The new proposed standard is the "Level 3 Certificate for Creative Practitioners Working with Children and Young People." We made five major points, based on our own consultations of your Sound Sense board members, practising community musicians, and consultations within the Navigator partners of ArtWorks (see www.soundsense.org/metadot/index.pl?id=26493&isa=Category&op=show for details of Navigator.)
1) There is too much emphasis on acquiring knowledge related to children and young people’s (CYP) development, and to health and safety issues, especially given that a) this is only a level three qualification; and b) creative practitioners will not - and should not - be working alone with CYP at this level. Units 1, 2 and 5 therefore need to be scaled back and revised to reflect the actual practice of creative practitioners, working as artists, in school or other CYP settings at this level, and the needs of those who are employing them for artists, not for child development workers.
2) We are not sure on what standards the new units 3 and 4 are based. There is an emerging new NOS in the community arts suite covering this same ground, and it will be essential that these qualifications read across to those standards; otherwise there will be confusion for those taking or using this qualification. Similarly, there is potential for confusion with the developing Music Educators qualification (and with any standards that is to be based on). All these standards and qualifications must walk together if they are actually to be of use.
3) We applaud the fact that most of the learning outcomes in the new unit 4 are competence-based, and so must be assessed in a real-work environment. We urge this approach to be taken with unit 3, too: while understanding of the issues surrounding creative learning is important, these issues cannot be learned solely as academic exercises if a practitioner is to be useful in a real-work setting. These issues must be related to, and assessed through, experiential practice.
4) The qualification does not seem to allow for accreditation of prior learning. If the qualification is to gain wide acceptance, it mut work for the numerous highly experienced and knowledgeable creative practitioners already working successfully. They must be able to gain credit (and credits) for their existing knowledge and understanding, and so reduce the burden on them of gaining what will for most be an additional qualification.
5) We have no problem with the qualification, amended as we recommend being recognised as one of many creative practitioners might hold. If it is to become the only ‘licence to practise' for practitioners it requires substantial revision and much deeper consultation with all the professional bodies dealing with artists engaged in this field.
The consultation is now closed.