Level 3 Award in Playwork Principles into Practice

Level 3 Award in Playwork Principles into Practice

The Level 3 Award in Playwork Principles into Practice is a competence based qualification, the primary purpose of which is to develop knowledge and skills in areas such as an introduction to Play Principles and Practice. Learners can specialise in Playwork Theory and Practice based on the Playwork Principles.

This qualification covers areas such as Explore Play Theory in Practice, Support Playwork Practice, Support Organisational Playwork Practice, and Support Reflective Practice in Playwork.  The learner will produce a reflective diary which should include personal reflection on the children's play and the adults role within this.  This will relate to the learners’ relationship and interactions with:

Learners will also explore playwork theory in practice by completing 6 play observation sheets or play diaries. The learner will undertake assessment within a setting which works within the Playwork Principles and in consultation with colleagues.

This qualification is available through approved centres in Wales.

Why deliver this qualification

Learners can progress to a range of courses at a higher level including the Level 3 Certificate in Playwork Principles into Practice. allowing centres to retain or build student numbers.

This Level 3 Award in Playwork Principles into Practice 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 a wide range of learners including:

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


This qualification is not part of an Apprenticeship.


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

This qualification is for playworkers and childcare staff to facilitate progression from the SQA Level 2 Putting Playwork Principles into Practice Award, Certificate and Diploma or other relevant qualifications at QCF Level 2 or SCQF Level 6.

Learners should be in a job or placement where they are carrying out relevant tasks and responsibilities which allow them to gather the required evidence. 


The Level 3 Award can provide progression to:

  • Level 3 Certificate in Playwork Principles into Practice

Learners may also progress to employment as a qualified Support Playworker or Support worker in Early Education and Childcare settings.


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 detailed information on the Evidence Requirements and approaches to assessment for the Unit.

Assessment Guidance for this qualification is available from SQA. Training Manuals relating to this qualification are also available from PlayWales.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Qualification structure

The Level 3 Award in Playwork Principles into Practice  requires the learner to complete 4 mandatory Units (12 QCF credit points)

Group Award code: 600/4292/8 (12 QCF credit points)

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



QCF Level

QCF Credit Points






Explore Play Theory in Practice





Supporting Playwork Practice





Support Organisational Playwork  Practice





Support Reflective Practice in Playwork

Unit specification and assessment guidance

Unit 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

Learners will be assessed on the knowledge and skills developed in each Unit.  The Assessment may take a number of forms including reports, reflective accounts and developoing folios of work.  The practical Unit will help learners develop skills in working with children prior to being assessed on performance in the workplace.

Additional information/Useful Links