Gold Arts Award toolkit changes explained

Gold Arts Award toolkit changes explained

Picture of Layne Harrod

BY: Layne Harrod
03 Jun 2021

This is the third and final in our series of blogs looking at the updates that we made to our Arts Award adviser toolkits last year. In our previous blog we explained the changes at Bronze and Silver levels so today, last but not least, we move onto Gold!

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 Gold it should say ‘Sixth edition’. You will also notice that now Gold has its own toolkit separate from Bronze and Silver.

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 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.

New toolkit thumbnails

So, let’s take a look at what has changed…

We have made some small updates 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 who have been delivering Arts Award for years! Don’t worry, we don’t expect you to make any big adaptations to the way that you have been delivering; there aren’t any major changes, just a few tweaks to some of the Parts.

Gold Unit 1: Part A – Extend own arts practice

  • A step-by-step explanation has been provided under What young people should demonstrate through their evidence. This is to provide further clarity on the various stages required for a young person to extend their arts practice. The detail remains the same from the previous toolkits, but the layout has changed.

Gold Unit 1: Part B – Career development opportunities in the arts

  • We have made a number of updates to the titles of the Parts throughout this toolkit. This is in order to streamline the content and capture what is at the heart of each Part. For Unit 1 Part B the title has been updated from ‘Development opportunities within the wider arts sector’ to ‘Career development opportunities in the arts’.

Gold Unit 1: Part C – Research practitioners and review arts events

  • Again, the title has been updated here from ‘Research advanced practitioners and review arts events’ to ‘Research practitioners and review arts events’, the focus remains the same.
  • The term ‘arts experience’ has also been added to this Part to address the wide range of ways that young people may experience the arts as an audience member.
  • A description of examples of types of arts events/experiences can also be found in the helpful, new Glossary feature at the back of the toolkit. Finally, minor amendments have been made to the wording under What young people should demonstrate through their evidence and the Evidence required in their portfolios to reflect this change.

Gold Unit 1: Part D – Form and communicate a view on an arts issue

  • For this Part, whilst young people will most likely be collecting feedback on their views in order to collate their argument, the information about what young people should do has been clarified. The evidence required is about sharing their final argument with others and gaining feedback. We have made it clear that they do not need to evidence sharing their argument as it develops.

And so on to Unit 2…

Gold Unit 2: Part A – Leadership Project aims and outcomes

  • You will notice one small update to the title of this Part from ‘Identify the project aims and desired outcomes’ to ‘Leadership project aims and outcomes,’ the focus remains the same as before, but we feel this better represents what this Part is all about.

Gold Unit 2: Part B – Organise people and resources

  • We have made the title a little snappier here, updating it from ‘Organise the people and resources required to run the project’ to ‘Organise people and resources’.
  • The last bullet point under What young people should demonstrate through their evidence has been updated simply to better match the evidence requirements from ‘How they are developing their chosen leadership skills’ to ‘Their plans for evaluating their leadership skills throughout the project’.

Gold Unit 2: Part C – Manage the project

  • For this part again, you will notice that we have made the title more concise changing it from ‘Manage the effectiveness of the project’ to ‘Manage the project’.
  • Under the evidence requirement point about reflecting on where and how young people are developing their chosen leadership skills, we have now included some other examples of what they might evidence – this is taken from the ‘What young people should do’ description at the top of the page.

Gold Unit 2: Part D – Manage a public showing

  • In line with our more streamlined approach to this toolkit the title has been updated from ‘Manage a public showing of the work’ to ‘Manage a public showing’.
  • All mentions of ‘showing’ have now been updated to ‘showing/sharing’. This better represents the breadth of the events that young people choose to manage for this Part.

Almost there…

Gold Unit 2: Part E – Leadership project report

  • From the previous toolkit you will be familiar with this Part as ‘Arts project leadership project’ which we have now updated it to ‘Leadership project report’.
  • The What young people should demonstrate through their evidence and evidence requirements now include reflection on how their chosen leadership skills have developed. This change has been made in recognition of the fact that young people may have developed new and unplanned leadership skills during the project. They are also encouraged to reflect on the skills they identified as wanting to develop at the start of the project.

Finally, as we did for Bronze and Silver, we have also provided a helpful completed example of the Gold Assessment Report Form for advisers to refer to when making their own assessments.                         

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 book onto an upcoming online training course, you would also then be provided with the latest version of the toolkit.

Request a free support session
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