Creative Practitioners

RSL’s Level 4 Creative Practitioners Qualifications offer a unique and innovative professional development framework for artists and entrepreneurs looking to make their mark in the music and performing arts industries. 

Learners registered on these qualifications undertake a journey of development in conjunction with expert mentors, from self and market analysis to ‘brand’ development and presentation to the industry, whatever a learner’s aspiration they can develop a strategy to achieve their goal.

These qualifications have been completed by international music stars such as Ed Sheeran & Jess Glynne but have also produced successful band managers, label owners and renowned producers.

Vocational Qualifications

Creative Practitioners

RSL Level 4 Qualifications for Creative Practitioners have been designed to build upon RSL’s Vocational Qualifications
at Levels 1 to 3.

The type of learner who would undertake these qualifications will typically have come through a creative course at Level 3. However, the qualifications are equally suitable for artists, entrepreneurs and technicians with a sufficient level of experience and skills, and prior body of work, which demonstrates suitability for the development process.

The Creative Practitioners qualifications are funded by the ESFA for 16-18 year-olds and are on the Advanced Learner Loan catalogue for learners aged 19+.

Creative Practitioners Alumni

Ed Sheeran
Jess Glynne
Ed Sheeran
Jess Glynne

How it works

Get started with RSL’s Vocational Qualifications in three simple steps…


Download the syllabus pack

Download the syllabus pack to review the requirements and processes for this qualification suite.


Build your qualification

Tailor your courses to your learners needs and centre’s expertise with our Core Units and innovative Optional Units.


Submit centre approval application

Ready to deliver? Submit your centre approval application via our website

Unit Information

Learning at this level involves obtaining and demonstrating detailed knowledge and skills. Learners are expected to be largely independent and self-supporting in the creation of evidence submitted for assessment. They are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning processes — successful candidates will show a high level of initiative and self-motivation. Learners should be directed by a clear and objective understanding of their development as creative artist.

Unit Description and Aims

The aim of Creative Practitioners is to provide a flexible, relevant and practically-orientated suite of qualifications for creative artists, which will equip learners with the skills to develop realistic employment opportunities in the creative industries.


This unit aims to establish a starting point for the development of a creative practitioner. Learners will critically analyse their current creative practice and the marketplace they intend to enter. They will then engage in a range of feedback activities to test their ideas and assumptions about their work, gathering and responding to input from a range of sources.

Market Analysis

Gain an in-depth understanding of current marketing concepts, techniques and strategies. Learners will analyse existing campaigns related to their own creative practice and apply their learnings to the development of their own marketing assets and strategies.

Brand Development

This unit aims to develop the learner’s creative practice, using the evaluation of their creative practice from Deconstruction as the basis to plan and implement a proactive development process, leading towards a large-scale realisation of their own creative work in Presenting the Brand.

Skills Development

This unit is designed to give learners studying for the Extended Diploma the opportunity to develop advanced skills in areas relevant to their creative practice. Throughout the skill development process, learners will be expected to initiate and maintain a self-directed and strategic approach to studying.

Marketing a Brand

This unit is designed to give learners studying for the Extended Diploma the opportunity to develop a marketing strategy and a range of professional promotional assets to support the showcase of their own work in Presenting the Brand.

Presenting the Brand

This unit is designed as a showcase for the learner’s creative output, after a period of reflection and reconstruction in Deconstruction and the development of their creative practice in Developing the Brand. The form this showcase takes will be different for each learner, depending on the nature of their practice.

Evaluating the Brand

This unit is designed to evaluate the full range of development that has been undertaken in the course of the qualification. Learners will evaluate the effectiveness and impact of their creative development, and develop plans for further development towards employment or further study.

Qualification Titles & Structure

RSL endeavour to provide qualifications at each level which will fit with the needs of centres and learners. We design qualifications which learners can build upon, and that centres can timetable into a wider programme of study or as a full-time course. From a 72 guided learning hours Award at Level 4 Certificate through to over 500 guided learning hours on our Level 4 Extended Diplomas, you will surely find the right qualification size for you.

The Extended Diploma (540 Guided Learning Hours) is equivalent to the first year of a degree and offers a ‘Continuing Professional Development’ framework, allowing individuals to analyse their ‘offer’ in addition to the market they wish to enter; working on their skills whilst marketing and presenting themselves to the industry.

Level 4 Certificate for Creative Performers
Unit Title Guided Learning Hours (GLH) Total Qualification Time (TQT) Credits
Deconstruction 72 160 16
Level 4 Extended Certificate for Creative Practitioners
Unit Titles Guided Learning Hours (GLH) Total Qualification Time (TQT) Credits
Deconstruction 72 160 16
Brand Development 54 120 12
Level 4 Diploma for Creative Practitioners
Unit Titles Guided Learning Hours (GLH) Total Qualification Time (TQT) Credits
Deconstruction 72 160 16
Brand Development 54 120 12
Presenting the Brand 108 240 24
Evaluating the Brand 54 120 12
Level 4 Extended Diploma for Creative Practitioners
Unit Titles Guided Learning Hours (GLH) Total Qualification Time (TQT) Credits
Deconstruction 72 160 16
Market Analysis 72 160 16
Brand Development 54 120 12
Skills Development 72 160 16
Marketing a Brand 108 240 24
Presenting the Brand 108 240 24
Evaluating the Brand 54 120 12

Why RSL Vocational Qualifications?

