Until recently formal qualifications for theatre workers were not considered very necessary and no national standard applied to those which were available. Although training was available through various theatrical bodies, by and large individual staff members were left to source single subject training courses on subjects that interested them. Employers had no way of objectively judging interviewees skills and competencies and training courses haven't always met our industry's needs.
Skillscene has been working on a creation of a framework which is used to assess work based competence against National Occupational Standards. This will in turn lead to the identification of more precise training needs. Theatre workers will be able to get qualified at their own appropriate level dependant upon their degree of competence.
They will be assessed by qualified Assessors to achieve competence, and in this way can gain the qualification. Within the framework, staff and freelance workers can also use it as a career development tool enabling them to move to a higher level of responsibility, or to broaden their skills range.
Three regions were chosen to pilot the new scheme, concentrating in Technical Live Arts, during 2005/06. London, the South West and Yorkshire regions participated and the scheme.
Arts Council England, ABTT, PLASA, SOLT, the former TTTS, funded the original pilot.
CCSkills contributed funds for the pilot's evaluation.