Level II – Intermediate DSWA Certification

Each candidate will strip down and rebuild a section of wall totaling 27 square feet which incorporates a square wall end (cheek end).  27 sq ft is roughly equal to a wall 4 feet 6 inches tall and 6’ long.  (The square footage is measured on one face.)  The wall must be at least 3 feet high, and must be built within a period of seven hours.

The work is to be done in the presence of two Examiners.  A candidate must obtain the minimum mark in each section and an overall total score of at least 69 out of 115 to merit certification.

The basic principles of construction as set out in the Initial Certificate are to be followed.  In addition, particular emphasis will be placed on:  line and straightness;  adequate hearting;  selection of stones for all parts;  batter or camber;  correct laying of through stones and cover stones; secureness of cope stones.

You must bring your own material for batter frames unless otherwise arranged.  Setting up your own batter frames is part of the test.  You must provide your own string lines and other tools.  During the test there is minimal time for shaping stone.  The stone is fairly hard and has already been selected for appropriate shapes and sizes.  There is also additional stone available if needed.

The Level II test wall should be built following the same procedure as Level I.  However the wall must be built to a much higher standard to pass.   You must have a Level I certificate before you apply for Level II.  This is a Stone Trust Policy.

Any Level II certified waller is qualified to take the DSWA instructor training course and become a Certified Instructor.

Click Here for Upcoming Test Dates and Registration


Tips for Success:

  • Know the requirements
  • Arrive at least ½ hour early to settle in (examiners can answer questions before test starts)
  • This is not your highest quality work, it is the work you can produce in 7 hours
  • Sort the material as you strip out (generally not more than 30 min)
  • Strip out the wall so there is equal amounts of stone on both sides
  • Through stones should be on by ½ the allowed time (3.5 hours)
  • Sort face stones by size, keep copes, hearting, and throughs separated.
  • The end of the wall should be vertical (no batter).
  • Examiners look for the cheekend to be properly tied back into the wall
  • Good Line, straightness, and even wall faces, are important at this level
  • Heart very solidly under throughstones
  • Pin (heart) between and under each face stone
  • Be familiar with setting up batter frames
  • No running joints up the wall end are allowed
  • A large, solid, end cope is important.
  • The cheekend is marked higher than any other category of the test.


A passing Level 2 test wall
A passing Level II test wall.  Click here to see the mark sheet for this test


The back side of the same test wall
The back side of the same test wall

Level 2 test in progress
Level 2 test in progress

dry stone wall test being examined
Level 2 dry stone wall test being examined

Level 2 tests in progress
Level 2 tests in progress

Several level 2 tests in progress in The Center
Several level 2 tests in progress
in The Center