Arts Award Discover & Explore toolkit changes explained

Arts Award Discover & Explore toolkit changes explained

Picture of Layne Harrod

BY: Layne Harrod
08 Mar 2021

We are always looking for ways to improve our guidance to help you deliver Arts Award successfully, so last year we updated our Arts Award Adviser toolkits. Although we contacted advisers about this at the time, we thought it was worth summarising the key changes in a few short blogs for anyone that may have missed the information during the chaos that was 2020! We’re starting off with Discover & Explore and hopefully the changes that we introduced will make assessing young people’s work even easier! 

Which toolkit?

The first thing to check is which edition of the toolkit you’re using? Turn to the contents page in your toolkit – for Discover and Explore it should say ‘Fifth edition’ and for Bronze & Silver, and Gold, it should say ‘Sixth edition.’

Don’t worry if you have an old toolkit, you can download the latest versions by visiting and logging in with your adviser details. This page also includes some helpful key changes documents which offer a quick reference to the pages in your toolkit that have been updated. If you would prefer to have a hard copy of the toolkit you can now purchase one from our online shop. For those of you who have recently attended our online training, you will already be familiar with our new look, plastic free toolkits.

Toolkit covers combinedSo, let’s take a look at what has changed…

The changes we have made have been implemented to provide further clarity on what we are asking of young people and advisers. We hope that this will prove helpful for both newly trained advisers, as well as those that have been delivering Arts Award for a number of years. Don’t worry, we don’t expect you to make any big adaptations to the way that you have been delivering Arts Award previously; there aren’t any major changes, just a few tweaks to some of the Parts.

Discover Part A: Discover

‘At least two art forms identified’ has been included in the evidence requirements. Advisers often asked us how many art forms we were looking for and this is to provide further clarity from the previous toolkit where it stated, ‘a number of art forms identified.’

Discover Part B: Find out

Evidence required now references at least one artist – ‘A record of what they found out about at least one artist and their work.’ This matches the detail provided under What young people should demonstrate through their evidence and makes it clear to advisers and young people exactly how many artists they need to find out about.

Explore Part A: Take Part

This part was previously called ‘Inspire’ and has been renamed ‘Take Part.’ The focus is on what the young person has learnt through this Part. Many young people found the concept of inspiration abstract and struggled to explain what inspired them. Consequently, they concentrated on what they had learnt, so this part has been updated to address these concerns. Evidence required now says, ‘Identification of what they have learnt from taking part in these arts activities.’

Explore Part D: Share

This part was previously called ‘Present’ and has been renamed ‘Share.’ This change has been introduced to try to avoid young people presenting a performance or replicating evidence from Part C: Create. The focus should be on communicating and sharing what they enjoyed and/or achieved from their Arts Award Explore experience. Evidence required now says, ‘A record of what was shared and how it was shared with others.’

If you have any specific questions regarding the updated criteria or your delivery, you can always contact the Arts Award support team with any queries on 0207 820 6178 or email

You may wish to take advantage of our free remote support sessions which are available to trained advisers. To find out more please visit

If you feel you would prefer a full refresher on delivering Arts Award you are welcome to attend the training again. You would also then be provided with the latest version of the toolkit. If you would like to book onto an upcoming online training course you can do so here

Request a free support session
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