Technical Award in Art and Design endorsed by sector expert | NCFE

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Technical Award in Art and Design endorsed by sector expert

Case study Sector expert and employer from Vibrant Thinking

A sector expert and employer from Vibrant Thinking has endorsed NFCE’s Art and Design Level 1/2 Technical Award in Art and Design, commending the qualification for its practical approach.

The qualification is designed to provide learners with the skills, knowledge and understanding of the applied study of good art and design practices and an understanding of working in the sector. It includes a vocational and project-based element and will appeal to learners who wish to progress onto further study.

Lorna Watkinson, founder of Vibrant Thinking, is a respected employer in the sector and has validated that the qualification is fit for purpose and provides the required knowledge and practical skills for the industry, along with progression to a range of post 16 pathways.

Vibrant Thinking provides team building experiences with a difference, using pottery painting as a creative, artistic activity that can galvanise team dynamics, nurture staff wellbeing and help solve complex problems within a business.

Lorna founded the business based on her realisation that art and creativity doesn’t necessarily have to mean drawing and painting. Through creating pieces she was proud of, she felt energised and enjoyed the experience of having space to breathe and refocus on priorities.

Commenting on why art and creativity is important in the curriculum, Lorna said, “Art and creativity is incredibly important because it helps you to think outside the box and develop problem solving skills, creativity and improve productivity.”

Lorna refers to a quote from Elliot Eisner, professor of education at Stanford University, “The arts celebrate multiple perspectives. One of the large lessons from practising the arts is that there are many ways to see and interpret the world.”

The Vibrant Thinking founder continued, “This qualification gives a practical approach to arts and design, equipping learners for the working world. The broad scope of the course covers important employability skills such as understanding and converting a client’s brief. The skills and knowledge gained from the Level 1/2 Technical Award in Art and Design can be transferable to other sectors and careers, making it an extremely worthwhile qualification.”

Lorna believes that there are great employment opportunities for young people in the sector, however she feels that they aren’t highlighted enough. She said, “From my experience people are discouraged to enter the industry unless they are an artist. However, there are many more opportunities available in art and design for those with a creative mind.

"It was great to have the opportunity to work with NCFE to endorse this qualification as I believe it will benefit many learners in the future.”

Paul Burkin, Qualifications Developer at NCFE, said, “We really value working with our stakeholders to ensure our qualifications are current, fit for purpose and reflective of the roles in practice. Working collaboratively with vocational experts such as Lorna means that we develop content and materials that will support delivery and assessment.”

At NCFE, we feel that it’s important to work collaboratively in this way to ensure that the qualifications we develop meet the needs of industry. We are continually growing our network of stakeholder contacts, visit our collaborative working page to find out more.

For more details on the Level 1/2 Technical Award in Art and Design please visit