Course Overview

Fenestration Installers work in both the new build and refurbishment construction sector. Projects include dwellings and non-dwellings, ranging from windows, doors, bi-fold doors in homes and public houses, through to large new build office and housing developments.

Fenestration is the arrangement and design of windows and other external glazed elements in a building with the exception of curtain walling. It can often be the most impressive feature of a building and covers a range of products e.g. windows, doors, bi-folds, rooflights and conservatories.

Installers work with a broad range of materials (e.g. PVC-U, aluminium, steel, timber and composite) and a wide variety of building structures and building methods. The work is usually conducted on-site with a combination of working on the exterior of a building as well as from inside the building, sometimes at height (no more than 18 metres to comply with approved document B, volume 2, Regulation B4) and in varying weather conditions.

In their daily work, a Fenestration Installer interacts with colleagues both on site (installation team and other trades) and office based (e.g. line manager, supervisor, customer service, designers). Installers often work as part of small teams either directly for end customers such as small shop owners, landlords, tenants or individual home owners or in large scale projects for developers. Therefore, they occasionally interact with site managers, architects and other trades.

Fenestration Installers will be responsible for completing their own work, with minimal supervision, ensuring they meet installation quality standards and deadlines. They may work as part of a team, with responsibility for a specific aspect of the installation, contributing to the completion of the project. As part of this, they will be expected to liaise with various clients some of whom may be and be aware of relevant legislation and regulations related to how they interact with clients, their working environment and work within these limitations.

Typical job roles include:

  • • Fenestration installer
  • • Window fitter
  • • Window installer
  • • Window and door installer

The Content

The Apprenticeship covers the following key duties, knowledge, skills and behaviours:

• Identify and confirm fenestration installation requirements and components against a survey/job sheet/specification/drawings/CAD/BIM
• Interpret the appropriate work plan for the job, taking into account various other factors
• Locate, handle, store, load, transport and position fenestration materials/components safely
• Prepare the site, plant and equipment ready for fenestration installation
• Remove existing fenestration, understanding what action should be taken or who to report situations to
• Ensure structural stability using structural supports e.g. acrows or strong boys
• Prepare apertures/minimise damage to existing structures
• Fix fenestration units in place, making sure they are plumb, level and secure using a range of tools and technologies
• Install glass units, infill panels and hardware into the fenestration framework
• Apply internal finishing's (eg trims, caulk, window boards)
• Apply external finishing’s (eg silicone, mastic, cement, plaster)
• Clear away leftover materials on completion of installation and disposal of waste appropriately according to the appropriate code of practice
• Demonstrate the product and handover installation paperwork
• Conduct interim and final inspections of the work/work area

• The role of installation in the fenestration industry; key markets; different products; energy ratings
• Other functions that installers interact with (eg surveying, fabrication, despatch, installation, service engineers); interaction with energy efficiency measures; internal/external customers
• Materials used in fenestration installation (eg aluminium, steel, timber, composites or PVC-U) their mechanical properties, uses and design limitations; ancillary items; weatherproofing products/systems
• Glazing unit construction and principles of various glazing systems (eg drained, ventilated and solid beded systems); opaque infill panels
• Legislation, regulations and industry standards
• Health & Safety and how it must be applied in the workplace
• Buildings/building methods and how windows/doorsets interact (eg cavity wall, timber frame, steel frame etc); structural requirements when installing bay windows, sliding patio and bi-fold doors; vertical damp-proof courses
• Removal of existing components; types of structural supports/how to use them/methods of removing windows/doorsets; how to minimise damage to surrounding structures (eg brickwork/rendering)
• Safe handling/movement of product
• Environmental considerations – eg safe disposal of waste/minimising waste
• Communication techniques; verbal, written and digital
• Limits of autonomy
• Fenestration system and specifications
• Tools, equipment and plant used in fenestration installations
• Preparation techniques
• Techniques for accurate/safe/economical measuring, marking and drilling of materials
• Product installation methods compliance with BS8213-4
• Internal finishing's
• External finishing's
• Repair/make good any damaged plasterwork/external finishes
• Interim/final inspection requirements
• Types of error, investigation/rectification techniques
• Stacking/storing products/materials safely, effectively and securely
• Processes for handover to other functions/customers
• Contractual arrangements
• Employment rights and responsibilities
• Equality & Diversity

• Materials, components and equipment selection for each task in line with specifications/instructions
• Interpretation of specifications, diagrams and work instructions
• Plan work, carry out checks to ensure products meet specifications
• Preparation of work areas, site and consideration of all parties
• Completion of tools/equipment checks/adjustments
• Select and use manual methods/equipment
• Install products/fixings, ensure level/plumb and comply with regulations/instructions/specifications
• Measure, cut and fix trims
• Apply external wet sealants/appropriate associated products
• Remove windows and doors and/or prepare apertures for installation activities
• Ensure structural stability including temporary support when removing products
• Handle, load, unload and store products safely
• Install ancillary, glazing, weatherproofing items to products in accordance with work instructions/manufacturers guidelines
• Follow Health & Safety and environmental policy/procedures
• Identify risks/hazards in the workplace and control measures
• Check/inspect work
• Identify/rectify work that is incorrect/incomplete
• Re-use, re-cycle and dispose of material/waste/scrap
• Communicate with colleagues/customers using common industry terminology appropriately and accurate
• Complete workplace documentation
• Report work outcomes/problems
• Post installation activities

• Has a Health & Safety first attitude, for example, resists pressures to follow unsafe working practices
• Is professional, for example, develops good working relationships recognising dependencies, uses co-operative approaches to optimise workflow and productivity with limited supervision, shows respect for colleagues
• Takes responsibility, for example, completes own work to required quality standards
• Applies logical thinking, for example, uses clear and valid reasoning when making decisions related to undertaking the work instructions
• Works effectively, for example, undertakes work in a reliable, tidy and productive manner
• Applies time management, for example uses their time effectively to complete work to schedule and always arrives at, and ready to work on time
• Adjustable when required, for example adapts to changes to work instructions or variations in workplace contexts and environments

Functional Skills in English and Maths
Where a Fenestration Installer has not already achieved Level 1 English and Maths, they must do so before taking the End Point Assessment.

The Assessment

Learners will need to undertake an End Point Assessment which consists of the following 3 elements:
• Observation and questioning
• Interview
• Multiple-choice test

Course Duration

24 Months for 16-18 year olds
18 Months for 19+ year olds


This role may be a gateway to further career opportunities in this sector, such as management or senior support roles, or to further study.

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