Apply masking materials to automotive vehicles

Business Sectors (Suites): Vehicle Paint Refinishing
Developed by: IMI
Approved on: 30 Mar 2023


This standard is about the ability to undertake masking activities efficiently and effectively prior to any foundation or paint being applied to a motor vehicle.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

P1 use suitable personal and vehicle protective equipment and the specified environmental safety equipment throughout all vehicle operations
P2 prepare all masking materials required following health and safety requirements 
P3 ensure the vehicle is correctly prepared prior to the masking operation
P4 support vehicle masking operations by reviewing product technical data and work instructions
P5 identify suitable masking product and carry out process appropriate to substrate and paint materials being applied 
P6 prepare, check and adjust all the tools and equipment required, following manufacturer’s instructions, prior to use
P7 dispose of waste materials to conform with legal, environmental and workplace requirements
P8 leave tools, equipment and work environment in a clean and serviceable condition, as appropriate
P9 complete all masking activities efficiently and to the required standard
P10 promptly report any anticipated delays in completion to the relevant person(s) 

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

K1 the health and safety and environmental legislative requirements specific to vehicle refinishing operations and why it is important that these are followed
K2 workplace procedures and workshop practices relevant to personal and vehicle protection before, during and after vehicle refinishing operations
K3 the importance of disposing of waste safely and the consequences of not doing so to others, the business and the environment
K4 the vehicle work specification and work instructions agreed
K5 your workplace procedures for:

K5.1 the referral of problems
K5.2 reporting delays to the completion of work
K5.3 personal protection
K6 the relationship between time, cost and productivity
K7 the importance of working to agreed timescales and promptly reporting anticipated delays to the relevant person(s) 
K8 how to prepare, check, adjust and use all the tools and equipment required for vehicle masking operations
K9 the properties of refinishing systems and materials and the factors affecting their use and their relevance to the masking process
K10 how to recognise damage to surfaces and ancillary fittings
K11 how to interpret manufacturer's preparation schedules
K12 how to carry out masking procedures to avoid material wastage and vehicle contamination for each stage of the preparation process
K13 how to prepare panels and parts adjacent to the area being painted
K14 methods of protecting panels and parts adjacent to the areas being painted and the circumstances in which they should be used
K15 methods and techniques of masking (including paper and sheet masking) and the circumstances in which they should be used
K16 the implications of not following the correct masking process and its effect on the overall quality process
K17 the implications of not following an agreed quality control process


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2026





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Automotive Paint Technician, Engineering, Senior Automotive Paint Technician, Vehicle Trades

SOC Code



Motor; vehicle; masking; preparation