Certificate III in Painting and Decorating (CPC30611)

This qualification provides a trade outcome in painting and decorating for residential and commercial construction work.

The qualification has compulsory requirements that cover common skills for the construction industry, as well as two specialist fields of work.

Education and Training

To become a painter and decorator you usually have to complete an apprenticeship in painting and decorating. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Training is usually both on and off the job. The off-the-job training is provided through Registered Training Organisations.


Total program duration is 36-48 months of delivery and assessment under apprenticeship arrangements.

Apprentice progression is tracked through the apprentice’s individual training plan and MPA. MPA Online is capable of logging the hours of activity completed by the apprentice at any given point in time and can be tracked by the responsible trainer in real time. 

Training modes

This qualification is delivered using a blended approach consisting of:

Workplace based learning (learning on the job under the direction of a workplace supervisor, manager or employer) and logged through workplace activities log in MPA Online learning management system

Formal online learning

Face to face learning and assessment in a simulated environment (in those cases where the employer does not have access to the range of work necessary) 

Assessment methods


All theory assessment is conducted during normal workplace hours through MPA Online. Assessments consist of a range of interactive activities including:

  • Audio and visual response to scenarios
  • Written tests – short answer and multiple choice questions

The theory assessment must be satisfactorily completed online prior to commencing the practical assessment process.

Practical assessment:

MPA has adopted a flexible approach to the completion of practical assessment as follows.

On site-

Practical assessment is conducted on site be negotiation with the employer and apprentice and only once the theory assessment has been 100% satisfactorily completed in MPA Online.

Apprentices are provided with a task or set of tasks to complete under the direct supervision of the MPA trainer.

At MPA training facilities in Salisbury-

Practical assessment is conducted at MPAs purpose built facilities located at the Construction Training Centre in Salisbury. MPA trainers negotiate with the employer and apprentice to release the apprentice to attend MPA to complete the formal practical assessment process. The practical assessment can only be conducted once the theory assessment has been 100% satisfactorily completed in MPA Online.

Distance based-

Where an apprentice is in a remote location that cannot be accessed by MPA at the time when assessment is required or requested, the apprentice will be provided with the instructions for the task or set of tasks to complete under the supervision of their employer. The apprentice is required to retain a range of direct evidence support the application of skills which may include:

  • Video footage
  • Time lapse photographs
  • A series of photographs (that collectively show the completion of the entire assessment task or tasks)


This qualification is funded by the Queensland Government for eligible apprentices under the User Choice program.

Fees and Charges

For apprentices, MPA must charge and collect contribution fees from each apprentice enrolled in a qualification. The charges apply to all units of competency delivered for the qualification in which they are enrolled.

The contribution fee is calculated at $1.60 per nominal hour for each unit of competency/module delivered. This fee is subject to change on 1 January of each year by the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training. If the fee increases during your enrolment, you will be advised in advance prior to 1 January. 

Fee for Service Enrolments

MPA does accept enrolments in the qualification under fee for service arrangements where the apprentice is not eligible for funding.

The duration of the program remains the same. However, apprentices completing the qualification under these arrangements will be required to pay full fees for the qualification (excluding the $1.60 per nominal hour contribution) as specified in the Student Handbook. Fees will be invoiced at the commencement of each unit of competency.


Information on refunds can be found in the Student Handbook.

Training Location

The delivery location for the training and assessment will vary depending on the location of the apprentice at the time of the learning taking place (on site at the workplace)

Workplace based learning requires the apprentice to carry out tasks and learn from their nominated supervisor under normal working conditions. The employer is responsible for ensuring that the apprentice is suitably trained on the job and is capable of completing the tasks to the standard that is normally expected in the workplace (at apprentice level)

Assessment may be conducted on site under normal working conditions or at MPA purpose-built facilities at Salisbury provided all physical equipment and resources are available at the location. The arrangements for assessment will be determined during the training plan negotiation phase. The completion of an Employer Resource Assessment will determine those units of competency that cannot be trained or assessed in the workplace. In these cases, apprentices will be required to attend MPAs Salisbury training rooms to complete their learning and assessment or MPA may undertake all learning and assessment on site.

Apprenticeship requirements

All apprentices enrolling with MPA must be under a Training Contract with their employer and registered with the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training.

All apprentices must be:

  • At least 15 years of age
  • Queensland Resident
  • An Australian/New Zealand citizen or permanent resident of Australia
  • Able to present evidence to confirm their current address in Queensland (normally a driver’s licence) and their citizenship or residency (normally a green Medicare card) 

Recognition of prior learning

Apprentices may request recognition of prior learning (RPL) assessment. However, any applications for recognition of prior learning (RPL) must be completed within the first three months of your training and prior to the commencement of any formal training.

