Level 3 Certificate in Playwork Principles into Practice

Qualifications Wales code: C00/0420/3
SQA Qualification Code: GE74 70
Total Qualification Time: 350 hours

The Level 3 Certificate in Playwork Principles into Practice is a competence-based qualification which builds on the knowledge and skills previously gained in the Level 3 Award Playwork Principles into Practice.

It covers the following areas:

  • developing knowledge of play theory
  • developing playwork practice
  • developing organisational playwork practice
  • developing reflective practice in playwork
  • supporting inclusive playwork practice
  • safeguarding children and young people in play spaces

This qualification is available through SQA-approved centres in Wales.


Qualification rationale and objectives

Rationale and purpose of this qualification

This qualification is aimed at those who:

  • are in work and are looking for recognition of their prior learning and experience
  • have previously completed the Level 3 Award in Playwork Principles into Practice

Its primary purpose is to confirm the learner’s occupational competence as a playwork practitioner. As a work-related, competence-based qualification it provides confirmation to employers and managers that the learner has the skills and knowledge needed to meet the nationally recognised standard to carry out the role.

Learners who achieve this qualification can use it to gain employment, to progress in the industry, or to work towards another qualification, such as the Level 3 Diploma Playwork Principles into Practice (see Progression).


The qualification is designed to meet the following objectives:

  • preparing learners to progress to another qualification
  • meeting relevant programmes of learning
  • giving learners the opportunity for personal growth and engagement in learning
  • supporting a role in the workplace
  • confirming knowledge, understanding and skills 

What does this qualification cover?

As this is a competence-based qualification, learners will be acquiring the knowledge and skills required through either on-the-job experience or in a learning environment.

This qualification is linked to typical job roles that learners will encounter within the sector.

To achieve the whole qualification, learners need a minimum of 35 credits. They must complete 10 mandatory units from the qualification structure.

Who is this qualification for?

This qualification is suitable for:

  • workers who need the qualification to meet legislative requirements
  • workers wishing to progress into a supervisory position
  • learners who have completed a qualification in a relevant discipline
  • people in employment who wish to enhance their career prospects
  • individuals who wish to start their own business
  • school and college students with part-time jobs that enable them to develop the appropriate skills in the workplace



Entry to the qualification is at the discretion of the centre. Specific skills, knowledge and understanding or other qualifications required before taking this qualification include:

the Level 3 Award in Playwork Principles into Practice

This qualification is mainly taken by individuals employed as playworkers.


Learners may progress from the Level 3 Certificate in Playwork Principles into Practice to the Level 3 Diploma in Playwork Principles into Practice.

What approvals are needed?

Centres must 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 Systems and Qualification Approval Guide.

Where can you take this course

Qualification content and delivery tools

Qualification structure

The qualification requires the learner to complete 10 mandatory units (credit value 35).

Group award code: GE7470 (credit value 35)
Qualifications Wales code: C00/0420/3

Please refer to the qualification structure for more information.

Unit specifications

Unit specifications for this qualification are available on the Unit search.

How to assess

Ongoing course assessment will apply. Each unit specification gives detailed information on the assessment criteria, assessment (evidence) requirements and guidance on instruments of assessment for the unit.

The qualification is assessed by completing a portfolio of evidence which details what the learner has completed at work. This can be gathered through observation, professional discussion, witness testimony or supporting documentary evidence. The assessor can work alongside the learner to confirm that they have met the requirements of the qualification and that they are therefore competent in their role.

Competence is displayed through the assessor observing the learner demonstrate that they carry out their normal work activities competently and to the industry standard and comply with current legislation and company procedures.

The assessment process will ensure that the learner can complete the tasks that they have been directed to undertake and that they can interpret the playwork principles and theory correctly. They will demonstrate that they can select the appropriate resources for the task. They will also demonstrate that they can complete tasks within the given timescales and specifications.

This will include writing briefing papers for staff and colleagues which will include:

  • the benefits of play
  • the concept of play deprivation
  • barriers to play
  • play needs and preferences

The learner will work through a process of personal reflection of their own playwork practice (personal needs analysis), then develop a personal learning plan and identify a plan for continuous professional development.

Learner portfolio