occupation is found in the Construction and Built Environment industry including new-build, renovation and refurbishment.  It is a specialist contracting occupation largely involved in the construction of partitions, walls and ceilings.  The Interior Systems sector alone has over 35,000 operatives working on extremely diverse projects in hotels, schools, airports, football stadiums, hospitals, shopping centres.  However other projects may mean working on security controlled installations such as Military Bases which may never be seen or used by the public.  Interior Systems operatives have also played a major part in the construction on iconic structures which are known throughout the world and include Canary Wharf, the Olympic Stadium, Battersea Power Station and the Shard.

This is a fast growing sector with many opportunities for career progression into site supervision and management position which can lead to running their own businesses.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to install, repair and maintain various elements of the internal structure of a building to a high standard.  (e.g. ceilings above and walls around the structure.)

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with other colleagues, other trades, site supervisor, site manager, end users, main contractors and suppliers.  Environments could range from internal and external construction sites to occupied buildings eg large commercial properties or residential tower blocks with apartments and specialist buildings such as car showrooms.  The work would usually be during normal weekday hours but unsocial hours may also be necessary.  The work will be physically active, including lifting and fixing systems into place.  Work could be at height from a platform or mobile scaffold and operatives will need to follow strict safe working practices at all times in whichever occupational area they choose. They will report to a supervisor or site manager and be capable of managing their own time, quality and resources to meet deadlines and specifications. 

This is a core and options standard with two pathway routes with – :

  • Drylining - methods to install different drylining systems that form the walls and rooms within a building, often used to hide wires and pipes whilst improving acoustics and create space for insulation.
  • Ceiling and Partitions.- incorporates different ceiling and partition systems within a building. Used to provide different types of working environments, taking account of lighting and other fixtures.
  • Skills

    • Measure and set out from drawings provided and check vertical and horizontal datum.
    • Select the appropriate materials, tools and equipment in accordance with the specification requirements and or manufacturer specific instructions.
    • Safely and correctly operate tools and equipment, plant and machinery appropriate for use.  (e.g. scaffold, MEWPS, nail gun, circular saw, lasers )
    • Apply fire and acoustic mastic seals in accordance with specification, designs details and manufacturers recommendations
    • Accurately measure and cut components (e.g. metal sections, plasterboard, insulation, timber and plywood)
    • Appropriately fix all components according to specifications and/or drawings.
    • Effectively protect surround surfaces and segregate work areas and cutting areas.
    • Install dry lining systems to metal and stud partitions framed wall linings, framed and frameless beam and column encasements.
    • Clearly communicate with management, customers and colleagues including other trades onsite.
    • Maintain a clean and tidy environment, appropriately disposing of waste according to site procedures.
    • Identify and select appropriate PPE for the task
    • Install pattresses
    • Install insulation
    • Form service penetrations through partitions
    • Install primary channels or main runners to line and level. Cut to length
    • Frame and fit access panels


    • General principles of building design and regulation particularly in relation to interface with internal construction. Including:
    • how fire spreads through a building and how to impede it and protect the structure,
    • noise nuisance, noise transfer, noise reverberation and to reduce it with improved acoustics
    • vibration and how to reduce it
    • the need for air and water barriers (Vapour Control Layer’s (VCL) and Damp Proof Membrane’s (DPM)) to seal a building, how these work, materials used and where they are found )
    • The different methods to install dry lining systems to metal and stud partitions framed wall linings, framed and frameless beam and column encasements
    • The importance of health and safety, how to work safely, including working at height and use of access equipment (e.g scissor lifts, Mobile towers) asbestos awareness and manual handling. The appropriate additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which may be required for various tasks eg cutting metal, drilling, shot-firing
    • The purpose and importance of risk assessments, method statements and Control Of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) assessments.
    • How to calculate quantity, length, area and wastage from sources such as setting out drawings, using BIM, digital working and Computer Aided Drawing (CAD).
    • How to identify suitable materials, components, equipment and resources in accordance with project specification (e.g. fire, acoustics, deflection requirements)
    • The tools, equipment, plant and machinery appropriate for use in each project type.  e.g. scaffold, Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWPs), nail gun, circular saw, lasers
    • The industry standards which cover the interior systems sector including BS 5234-1:1992, BS 8000-0:2014, BS 8000-8:1994, BS EN 13964:2014 and FIS Best Practice Guidelines
    • How to utilise materials in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.
    • The importance of clean and tidy environment and the impact on zero/low carbon outcomes in the built environment.
    • The importance of occupational health mental health and how to deal with stress and conflict, inherent in the workplace, eg drugs and alcohol, face fit testing, dust, noise, vibration, asbestos


    • Safety first approach
    • An attention to detail
    • Be able to work with others applying the principles of equality and diversity
    • Focus on timekeeping and productivity
    • Ability to work alone taking responsibility for completing of designated work in agreed schedule
    • Working towards high quality of all work completed with an understanding of impact of defects

    Entry Requirements

    Apprentices without level 1 English and maths will need to achieve this level and apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to take the tests for this level prior to taking the end-point assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL. 


    Duration (months): 24

    Professional Qualifications/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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