Investigate quality of wood or wood-based materials and products derived from them

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


This standard covers the skills and knowledge required to carry out inspections or surveys of wood or wood-based materials and the products derived from them. This involves being able to identify faults and discrepancies in quality including weakness, inferior appearance, possible degrade, infestation and other problems. It involves inspecting wood, reporting on your findings and communicating with others. To do this, you will need to understand the properties and characteristics of wood and how faults and problems affect its strength and appearance.

This standard could apply to timber consultants, supplier representatives, building inspectors, Council officials, planning officers or conservation officers.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. comply with health and safety requirements and procedures at all times
  2. use appropriate questioning techniques to get information about concerns with wood or wood-based materials and the products made from them
  3. carry out a thorough inspection using appropriate methods, instruments, tools, equipment and other appliances
  4. identify when strength or appearance grading of wood or wood-based materials is not appropriate for their usage
  5. identify when manufacture or product properties of wood-based products are not appropriate for their usage  
  6. communicate with others during and after inspection, seeking others' opinion when necessary
  7. issue comprehensive and unbiased reports giving results of investigations and meeting regulations
  8. keep up to date with emerging issues that may affect wood or wood-based materials or the products made from them

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
  4. wood based panels and engineered wood products including the resins, glues and additives used
  5. how to identify timber species using a hand lens
  6. what is meant by durability, the differing levels of durability, how they are categorised and woods listed within each category
  7. ways to improve woods ability to resist weathering, decay or infestation and mechanical durability or performance how to recognise strength reducing characteristics in wood
  8. decay types and degrade due to poor installation and service conditions
  9. how to protect wood from uptake of moisture, staining, distortion, deterioration or other degrade
  10. ways to identify faults, discrepancies in quality, possible degrade, infestation and other problems with wood or wood-based materials
  11. types of preservative treatments available, level of protection they provide and how they are applied
  12. effects of wood treatments and exterior coatings on wood structures, properties, durability and appearance
  13. the effect that moisture content has and reasons for drying wood
  14. recommended moisture content for wood for its intended use
  15. how the quality of wood affects the quality of end products
  16. 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
  17. regulations and codes of practice that you need to comply with when working with wood
  18. effect of different approaches on historical accuracy, traditional techniques, dimensions used and accepted practices
  19. who to communicate with and how to present your views and concerns to others
  20. main sections of reports about wood faults and remedies and information each should contain


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

01 Jan 2023





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Carpenter and Joiner, Furniture Makers and Other Craft Woodworkers

SOC Code



Wood technology; wood-based materials; products; investigate