Login to access your Arts Award pages


How Arts Award can work for you

Arts Award is designed to be accessible to children and young people with a range of abilities, backgrounds and individual learning requirements because:

  • it measures and supports each individual’s personal progress
  • it is accessible for most young people who face barriers to learning or who may not be able to achieve other qualifications
  • evidence can be collected in a range of formats, meaning that non-verbal or less confident communicators can be supported to achieve the qualification
  • it can be delivered in enjoyable, ‘non-formal’ formats using a wide range of art forms including digital media and youth culture arts


Find out more about Arts Award in specific contexts here:


There are no entry requirements and children and young people aged 25 and under can take part in Discover and Explore, and 11-25 year olds can take part in Bronze, Silver and Gold levels. Young people can start at the level most suited to them. Arts Award assesses communication, art form knowledge and understanding, and creativity, with planning and review added at Silver and Gold; rather than specific art form skills. Communication can take any form, and does not need to be written or verbal. Our resource Arts Award levels at a glance offers guidance on what's expected of young people at each level, and can be used to help determine the appropriate level for them.

Arts Award is a useful outcome indicator, showing the success of your work with young people, but has also been shown to support wider outcomes such as literacy and numeracy, and for example increasing the likelihood of young people engaging in further education, training or employment, and reducing reoffending.* Applications for grant or trust funding may be strengthened if young people are gaining a qualification, helping you cover the costs of training and moderation.  

 *Source: Art of Engagement – outcomes and impact of the Summer Arts College (SAC) Programme 2007–12, Stephenson, Adams, Tarling, published by Unitas https://www.unitas.uk.net

Reaching Out programme

In order to find out more about how Arts Award is being used in non-mainstream settings an internal report was commissioned in spring 2012. Following this internal report there was an 18 month Arts Award Reaching Out access and inclusion programme, including funded pilot projects with hospital schools, children in foster care, children referred to Arts Therapists by NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services children with behavioural disorders in residential care homes, homeless young adults, and children with life-limiting illness. All of the projects have led to ongoing, sustainable delivery. Read the Summary Report

Arts Award Impact Study

A three year Arts Award Impact Study also evidenced examples of development of a range of transferrable skills, including organisation, self motivation in learning, research skills, social and communication (including English language) skills and team working skills.

Arts Award nurtures and celebrates hidden creative talents and skills, legitimising young people’s achievements in non-mainstream art forms or artistic practice, often providing first time accreditation for young people who have not yet achieved success in educational settings.


What next?

Get inspired

Clayfields House is a secure children's home. 19 young people achieved Bronze Arts Award after participating in a variety of arts activities. The young people also achieved a special under 18 Koestler Award. 

‘I was interested in Arts Award from its inception, having been an advocate for creative approaches within youth justice settings for some time. It was obvious from the outset that Arts Award was determined to make the qualification accessible to all young people, no matter what their ability or individual circumstances.'

Professor Martin Stephenson, Director of Social Inclusion, Nottingham Trent University

Get started

Information about adviser training and planning your Arts Award delivery

Get support

Information on how we can support you including extensive case studies, resources, and online and face-to-face support offers. All advisers with specific access requirements are also eligible for a support visit.

Transgender young people - We are aware that some transgender or agender young people may not wish to be identified as male or female. At the moment these are the only gender options available when enrolling young people for moderation and we are working to address this. In the meantime, when providing details of any young person whom this affects the gender field can be left blank.