Developed in collaboration with industry experts to reflect the fast-moving Creative Industries sector, RSL’s VQs are practically-focused, and contain a wide range units and criteria accurately mapping to specific careers. They provide engaging assessment opportunities for learners that focus on the application of practical and/or technical skills.

VQ Approved Check Mark


All Level 3 qualifications carry up to 168 UCAS points allowing opportunities for HE progression, and Level 4/5 qualifications can be topped up at a variety of the UK’s specialist HE providers.

VQ Vocational Qualifications Repertoire

Flexible Choice

We have a huge range of units to choose from at Level 3 providing unrivalled flexibility of delivery. The range of optional units are designed to equip learners with a well-rounded understanding of the Creative Industries.

VQ Vocational Qualifications Book Stack

Fair and Practical Assessment

All assessment is based around practical and/or technical skills and knowledge applicable to roles in the Creative Industries. Learners are graded according to where the majority of their grading sits, resulting in holistic, best-fit assessment.

VQ Vocational Qualifications Slice Niche


No set works, or genre/repertoire restrictions, learners can study the genres they are interested in, allowing deeper focus on content that excites them.

VQ Vocational Qualifications Choices

Tailored Delivery

Build a course that’s tailored to your learners’ needs whilst maximising your centre’s resources and expertise.

VQ Vocational Qualifications Creativity Ideas


RSL has a huge range of qualifications at each level which are funded for delivery in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. RSL qualifications are also available for funded delivery in Scotland in certain settings at certain levels. Get in touch for more info.

Help, Support & Quality Assurance

You will get access to RSL’s Help & Support portal, containing multiple QA resources, guidance documents, templates and exemplar materials, plus footage from previously recorded CPD events.

Centres have contact with two allocated RSL Quality Assurance representatives from the start of delivery all the way through to certification. These named contacts will offer the following services to support centre delivery:

  • Annual centre visit – a supportive process designed to monitor and review the way in which qualifications are planned and delivered
  • A point of contact for subject-specific academic queries throughout delivery
  • Building of a strong relationship throughout the duration of the qualification, resulting in moderation of your learner evidence with a known, named contact already familiar with your centre

UCAS Points

RSL Awards’ Vocational Qualifications aid progression into Higher Education. We have a huge range of qualifications at Level 3 that carry UCAS Points. Click the button below to see the allocation of UCAS Points per qualification size and suite.

VQ Vocational Qualifications Academic

Changing Awarding Organisations

Moving over to RSL Awards Vocational Qualifications is easy! Just follow these three simple steps…

1. Submit a preliminary application form.

This is found here. Once you have submitted this, our team will be in touch with some login credentials for our website, along with details of the next step.

2. Prepare your full centre approval application for submission.

Our centre approval application pack details all supporting documents that need to be included, along with a guidance document for completing the form itself.

3. Approval complete!

If the application is complete our team will be in touch to inform you of your new status as an approved RSL Awards delivery centre!

Top-up Qualifications

Topping Up with an RSL Creative Industries Practitioners Qualification:  RSLs Level 4 and 5 qualifications for aspiring artists, entrepreneurs and creative industries professionals offer unique pathways for professional development.

Our qualifications are designed for learners seeking an alternative option to traditional HE, whereby they can receive expert mentoring while honing their craft. However, it may be that when a learner completes a Level 4 or 5 qualification they decide that their desired next step is to continue to study in year 2 or 3 of an undergraduate degree. On this basis, RSL has pioneered top-up routes into continuing study at some of the UK’s most progressive specialist providers of Creative Industries HE.

WaterBear offers BA (Hons) degree and master’s courses made for today’s musicians, artists and industry professionals. WaterBear are all about smaller class sizes, flexible course delivery, bespoke one-to-one mentoring and exclusive work experience and career development opportunities. They are based in the heart of Brighton, one of the UK’s most exciting cities for music and the arts, and are soon to open the second of the UK based campuses, in Sheffield. They also have a range of online distance learning courses too. WaterBear is a College of Falmouth University, a pioneer in creative industries education, entrepreneurship and innovation.


Here are our Creative Practitioners Vocational Qualifications syllabuses available to download.

Qualification Details and Registration Fees

Our qualification registration fees are the same for both UK and International delivery centres. These fees apply to each registered learner, with the fee dependent on the size of qualification they are registered on.

Please note: fees listed are for the current academic year.

QAN Qualification Fee
501/0503/6 RSL Level 4 Certificate for Creative Practitioners £71
501/0653/3 RSL Level 4 Extended Certificate for Creative Practitioners £100
501/0502/4 RSL Level 4 Diploma for Creative Practitioners £166
601/4422/1 RSL Level 4 Certificate for Creative Practitioners £87
601/4595/X RSL Level 4 Extended Certificate for Creative Practitioners £121
601/4247/9 RSL Level 4 Diploma for Creative Practitioners £201
601/4329/0 RSL Level 4 Extended Diploma for Creative Practitioners £247.5

Please Note:  Fees listed are for the current academic year.

Performance Tables

As well as being industry relevant, we understand the need for our qualifications to be recognised by the Department for Education. That’s why we’ve ensured we have specialist Vocational Qualifications approved in music and performing arts at level 3.

VQ Vocational Qualifications Creativity Ideas

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