Level 3 Certificate in Principles of the Creative and Cultural Sector

Level 3 Certificate in Principles of the Creative and Cultural Sector

SQA code: GK31 70
Ofqual code: 601/4924/3
Total Qualification Time: 150
Guided Learning Hours: 55
Credit value: 15

The Level 3 Certificate in Principles of the Creative and Cultural Sector will develop knowledge and skills within the industry, and develop understanding of personal responsibilities within the workplace. Learners can specialise in different pathways such as: costume and wardrobe, community arts, technical theatre, cultural venue operations, live events and music business.

This qualification may be available through employers, training providers and colleges and is currently offered in England.

To ensure it meets the needs of the industry, the qualification has been developed in partnership with Creative & Cultural Skills.

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.

Its primary purpose is to confirm the learner's occupational competence within the creative and cultural sector. As a work-related, competence-based qualification, it provides confirmation to employers, industry managers and card schemes 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 (see Progression).


The qualification is designed to meet the following objectives:

  • preparing learners to progress to another qualification
  • meeting relevant programmes of learning
  • supporting a role in the workplace
  • confirming knowledge, understanding and skills
  • enabling professional membership
  • providing access to a relevant card scheme
  • enabling learners to gain the relevant licence to practice

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.

To achieve the whole qualification, learners need a minimum of 15 credits. They must complete 2 mandatory core units plus 1 mandatory unit from their chosen pathway and a minimum required optional units from the chosen pathway, as show in the qualification structure. (See Qualification content and delivery tools)

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 at level 2 in the Creative And Cultural Sector
  • people in employment who wish to enhance their career prospects
  • individuals who wish to start their own business


Entry to the qualification is at the discretion of the centre.


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

  • Level 3 Community Arts Administration Apprenticeship in England (as detailed in SASE)
  • Level 3 Costume and Wardrobe Apprenticeship in England (as detailed in SASE)
  • Level 3 Cultural land Heritage Venue Operations Apprenticeship in England
    (as detailed in SASE)
  • Level 3 Live Events and Promotion Apprenticeship Framework (as detailed in SASE)
  • Level 3 Music Business Apprenticeship Framework (as detailed in SASE)
  • Level 3 Technical Theatre: Lighting, Sound, Stage Apprenticeship (as detailed in SASE)

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 include employment rights and responsibility and/or English and maths.


The Level 3 Certificate in Principles of the Creative and Cultural Sector can lead to employment within the creative and cultural industry. For example, learners could seek employment in one of the following areas, depending on their chosen pathway.

Community arts

Administration roles within community arts administration — 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 for 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; 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 need or requirement and interpreting and explaining the service, exhibition or site.

Live events and promotion

Venue and stage crew — with responsibilities such as: load in, breakdown and load out equipment for a live event; 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 such as: 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 as: supporting the production manager to co-ordinate budges; supporting the preparation of the performance and identifying suppliers.

Music Business

Artists and repertoire assistant — 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; 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; 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 programming (or plotting) the control systems (board) and operating either the light board; or audio mixing a 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.

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Qualification structure

The qualification requires the learner to complete 2 mandatory core units (credit value 8) plus the mandatory unit and the required optional units from the chosen pathway.

Please refer to the qualification structure (96 KB) for more information.

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.

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 instructions correctly. They will demonstrate that they can select the appropriate resources for the tasks and can complete them within the given timescales and specifications.

Learner portfolio

Assessment strategy/principle