How to get Tick accreditation

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The ScreenSkills Tick accreditation costs an initial £2,999 and then £980 per year. ScreenSkills conducts the initial assessment and then promotes successful Ticked courses and the network and encouraging industry engagement.

Courses awarded the Tick quality mark can use it to differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace, delivering a distinct market advantage. Tutors and their students and graduates also join the Tick family of courses representing the best of the best industry-focused courses across the UK. 

Our promotion of Tick courses to learners and Tick talent to employers, including through ScreenSkills' social media channels, complements institutions’ own marketing.  We attend careers fairs and university events each academic year to promote the Tick to parents, careers advisors, students and employers.

Eligibility for accreditation

To qualify for Tick, courses must have a particular focus on graduate employment rates, high standards of student work, a focus on professional preparation of students including teamwork, soft skills and business skills, relations with employers and an industry focus.

Courses must:

  • already be in operation and have produced at least one cohort of graduates, with the evidence available to demonstrate that a good proportion of them have either progressed to higher education courses or gained employment in the industries
  • be industry practice-centred with strong input and relevance to the screen industries
  • HE courses must be a level 4 or above, and FE courses at level 3 or above
  • FE course providers or colleges must have an Ofsted rating of "good" or above.

ScreenSkills accreditation focuses on the key sectors of film, TV, animation, VFX (visual effects) and games. There are a small number of subject areas within those where we are only open to applications at an undergraduate or postgraduate level and a small number that we do not cover. Where accreditation arrangements are already in place through other organisations, we will refer you to their systems and processes.  

We had a substantial increase in applications...the Tick has made a real difference. I would recommend other courses apply for it but I do think they need to consider very carefully the criteria and work at making sure they demonstrate it, because it’s not that easy to get; but that’s the value of it.

Marie-Claire Isaaman, course leader BA (Hons) Games Art and Design at Norwich University of the Arts

How to apply for accreditation

To apply to have your course accredited, first download the full Tick application guidelines (PDF) and read them thoroughly. When you are ready to apply you can begin the process by emailing an expression of interest form (doc) to the Tick team at tick@screenskills.com.

Once your interest has been received you will be sent guidance and an application form confirming your intent to apply. ScreenSkills will be on hand to offer one-to-one advice and support through the application process:

  1. Complete and submit the application form (doc), including any supporting information, via file sharing (preferably using Dropbox), email attachment (under 10Mb, please follow up with email with no attachments) or USB or hard drive (please note we are not able to return these) by post to The Quality Team, ScreenSkills, 94 Euston Street, London NW1 2HA
  2. Pay the application fee on receipt of invoice. You can see up to date costs by downloading the accreditation rate card (Sept 2018) (PDF)
  3. Industry and quality evaluators will access your application and supporting evidence and feedback via a stage 1 report. Unsuccessful courses will be offered feedback and advice. Successful courses will move on to the next stage of accreditation. 
  4. Confidential questionnaires will be sent to all students from the applicant course asking for their opinions on their learning. A 60% response rate is required before progressing to panel presentation.
  5. Tick Industry Panel presentation: a panel of senior representatives of industry meet to hear presentations from course leaders and students. Examples of student work will be provided and the panel will prepare an accreditation report detailing their decision. 
  6. Accredited courses will have annual monitoring mid-academic year, which required courses to report major staffing, resource or curriculum changes and provide graduate employment information.

If an application is unsuccessful at any stage in the process, ScreenSkills provide detailed feedback on the criteria that were not met and suggestions on how to meet them in the future. It is recommended that unsuccessful applicants speak to the Quality Team about working together towards a successful new attempt. When assessing a reapplication, our industry evaluators will need to see evidence that changes that have been implemented are having an impact on students’ learning experiences, the work they produce and the jobs they move into after graduation. Reapplication is likely to be at least one calendar year after the initial application.

Industry input and advice

Throughout the accreditation process, courses receive invaluable industry input, advice and evaluation of their curriculum.

The industry-designed process is consultative, supportive and confidential. Those who do not achieve the standard first time are encouraged into a further dialogue leading to resubmission. We are strong advocates of all accredited courses, helping promote the benefits of multi-disciplinary working, the project-led curriculum, innovative teaching styles, the strong endorsement by industry, and the professional background of the staff and the course’s resources.

More than 200 courses and apprenticeship programmes have now gone through the rigorous Tick application process.

If you have any questions about the accreditation process, please email: tick@screenskills.com.