The Level 3 Certificate in Clay Technology course was developed by The International Clay Technology Association (ICTa), in collaboration with the Training Academy and it leads to a formal qualification, awarded by PIABC.  The course is perfect for those wishing to broaden and deepen their knowledge and understanding of the heavy clay industry and demonstrate their commitment to their career development.

In addition to receiving a formal qualification, those completing the course are eligible for technician membership of the Institute and EngTech registration from Engineering Council.

Who should study towards the PIABC Level 3 Certificate in Clay Technology?

The PIABC Level 3 Certificate in Clay Technology is aimed at employees in a Team Leader role or above within all Manufacturing Operations (Production, Technical, Engineering) and anyone aspiring to future progression within a technical management role in the Heavy Clay Industry.

The course will help broaden the technical knowledge of those working in the clay technology industries.

How can I study the course?

The PIABC Level 3 Certificate in Clay Technology course is a blended learning course where distance learning using the coures materials provided, is supplemented by a number of face-to-face learning sessions.

The Induction Day must be attended by all students as workbooks and course materials are handed out and explained at the start of the course.  It is expected that your Mentor also attends the day as they will receive important information on how to do their part effectively. 

About half way through the course there is a two-day workshop.  Although this is non-mandatory it is highly recommended.  The workship includes a number of lectures, several factory tours and a fantastic opportunity to network with like minded people from different factories and companies.  You must have your own transport to travel between the workshop venues and it is essential that you bring your own PPE.  There is an additional charge to cover the costs of meals and refreshements and overnight accommodation.

Throughout the course there are assignments to be completed and submitted.  Although these do not count towards your final assessment, they are a valuable way of testing your learning and getting feedback on areas where you are dong well and areas which you may need to work on further.

Towards the end of the course, the Mock Exam day provides an opportunity to check your learning and further enhance your understanding of the course topics.  In the morning there is a mock exam and after lunch you will go through the paper with the cousre tutors who can explain anything that isn’t quite understood.  Again, this is not mandatory you will miss out on a great opportunity to test yourself and prepare for the final assessment, which takes the form of a 3-hour written exam.

How long does the course take to complete?

Our course leading to the PIABC Level 3 Certificate in Clay Technology qualification takes approximately 6 months to complete, from induction day to final exam.  To help you organise your learning and progress through the course materials in a timely manner we will provide assignment submission dates.  Although these do not count towards your final assessment, they are a very valuable way for you, your mentor and us, to keep a track on your progress and understanding.

How is the course structured?

The PIABC Level 3 Certificate in Clay Technology course is comprised of 10 compulsory units.

  • Unit 1: Introduction to the Industry
    Main Sectors
    Brief History
  • Unit 2: Clay Science
    Characteristics and functional properties of raw materials
    Chemical constituents
    Effects of additives
  • Unit 3: Extraction
    Site assessment and evaluation
    Extraction and transportation of raw material
    Environmental impact
  • Unit 4: Clay Preparation
    Raw material preparation
  • Unit 5: Forming & Setting
    Forming processes
  • Unit 6: Packaging & Distribution
    Handling Equipment & Transport
  • Unit 7: Drying
    How dryers operate
    Effects of drying
  • Unit 8: Kilns & Firing
    Operating a kiln
    Effects of firing
  • Unit 9: Control Systems
    The importance of continuous improvement
    Process trials
    Final product testing
  • Unit 10: Quality, Sustainability & Management Systems

How is the course assessed?

The final assessment for the Level 3 Certificate in Clay Technology course is a 3 hour written examination consisting of short and longer answer questions.  The examination is taken as part of PIABC's examination series in June or November each year.


Watch this space for the launch of the 2023 course


The IOM3 Training Academy runs the Clay Technology courses in association with the ICT Trust, who are responsible for developing the learning materials.