Abstract The paper presents an application of the non-local regularization to the finite element modelling of ductile damage and tearing. In order to model the damage growth in ductile materials of structural components, integral limiters have been introduced. These integral limiters, which are spatial averaging operators, can prevent the problem of mesh-sensitivity of the finite element computations. Hence, it was important to establish the characteristic length l c for spatial averaging operators of the non-local regularization. More formally, the in-plane distance l c and the out-of-plane FE dimension have been specified, characterizing the volume over which averaging of stress and strain was carried out to ensure that the continuum theory can represent the physical process of damage. In order to check the reliability and transferability of the method, FE simulations of various testing examples have been carried out, namely ductile fracture in notched tensile specimens, ductile crack growth in C(T) specimens and application to the pipe-bending test.