This page has information and guidance on accreditation, and how you can use various accredited learning programmes to draw down funding.


Accreditation for Community Radio

Many community radio stations and others delivering youth radio training deliberately choose not to accredit the training that they offer as they’d prefer to keep the training informal and low key.

However, for some participants who may never have received a certificate before it can be useful to accredit their experience in some way.

There are a variety of different types of accreditation that you could deliver through community radio training – for instance radio and creative media production courses and awards, and key skills courses and awards.

One of the challenges is getting the course funded and assessed.  Understanding the funding landscape can seem difficult at first.  In this section we first look at this landscape and then focus in on the courses that you might want to deliver.  One of the best ways to begin to understand the funding landscape is to work closely with staff at a local college and/or school.


The funding landscape

In order to get your learners accredited it is necessary for you to make sure the award you are delivering is on the learning aims database.


The Learning Aims Database

All accredited (and funded) courses visit the Learning Aim database (LAD).

The LAD is the LSC’s database of qualifications and other learning aims.  It contains information about all LSC recognised learning aims offered by providers who return Individualised Learner record (ILR) (a collection of statistical data returned at various points of the academic year by providers in the Further Education system) data.  It includes learning aim information required to complete ILR data returns, as well as funding and statistical data.

You can search the LAD to find the qualifications and available funding for them.  If you don’t know much about accreditation it may be useful to do this with the guidance and support of a local education provider.  Find someone at a local college who might be willing to help you with this.


The Foundation Learning curriculum

What is Foundation Learning?

One of the areas that you might look to position your accreditation is within the current foundation learning curriculum.  These are a suite of qualifications that are currently being funded for people working below Level 2 at entry 1 (inclusive of all learners (PMLD/LDD) previously termed pre-Entry), entry 2, entry 3 and level 1. Colleges (and some schools) will be looking to deliver these programmes and may need some help.

Foundation Learning supports a wide group of learners, including many learner groups that community radio stations often support:

  • Those aged 14-19 unlikely to achieve their potential via the GCSE route
  • Adults with Basic Skills gaps
  • Young people/adults with learning difficulties

The Foundation Learning curriculum is expected to be personalised, within a qualification strategy that requires coverage of three curriculum areas:

  • Personal and Social Development (PSD)
  • Functional Skills (ICT, English, Mathematics)
  • Vocational/subject-based (includes Employability)

The qualifications for Foundation Learning are flexible and inclusive. They can ‘capture’ softer learning outcomes that may previously have been unaccredited.

Personal and social development qualifications (including units on, for example, team building or self development) may be particularly useful here. There’s no requirement for learners to be doing all three component areas of Foundation Learning throughout their programmes – initially, for some learners, a focus on one area may be more effective for re-engagement.

This Curriculum identifies the mix of skills that adults need for confidence in learning, minimal occupational competence, employability and independent living. Programmes can be tailored to take account of the needs of individual learners drawing from the three main elements of Foundation Learning – functional skills, vocational training and personal and social development.

For more information:

What would CR stations need to do to deliver foundation learning curriculum?

To be proficient in the process of identifying each individual’s learning and support needs.  This might involve one-to-one discussions with the learner, analysis of information that is already known, self-assessments and more formal assessments. The process should result in a clear understanding of the learner’s needs and what action will need to be taken to support the learner in making progress towards a progression destination. Identifying needs and reviewing progress should be engaging experiences for the learner.

To be able to develop and follow carefully tailored programmes, based on an initial assessment to identify learner’s prior achievements, educational needs and future goal.  Both the content and duration of learning programmes are flexible, to suit individual needs. Programmes can be revised as the learner progresses, and ongoing advice, guidance and support are an integral part of Foundation Learning.

To consider which aspects of the personalized learning programme they would feel confident delivering.

