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 hour. 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.

Role of 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.

The Modules and Assessment Procedure:

All modules contain structured learning material on the unit section, and appendices, which provide relevant assessment material. For example:

Self Assessment questions (SAQs):

These are designed to enable you to check your own progress. Questions are asked as you progress through the module.

Computer Marked Assessment Questions (CMAs):

This is a multi-choice question set that tests your understanding of the module. Tests are completed on-line once you have completed your study of that module.

Practical Attendance Exercises (PAXs) (where applicable):

Only a few modules contain PAXs. However, we recommend that when starting any module, you look at the requirements for any practical exercises (if there are any) as early as possible, to see if you anticipate any problems in carrying these out.

Assignments (ASGs):

Some modules include assignments and these must be carried out for full certification. Assignments are exercises in which the candidate researches into and reports on certain objectives.

Tutor Marked Assessment (TMA):

These are mandatory end-test question papers taken under 'closed-books'? fully invigilated exam conditions. These are normally held on-site with an accredited invigilator in attendance. Candidates may prefer to complete more than one module before sitting their End Tests.

(Please note: full instructions are given when you purchase the module(s)).

Classroom Based Learning:

These courses are delivered by the Paint Research Association and students from BCF member companies are entitled to a 5% discount from the course list price and a further 5% if they book two or more courses.

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