Shape mechanical components by material removal using machine tools

Business Sectors (Suites): Installing Plant and Systems - Mechanical
Developed by: ECITB
Approved on: 10 Dec 2020


This standard is about shaping mechanical components by material removal using machine tools in engineering construction.

You will need to be able to shape mechanical components by removing material with approved machine tools whilst adhering to health, safety and environmental legislation, regulations and safe working practices.
In the context of this standard, your responsibility is to interpret and work within given specifications, selecting techniques and making variations to achieve the best possible result.  In some cases, you may still be expected to refer to others for final authorisation, even though you remain responsible for identifying and implementing decisions. 

Who this standard is for
This standard is for mechanical fitters.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. work safely at all times, complying with health, safety, environmental and other relevant legislation, regulations, guidelines and local rules or procedures
  2. ensure that the work environment, tools, material and equipment are suitably prepared for the work activities to be undertaken 

  3. follow the relevant engineering drawings, related specifications and quality standards 

  4. determine the operational sequence to achieve material removal to specification including:

    • condition of the tooling
    • mounting and securing the tooling to the appropriate points on the machinery
    • setting and adjusting the machine tool operating parameters

    • confirming that the machine is set up ready for the activities to be carried out and that all safety mechanisms are engaged

  5. operate the machine tool controls safely, in line with procedures

  6. produce mechanical components to the required quality and specification
  7. carry out quality sampling checks in accordance with procedures
  8. reinstate the work area
  9. deal promptly and effectively with problems within your control and report those that can and those that cannot be solved

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. relevant legislative, regulatory and local requirements or procedures and safe working practices including your responsibilities with regard to reporting lines and procedures
  2. preparation and reinstatement requirements in respect of the work area, material and equipment and the possible consequences of incorrect actions in these areas
  3. relevant engineering drawings, related specifications and quality standards
  4. methods and techniques for shaping mechanical components using machine tools:

    • which tools to use and when
    • how to sequence the stages of work
    • how to modify the way of working to meet particular needs
  5. the characteristics of materials and the selection of speeds, feeds and settings 

  6. the equipment and techniques used to: 

    • set holding devices 
    • set work pieces 
    • set cutting tools

    • adjust the work pieces

    • adjust and set operating parameters
    • ensure coolant supply is as required
    • ensure the safety mechanisms are engaged
  7. how to check that the machined mechanical components comply to specification

  8. the types of defects that may be found and what to do if any are found
  9. tool and equipment control:  the correct use of relevant tools and equipment and your individual responsibility for the use, care and security of those you use


Work environment

**Typical work environments could include:

  • engineering construction sites
  • controlled operations
  • offshore installations
  • maintenance sites
  • nuclear sites
  • repair sites

Work environments may be open or restricted spaces: 

  • at height
  • confined spaces
  • control rooms
  • controlled operational and offshore installations
  • designated work areas
  • explosive atmospheres
  • existing plants and structures
  • fabrication workshops

  • in plant rooms

  • inside structures, system and plant
  • on access structures (scaffold)
  • on open structures

  • onshore and offshore installations

  • shafts
  • shipyards
  • tunnels

     Reinstate the work area

This term could include:

  • returning the work area to a safe condition
  • removing barriers
  • sweeping up
  • correctly disposing of waste materials
  • storing re-usable materials, consumables and equipment in accordance with appropriate procedures
  • completing all necessary documentation

Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

10 Dec 2024





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Mechanical Fitter

SOC Code



Material removal; power tools; engineering construction; mechanical fitting; components; shape; machine tools; milling; turning; drilling; grinding; cutting; boring; thread cutting; mechanical components; machine tools; produce components