We are working in partnership with Creative & Cultural Skills and the arts and cultural sector to create new qualifications for creative practitioners working with children and young people.

The initiative builds on recommendations made by the sector through the Creative Blueprint series of research, published by Creative & Cultural Skills between 2009 and 2011, which identified the need to improve the professional development opportunities for creative practitioners who work with young people in a range of contexts.

It also builds on recommendations in the Henley Review of Cultural Education, the Henley Review of Music Education and the subsequent National Plan for Music Education.

These non-mandatory qualifications will provide an opportunity for creative practitioners to develop their practice and enhance their work with children and young people. 

They are designed to encourage practitioners at every level, from new to the workforce to the highly experienced, to develop skills and build reflective practice as part of the wider children's workforce. They are designed to be flexible, vocational and allow for recognition of prior learning.

The suite of new qualifications will include:

  • a new Level 3 Certificate for Creative and Cultural Practitioners Working with Children and Young People, suitable for all creative practitioners, available from January 2013. Developed in partnership with the sector and through public consultations, this certificate enables creative practitioners to gain the skills needed by the creative children's workforce
  • a new Level 4 Diploma, specifically designed for musicians, available from September 2013. The music specialist qualification, to be known as the Certificate for Music Educators, or CME, is in the last stages of development. The Certificate for Music Educator aims to support inspiring and motivational learning and progression for children and young people. It will be relevant to all musicians, regardless of musical genres and sub-genres or stage in career. It will be based on existing qualifications wherever possible, made up of small units that can be delivered in a flexible way

These qualifications will offer all practitioners clear progression routes to skills development, enhancing practice to the benefit of schools, local authorities and the broad range of organisations that employ creative practitioners to work with children and young people.

Ultimately this programme seeks to benefit young people themselves, who will in turn get higher quality experiences as a result.

Both qualifications will be available in 2013.

These new qualifications join the Diploma in Dance Teaching and Learning (Children and young people) which was created and developed with Arts Council investment. The diploma was produced as a dance industry initiative to provide a qualification for artists or practitioners who work or who wish to work with children and young people in the non-formal sector. It is a qualification at Level 6 and awarded by Trinity College London.

Download the Arts Council’s presentation from the Music Education Expo in March 2013.

Find out answers to frequently asked questions about the Certificate for Music Educators.