Select wood or wood-based materials appropriate for their intended use

Business Sectors (Suites): Wood Technology
Developed by: Improve
Approved on: 01 Jan 2019


This standard covers the skills and knowledge required to be able to select wood or wood-based materials that are fit for the purpose for which they are intended. It involves matching the properties and characteristics of available wood or wood-based materials to that specified for the work.

This could be useful to those in carpentry, sawmilling, construction, wood machining, wood drying, wood preservation, joinery, wood fuel production, furniture making and manufacture and finishing of wood products.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. comply with health and safety requirements and procedures at all times
  2. interpret specifications for the wood or wood-based material required
  3. compare advantages and limitations of available wood or wood-based materials to meet specifications
  4. identify wood that is fit for purpose and quality for the intended end products
  5. provide technical information on wood properties and characteristics to those who need to know it

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. legal duties for health and safety in the workplace and legislation covering your job role
  2. species of timber in commercial use, their appearance, individual characteristics, properties and typical end uses
  3. differences between softwood and hardwood and the impact this has on wood products used
  4. what is meant by the term durability, the differing levels of durability, how they are categorised and the woods listed within each category
  5. how to recognise strength reducing characteristics in wood
  6. effects of wood treatments and exterior coatings on wood structure, properties, durability and appearance
  7. effect that moisture content has and reasons for drying wood
  8. recommended moisture content for wood for its intended use
  9. key features, advantages and limitations of different woods and wood-based materials available and where to access information
  10. sources and suppliers of wood or wood-based materials
  11. dimensions for available wood
  12. current price structure for the wood or wood-based materials used
  13. how quality of wood affects quality of end products
  14. how to recognise wood that has been graded or classified for strength or appearance and what grades and strength classes mean
  15. schemes related to environmental issues, sustainability and quality and how to work within them
  16. differences between wood quality schemes, grading rules and standards
  17. how quality range differs between hardwoods and softwoods and appearance and strength grades
  18. ways to maximise efficient use of timber
  19. effect of wood properties and characteristics on tools and machinery
  20. basic rules of storage, handling and protection for wood or wood-based materials and the damage or deterioration that will occur if they are not followed
  21. regulations and codes of practice that you need to comply with when working with wood


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

01 Jan 2023





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Carpenters and Joiners, Furniture Makers and Other Craft Woodworkers

SOC Code



Wood technology; wood materials