Personalised learning programmes cover three areas:

  • Vocational or subject learning, which includes both generic skills for working in a vocational context and more subject and sector specific skills.
  • Personal and social development, covering the generic 14–19 reform element of personal, learning and thinking skills, as well as the wider personal and social needs these learners may have e.g. team building, self-development.
  • Functional Skills, which are a key element in the 14–19 reforms. This is common to all qualification pathways, not just Foundation Learning

Funding for young people

THE 16–19 BURSARY FUND is designed to help support young people (aged under 19 on 31st August) who face the greatest financial barriers to participation in education or training. The Fund is split into 2 parts: Young Person’s Bursary and Discretionary Bursaries

Young Person’s Bursary may be paid to learners who fall into one of the following vulnerable categories and are eligible to receive a bursary of at least £1,200.00 a year (paid at a rate of £40.00 per week), subject to meeting attendance and punctuality criteria :-

  • Young people in care
  • Care leavers
  • Young people in receipt of Income Support
  • Young people in receipt of both Employment & Support Allowance and who are also in receipt of Disability Living Allowance or Incapacity Benefit


Discretionary Bursaries may then be paid to learners whose family’s household income falls below £21,000.00 per year. These can be split into the following types of payment :-

  • A weekly bursary payment of £15.00 subject to meeting attendance and punctuality criteria
  • Emergency payments for learners in crisis situations
  • In addition discretionary payments may be made towards course related costs at the following levels

Who is eligible to apply ?

Learners may be assisted from the 16-19 Bursary Fund if they are :-

  • Aged under 19 years of age on 31st. August 2012 (a separate 19+ adult fund is also available)
  • Satisfying the UK/EEA residency conditions which will be verified before enrolment
  • Enrolled on a government funded course, on a qualification programme up to and including Level 3


Skillset is the industry body which supports skills and training for people and businesses in the UK creative industries.  You can find information about training opportunities and courses on their website:


Radio Production Courses

The obvious route to take would be to choose a radio production qualification.  NCFE offer a number of radio production courses at Level 1 and Level 2 for any learners.

NCFE Level 1 award in radio production

Guided learning hours: 50

Compulsory Unit: Make an audio recording for a radio production

Optional Units

  • develop and use radio presentation skills
  • develop and use radio news research skills
  • edit digital audio for radio production
  • explore audio on the internet
  • explore employment opportunities in the radio industry
  • understand and develop microphone techniques


NCFE Level 2 award in radio production

Within the Level 2 qualification there are different optional units in (for instance):

  • Creating a community radio programme
  • Developing and using radio presentation skills
  • Recording audio for radio production
  • Writing a radio jingle


Arts Award

You can run an Arts Award based around any arts or media activity, and you can complete it in a wide variety of settings making it a great way of accrediting community radio activities.

There are no entry requirements, no time limit for completing the award, and no set rules on how to present final work. You just need to be aged between 7 and 25, and be exploring new creative experiences. Arts Award come in 5 levels: discover, explore, bronze, silver and gold.  The award can be useful for young people as they will end up with a portfolio or arts log that shows off their creativity plus providing them with a recognised national qualification or award to put on their CV.

Becoming an Arts Award Centre

It is relatively easy and cheap to set up as an Arts Award centre.  Centres can be set up in a wide variety of different places, from arts organisations to schools, pupil referral units, youth clubs and community centres.  In fact, an Arts Award centre can be any setting that supports children and young people taking part in the arts.

Every Arts Award centre is registered with Trinity College London and must have at least one trained Arts Award adviser. Advisers can work with one centre or across several, and they may also establish new centres. See:

Becoming an Arts Award adviser

Arts Award advisers are key to the success of Arts Award. They support children and young people working towards their awards, acting as mentors, facilitators and primary assessors.

To become an adviser you will need to meet some relevant criteria, including previous experience of working with children or young people.  Training takes place throughout the UK and is relatively inexpensive.

Discover and Explore trainer  £110 half day training

Bronze and Silver trainer         £150 full day training

Gold trainer                             £100 half day raining

Moderation and certification will also cost your institution (although again these costs are relatively low).