General Information About Certification:
The Stone Trust provides access to, and administers, the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain (DSWA-GB) certification testing at its Training Sites in the USA. The certification consists of four levels, each applied for and tested separately: Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and Master Craftsman. (Master Craftsman is also unofficially known as Level 4.)
The certifications are designed to ensure that dry stone wallers achieve the highest standards of craftsmanship for their experience and training level. The difference in standards for dry stone walling between good and bad work is significant. Hiring certified wallers provides a basis of quality work.
The DSWA-GB’s Craft Certification Scheme has become the worldwide standard for evaluating wallers’ proficiency and quality. This certification system began in the early 1970s in Great Britain as a way to evaluate the skills of wallers, promote correct structural techniques, and help clients determine the capabilities of prospective wallers.
The Stone Trust administers all four levels of certification. Certification tests are hands-on demonstrations of the wallers’ capabilities. At each level the test walls are evaluated and scored by certified DSWA examiners. Registration for each test must be submitted 6 weeks prior to the test date. Tests are available to all individuals, amateurs and professionals alike.
Certification tests are rigorous and challenging at all levels. All test candidates should be familiar with the correct structural techniques involved with building a dry stone wall. Test candidates must start at Level 1 and progressively work their way up. Even very talented wallers typically take at least 5 to 10 years to reach Master Craftsman Certification.
Wallers should prepare for certification tests by taking workshop courses, pre-tests, and practicing on their own.
Benefits of acquiring DSWA-GB certification:
- Gives you a known standard for your quality of work
- Provides clients, general contractors, and employers assurance of your capabilities
- Gives you professional credentials
- Improves your structural skills
- Increases your speed and efficiency building
- Distinguishes you from untrained/unqualified competitors
- Increases your earning potential
- Qualifies you for projects requiring certified wallers