Certificate in Principles of the Creative and Cultural Sector

Certificate in Principles of the Creative and Cultural Sector

The Certificate in Principles of the Creative and Cultural Sector at QCF level 3 will develop knowledge and skills that are relevant to work in costume and wardrobe, community arts, technical theatre, cultural venue operations, live events and music business.

This qualification covers understanding the creative and cultural industry; personal responsibilities and how to develop and evaluate own performance at work; and keeping up to date with developments in the arts.

It also includes the customer service environment; the principles of budgets in a business environment; the role of marketing and advertising in live events and promotion; and the principles of technical and production developments in the live arts.

This qualification is available through approved centres.

Why deliver this qualification

This qualification offers centres flexibility and choice because of the comprehensive range of optional Units.

Learners can progress to a range of courses at a higher level including Diploma in Cultural Heritage at level 5, allowing centres to retain or build student numbers.

This Certificate in Principles of the Creative and Cultural Sector at QCF level 3 can be offered in any of the following modes:

  • full-time
  • part-time (eg day-release)
  • open and distance learning
  • infill into existing classes
  • evening provision

Who does this qualification suit

This qualification is suitable for learners, aged 16 years and over, who wish to work in, or are already working in the creative and cultural sector, including:

  • school leavers
  • adult returners to education
  • people in employment who wish to enhance their career prospects

.  It will:

  • prepare learners for careers in the creative and cultural sector
  • provide knowledge and skills which are relevant to each of the pathways within the qualification
  • enable learners to make an immediate contribution in employment in the construction environment they are training in, at the same time as being employed
  • provide opportunities for progression within the QCF.

The Certificate in Principles of the Creative and Cultural Sector at QCF level 3 is included as a component in the following apprenticeship frameworks:

Learners may wish to do this qualification as part of the Apprenticeship, or on its own. If learners complete this qualification as part of the Apprenticeship they will be required to undergo additional training, over and above the core qualification, in areas including employment rights and responsibility and/or English and maths.

They may wish to consider taking this qualification outside of the Apprenticeship framework:

·to maximise their employment opportunities within this sector, as not all employers offer Apprenticeship places for this particular job role

·the full Apprenticeship may not be relevant to those who are already in employment but wish to gain recognition and/or certification of their skills

·if they meet the entry requirements to take the qualification but not those required for the apprenticeship route


As with all SQA qualifications, entry is at the discretion of the centre.


Learners who have achieved the Certificate can progress to job roles relating to their chosen pathways.

Community Arts

  • Community Arts Administrator: with responsibilities such as assisting with the efficient running of the organisation to ensure that the local community benefits from a range of arts programmes. This includes assisting with the recruitment of administrators, artist services, maintenance and security, customer relationships and book keeping.

Costume and Wardrobe

  • Assistant Costume/Wardrobe Manager: with responsibilities such as researching the type of clothes and accessories; attending meetings with the artistic director, producer, set designer and technical and lighting departments; assisting with presentation of design ideas to the production team; briefing and monitoring the team; and supporting making/finishing of costumes.

 Cultural and Heritage Venue Operations

  • Front of House Staff: with responsibilities such as ticket sales, exhibition group bookings and dealing with customers; supporting setting-up and servicing meetings; and setting-up and maintaining systems such as finance, staff records, visitor  numbers.
  • Visitor Services Assistant: with responsibilities such as assisting with the safety of staff, visitors, collections and buildings; helping visitors to get the most from their visit; working with explainers, guides, demonstrators and visitors with special needs or requirements; and interpreting and explaining the service, exhibition or site.

 Live Events and Promotion

  • Venue and Stage Crew: with responsibilities such load in, breakdown and load out equipment for a live event; and safely support the set-up of the stage, instruments, sound and lighting for the live event.
  • Music/Events Promotions Assistant, Events Assistant, Events/Entertainment Officer: undertaking activities to secure funding for a live event; supporting the licensing and permissions application processes; researching and assessing the appropriateness of a venue; and contributing to the preparation of contracts.
  • Production Assistant: with responsibilities such supporting the Production Manager to co-ordinate budgets; supporting the preparation of the performance; and identifying suppliers.

 Music Business

  • A&R (Artists & Repertoire): with responsibilities such as identifying and recommending music with commercial potential; identifying development and repertoire opportunities for artists; and planning budgets for the artists.
  • Music Publishing Assistant: with responsibilities such as understanding the registration process and registering musical works for publishing and copyright compliance; and contributing to the preparation and management of artist agreements and contracts.
  • Radio Plugger: with responsibilities such as undertaking the plugging of music; delivering presentations on the value of their product; and organising promotional events for the music industry.
  • Marketing/Promotions Assistant or Assistant Publicist: with responsibilities such as monitoring music press coverage; marketing and selling new and back catalogue music releases; marketing and selling music releases; supporting the identity, brand and characteristics of record labels and their artists; and negotiating with music outlets.

 Technical Theatre

  • Lighting Technician or Lead Lighting Technician: with responsibilities such as working with the lighting designer and director to plan lighting requirements for a live performance; sourcing lighting/special effects equipment; supervising the operation of lighting control systems; operating lighting for a live performance; checking control systems; and health and safety.
  • Production Technician/Senior Production Technician: with responsibilities such as planning and overseeing the maintenance of production items and equipment; and supervising the installation and use of electrical equipment during a live performance. In some venues, the production technician may be responsible for the provision of resources/scheduling of staff and maintenance, budgeting and production schedules.
  • Board/Console Operator: with responsibilities such as working with the lighting designer and programming (or plotting) the control system (board); and operating either the light board or audio mixing console during a live performance.
  • Lighting Maintenance Supervisor/Manager: with responsibilities such as planning and overseeing the maintenance of production items and equipment for a performance; ensuring all maintenance duties are carried out safely; and supervising the installation and use of electrical equipment during a live performance.

 Learners can also do further qualifications to build on their skills, such as a level 3 Certificate in Theatre Operations, or a Foundation degree, HNC/D or a degree.


Centres will have to come forward for approval and should contact SQA’s Business Development Team for guidance.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA’s general requirements for technical/occupational competence as outlined in the Guide to Approval.

How to assess

Ongoing course assessment will apply. Each Unit specification gives information on the Evidence Requirements and approaches to assessment for the Unit.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Qualification Structure

The Certificate in Principles of the Creative and Cultural Sector at QCF level 3 requires the learner to achieve a minimum total of 15 credits by completing the two Mandatory Core Units in Group A to achieve 8 credits plus a minimum of 7 credits from one of the Pathways (taking account of any barred combinations).

Group Award code: GK31 70 (15 QCF credit points)
Ofqual Qualification Code: 601/4924/3

For information on the structure of this qualification, please refer to the Qualification Structure.

Unit specifications and Assessment Guidance

Unit and Assessment Specifications and Assessment Guidance for these qualifications are available on SQA's Secure website. These are available from your centre's SQA co-ordinator. For further information, please contact mycentre@sqa.org.uk

Assessment Strategy