Why Gold Arts Award?

2nd February 2018 - Adam Halls

What is Gold Arts Award and why, if you’re a young person interested in the arts or developing employment skills, an artist or a school leader should you know about it?

What is it?

Gold Arts Award (also known as Arts Award Gold) is a Level 3 qualification and has been designed for young people aged 16 to 25 (although it is open to young people from age 11). The award has 16 points on the UCAS tariff.

 “It helped me develop my ability to lead a team and my arts management skills, and gave me a platform to experiment with my creativity” – Lizzy Whynes, Arts Award Gold alumni and now working as the Education Officer at Harrogate Theatre.

What does it involve?

Gold students develop a portfolio which demonstrates their art skills as well as their commitment to the arts and creativity. This process is really valuable in terms of future employment and applications to further and higher education. Gold Arts Award is structured under two units: personal arts development and leadership of an arts project. From a young person’s perspective, here are some of the things they might undertake to achieve Gold Arts Award:

black and white photo of girl playing violin

What are the benefits?

This valuable personal aspect of Gold is an opportunity for young people to gain experience that can ultimately help determine and feed into the pathways they chose after education, particularly if they pursue a career in the creative industries.

How do I get involved?

If you’re a young person aged 16 to 25 you can complete a Gold Arts Award in your own time or as an alternative to another level 3 qualification. You will need to work with an accredited Arts Award Gold Adviser who will help guide you on completing the project and help prepare your portfolio for submission.

If you’re a teacher, artist or anyone who routinely works with young people, you can become an Arts Award Gold Adviser by completing a one day training course. We hold regular public training sessions, the dates of which are listed on our events page or you can subscribe to our newsletter for updates. You can find out more about becoming an Adviser on our Arts Award page.

At IVE, we are firm believers in the value of Gold Arts Award and are working to develop its presence in the region. As well as continuing to offer support to organisations who currently deliver Gold, we have developed a Gold Peer Mentoring Programme which will run annually. There are several aims of this programme and the first is that we are hoping to develop a better connected network of Gold Arts Award Advisers in the region. One thing that crops up a lot is that Arts Award Advisers feel it is valuable to be part of a network and share their Arts Award journey and experiences with others who are in a similar position. This programme will create a network of Gold Advisers that will then go on to mentor the next cohort, and so on. By doing this, we are hoping to create a better fluency around Gold that will permeate across the region. The aim then is that we create a knock on effect, where by Gold moderations steadily increase year on year due to the increased support on offer and more examples of good practise there will be to share.

Once the pilot has finished and the first set of Gold participants have been moderated, we will host a sharing event to celebrate the achievements. From October 2018 we will then be looking for the second wave of partners who are interested in delivering Gold, but with a bit more support. Please keep an eye out in autumn 2018 for details of this which will go out in our newsletter. Through this programme, we are really hoping that it helps organisations taking part to embed Arts Award into their work.

Teen girl holding supplies for painting in hands in art department

Where can I find out more?

If you’re interested in finding out more about Gold, there are several ways you can do this. Check the Arts Award section on our website: https://weareive.org/bridge/arts-award/

The Arts Award website:


Also the voice mag website which is a fantastic platform for young people to share blogs, write reviews and become contributors. There is a dedicated Arts Award section which highlights case studies and experiences directly from young people who have participated in Arts Award at various levels:


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