Welsh playwork trainer qualification now available in England

A collaboration of the Playwork Foundation and Play Wales has resulted in the Award in Delivering Dynamic Playwork Training (ADDaPT) being made available in England. Ali Wood reports.

Are you a playwork trainer or have offered playwork training?  In England, the only playwork qualifications currently available are in the form of apprenticeships, and take-up is small; especially as there is no legal requirement for qualified playwork staff (unlike the rest of the UK). A few training providers are still managing to offer short playwork training courses locally, but gone are the days when playwork training and qualifications were widely available and free.

The Playwork Foundation has, therefore, for some time been liaising with Play Wales and with Agored Cymru – a Welsh awarding organisation who now offers various playwork qualifications that have been designed by Play Wales and are delivered across Wales, to see if the Welsh playwork qualifications can be made available in England.  In order to ensure that only occupationally competent trainers deliver playwork qualifications that are inspiring and participative, Play Wales has also developed a short qualification for playwork trainers – the Award in Delivering Dynamic Playwork Training (ADDaPT) – which they have to undertake if they wish to deliver any playwork qualifications.

As a result of our deliberations, we are really pleased to announce it is now going to be possible for Welsh playwork qualifications to be delivered in England!  An ADDapT course has therefore been arranged for English playwork trainers in order that they may be able to offer and deliver any or all of the other playwork qualifications available in Wales.  To be accepted onto the ADDaPT course, trainers must already hold a teaching qualification suitable for working in Further Education and be able to show they are occupationally competent in playwork.  The ADaPT course is three days in length and provides learners with an opportunity to explore interactive and playful techniques to use when delivering playwork training and qualifications.  Participants must also complete an assessment workbook so that they can become an accepted Agored playwork trainer.

This is a great opportunity for English playwork trainers who could then offer short level 2 playwork qualifications that have not been possible in England until now.  The first ADDaPT course has been arranged to take place at Gloucester University on Saturdays 2nd November, 11th November, and 7th December.  The course includes content on:

  • Understanding the importance of meeting a range of learning needs and preferences
  • Understanding a range of playful and participative methods for teaching playwork
  • Designing a programme of learning for playwork
  • Reflecting on own practice

We can also tell you that the ADDaPT itself is an exceptional training course that really inspires and excites playwork trainers and is a professional development opportunity in itself.

Is this for you? There will be a cost of approximately £250 per participant (this could be a little more or a bit less depending on numbers attending) which covers the costs of the ADDaPT trainer, the resources and internal quality assurance.

Ali Wood

Ali Wood is a playwork trainer, researcher, and author. She is a trustee of the Playwork Foundation.


If you are interested in the ADDaPT training, please contact Ali Wood on aliwood@blueyonder.co.uk as soon as possible for further information and/or to reserve a place!

4 thoughts on “Welsh playwork trainer qualification now available in England

  1. Lesli Godfrey says:

    There are two Playwork qualifications available in England as well as apprenticeships. NCFE CACHE offers a level 2 and a level 3 in Playwork, so you may need to amend this article.

    • alipwood says:

      That’s true Lesli – we should have said ‘funded qualifications’ as it is only apprenticeships that carry some funding – and then only for large training providers. Take-up is small for these however,let alone non-funded qualifications, especially as there is no requirement any more. The Welsh qualifications are also not funded, but they do offer something different in that there is a short level 1 course and a short level 2 qualification in playwork – so funding these would be more doable and they are very relevant to what the sector needs at present.

  2. plexity says:

    Tracey Beasley is an ex-playworker and huge fan of playwork and playworkers.

    She has allowed me to post her comments, which I have edited slightly to add some swearing, oops I mean remove.

    Tracey said:

    “Just thinking their new courses won’t actually be classed as qualifications and are therefore a waste of everyone’s money.

    “Whilst I’m all for training for play workers, if these new courses are not going to be recognised anywhere they are essentially pointless.

    “Also, the bigger/wider concern that they should be addressing is the industry wiping out Playwork as a profession.

    “It’s almost as if they are going down the Play England route of self-importance & not the wider good.

    “Call me out if I’m wrong. I know I can rely on you for that.

    [I didn’t]

    “I’m possibly just ranting, but the way I see it is unless these people that they (will possibly) train can pull together a better, more coherent voice collectively than they, or Play England have to date, then going forward there is no such profession as Playwork according to the Government.

    “So, as it stands Playwork qualifications are considered ‘full & relevant’ for work in childcare, but childcare qualifications are not ‘full & relevant’ for Playwork.

    “I’m flabbergasted to think the complete removal of these well-regarded qualifications that allow playworkers to work in after school clubs, holiday clubs & even nurseries (a choice which, to be fair, most playworkers need) is being overlooked by the Playwork community as a whole.

    [I suggested that she share this in various places]

    “I should probably, but I’m starting to feel like there are a load of separate entities fighting for Playwork in their own small (and therefore) insignificant ways, with their own definitions of what it is and what it means, etcetera.

    “All I can see is the end of a profession because we’re all so f#cking intellectual, so we can’t compromise with all the other intellectuals, to the detriment of the actual profession we all say we love & admire.

    “Notice, I do say we because I’m still working out how guilty/complicit I am.

    “Share whatever you like cos I’m kinda confused as to the best vehicle now.”

    [and, might I suggest she’s not the only one…]

    • alipwood says:

      I’m repeating here what I said to the same comment you left on our Facebook page – which I now don’t seem to be able to find – I’m still not as technosavvy as I should be so there’s probably a way to link these that I don’t understand!

      Anyway, there are a number of points here…

      1. the Welsh playwork courses are qualifications – no they are not recognised in England (yet) but Rome wasn’t built in a day and we have to build things back up step by step and getting recognition back is not a simple process. In the meantime however, some of the Welsh quals are short and doable and fit what many of us in the sector need at present as those play settings/projects/playgrounds that are surviving often now have staff and volunteers who have had no or hardly any playwork training and we need some bite-sized good quality quals that give them the basic theory before this is lost in everyday practice.

      2. these quals aren’t funded but because they are short this is more doable than doing a whole level 2 or 3 under the current system.

      3. the only qualifications that have any funding are apprenticeships, but that’s only for already employed staff. And there’s a lot about playwork apprenticeships that has not worked and people in the sector are unhappy about, as most of the good quality small playwork training providers that traditionally trained and qualified playworkers, were not able to meet the government criteria on finance to be able to draw down the funding, and so apprenticeships have been offered by larger providers who also do a lot of other related qualfications and occupational competence has been questionable for many of those assessing apprentices.

      4. we have just received notification that the group of playwork employers who have been working over the last coupe of years on a bid for a new and more bespoke playwork apprenticeship – that our bid has been successful. Watch this space for a further post on this when the way forward with that is clearer. But we do need choice – apprenticeships alone will not meet the needs we have,

      5. So things are improving – it is not all gloom and doom, but it will all take time – and positive commitment!

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