How It Works


The Coatings Training Institute

Brought to you by the British Coatings Federation (BCF) is suitable for anyone who needs to know more about coatings technology. This means not just people involved directly in coatings formulation and manufacture, but also people right across the supply chain, including suppliers to the industry, users of coatings products or those who work in a related industry.

Salespeople, customer service staff, managers at all levels, laboratory staff, quality control, and production staff will all benefit. Because the programme is designed on a modular basis and has 57 modules over 4 levels, potential students can pick and choose the modules that best serve their needs. There are no formal entry qualifications. However, there is a natural progression within the module structure for development to more advanced subject areas.

The BCF is the sole UK trade association representing the manufacturers of decorative and industrial paints, printing inks and wallcoverings, and has been working hard on their behalf for over 100 years. The training programme itself has been in place for over 40 years.

How It Works

Depending on your own needs and experience – it is a “mix and match” approach. There are no formal entry qualifications for students, and there is a natural progression within the module structure for development to more advanced subject areas. We do advise that Students taking on the higher-level modules that they have a qualification such as Advanced level in a science subject particularly chemistry. Students can study any number of modules, but signing up for the Certificate in Coatings Technology (6 modules) entitles you to a 10% discount.

The Certificate in Coatings Technology is awarded at all levels. A mixture of modules may be chosen from any of the levels. However, for a particular level of Certificate, the majority of modules completed must be at that level.

Successful completion of 6 modules entitles a student to a full International Certificate in Coatings Technology (ICCT) awarded by The Coatings Training Institute.

A reduced “member” rate is available for employees around the world who work for a company that is a member of the BCF. You can check the list of members here.

Students work through modules by downloading the coursework material from our study portal. Students also complete online assessments and written tests at the end of modules which are marked by a Coatings Training Institute tutor, who is appointed when studies commence. Total study time per module is approximately 12 hours. All instructions and learning plans are contained at the beginning of the module. Each student is given a personal web page on this site, where they can track their progress. All study material and support are given in English, and we recommend you have a mentor from your employer to support your learning where applicable.

Each student is given a personal dashboard in our study portal, where they can track their progress.


Computer Marked Assessments






End Exam


The Role of a Company Mentor

Each Candidate should allocate a Mentor who is within their immediate organisation (a Mentor is not compulsory if an individual is taking the modules). The Mentor should also be someone who is technically aware of the content of module(s) being taken; can support the student by acting as a first port of call for advice of processes, materials and procedures; preferably of suitable status (eg your immediate Manager) so that they will have the authority to organise activities and advise on equipment if needed for practical tests.

The Mentor would also normally be the person who acts as a reliable invigilator for end exams.

CTI Tutors

The Coatings Training Institute provides 1 to 1 support for our students from industry-expert tutors all the way from registration to completion. Each student is assigned to one of our dedicated team of tutors, who are on hand to answer any student queries about the module content and are also responsible for marking all student assignments and assessments.


Richard Banks


David Shields


Georgina O'Reilly

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register for modules to begin the course?

After selecting and purchasing your chosen modules, our team will contact you with your registration and login details. You can then use this to access the study portal and start learning.

How do online exams work?

Every module concludes with a sit-down written exam, invigilated by your workplace mentor. You will have 10 minutes of reading time followed by 30 minutes of exam, before the tutor scans the document and emails it to your CTI tutor. They will then mark your exam and report the results through the CTI portal.

How long do modules take to complete?

You can read through each module in between 30 and 90 minutes. Completing the work and answering the set questions takes approximately 8-10 hours per module, although we recommend you conduct independent research.

You can use the course as a guide for research into industry developments, while information published by raw material suppliers will give you a good background for your progress in the industry.

Who are our modules suitable for?

Our modules are suitable for people at all levels of the coatings industry, from new graduates in entry-level roles to experienced professionals looking to specialise.

Technical and non-technical roles can benefit from our training courses. A sales assistant might use a course to build on their product knowledge, while a lab technician might study our modules in order to specialise in a particular field.