Apprentices are advised of the opportunity to apply for RPL and, if requested, will be provided with access to their course (or applicable units of competency) via RPL, at the time of enrolment through our online learning portal, allowing them to provide verifiable details of prior learning. The evidence will be assessed for currency and against requirements of the units of competency, and an amended program strategy will be prepared, taking into account the student’s prior learning.  

Training Plans and Training Records

Training Plans

All training is completed based on a training plan negotiated and signed by MPA, the employer and the apprentice. It is the responsibility of trainers to ensure that all apprentices are progressing at a suitable rate to enable completion of their qualification by the specified duration.

Training Records

All apprentices are required to maintain a record of their on the job training and the completion of workplace tasks that can be verified by their employer. MAP uses an electronic training record that is issued at the time of enrolment and can be accessed by both the apprentice and his/her employer. 

Click here to download a copy of the Student Handbook.

Duties and Tasks

Painters and decorators may perform the following tasks:

  • Work out the quantity of materials needed for the job by taking surface measurements or by looking at job specifications or drawings.
  • Erect scaffolding, cradles and ladders and place drop sheets to protect areas from dripping paint.
  • Remove old paint or paper using sanders, scrapers, blowtorches, liquid paint removers and steam strippers as appropriate.
  • Prepare surfaces by fixing woodwork, filling or sealing holes, cracks and joints, and washing them down to remove dust and grease.
  • Select and prepare paints to match colours by the addition of tints.
  • Brush, roll or spray paints, stains, varnishes and other finishes.
  • When wallpapering, set out the area according to the pattern match and starting point in the room, cut the paper to the appropriate length, apply paste to the back of each strip and hang the paper on the wall, smoothing out any wrinkles or bubbles.
  • Spray paint surfaces using a spray gun or specialised equipment.
  • Apply decorative paint finishes such as stencils, colour glaze, graining, marbling and lettering.
  • Wash equipment and clean work areas.

Work Conditions

Painters and decorators may concentrate on a specific area of work, such as the internal or external painting of domestic homes, commercial buildings or industrial structures and equipment. They often work from ladders and scaffolding and do a lot of bending and stretching.

Personal Requirements

  • Physically fit
  • Able to work at heights
  • Enjoy practical work
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Normal colour vision
  • Good sense of balance
  • Able to work independently or as part of a team

During the nominal duration of a painting and decorating apprenticeship each apprentice will need to complete the following:

  • 27 units of competency are required for award of this qualification:
    • 23 compulsory units
    • 4 elective units

A maximum of two of the four required elective units may be substituted by selecting relevant units of competency from any Certificate III or IV construction qualification or qualification in another endorsed Training Package.

Compulsory Units

  • CPCCOHS2001A: Apply OHS requirements, policies and procedures in the construction industry
  • CPCCCM1012A: Work effectively and sustainably in the construction industry
  • CPCCCM1013A: Plan and organise work
  • CPCCCM1014A: Conduct workplace communication
  • CPCCCM1015A: Carry out measurements and calculations
  • CPCCCM2010B: Work safely at heights
  • CPCCCM2001A: Read and interpret plans and specifications
  • CPCCCM2003B: Calculate and cost construction work
  • CPCCCM3001C: Operate elevated work platforms

Painting and Decorating, Preparation, Field of Work, And General Core Units

  • CPCCPB3026B: Erect and maintain trestle and plank system
  • CPCCPD2011A: Handle painting and decorating material
  • CPCCPD2012A: Use painting and decorating tools and equipment
  • CPCCPD2013A: Remove/replace doors and windows/furniture
  • CPCCPD3021A: Prepare surfaces for painting
  • CPCCCM2008B: Erect and dismantle restricted height scaffolding
  • CPCCPD3022A: Apply paint by brush and roller
  • CPCCPD3031A: Implement safe lead paint and asbestos work practices in the painting industry
  • CPCCPD3023A: Apply texture coat finishes by brush, roller and spray
  • CPCCPD3024A: Apply paint by spray
  • CPCCPD3026A: Apply stains and clear timber finishes
  • CPCCPD3027A: Apply wallpaper
  • CPCCPD3025A: Match specified paint colour
  • CPCCPD3028A: Apply decorative paint finishes

Painting and Decorating, Operations, Field of Work Elective Units

Specialist Painting and Decorating, Field of Work

  • CPCCPD3029A: Remove graffiti and apply protective coatings
  • CPCCPD3030B: Apply protective paint coating systems
  • CPCCPD3033A: Apply intumescent coatings
  • CPCCSP3003A: Apply trowelled texture coat finishes
  • MSFGG2008:     Glaze and reglaze residential windows and doors
  • BSBSMB301A:  Investigate micro business opportunities

General Electives

  • BSBSMB301A: Investigate micro business opportunities
  • BSBSMB406A: Manage small business finance

Further Information

For further information regarding this model of delivery please contact Master Painters Association Queensland Training on:

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