ScreenSkills Select application guidelines
These guidelines are designed to provide guidance for courses that will be applying for ScreenSkills Select endorsement or renewing their existing endorsement during the academic year 2020/21. It gives information on the criteria, application and assessment process, the timelines and the people involved.
Guidelines for undergraduate, postgraduate and vocational courses 2020/21
These guidelines are designed to provide guidance for courses that will be applying for ScreenSkills Select endorsement or renewing their existing endorsement during the academic year 2020/21.
ScreenSkills Select Team
t: 020 7713 9800
Please read these guidelines in conjunction with the ScreenSkills Select application form 2020/21.
ScreenSkills is the industry-led skills body for the UK's screen-based creative industries - animation, film, games, television including children's TV and high-end drama, VFX and immersive technology. We work across the whole of the country to ensure that UK screen has access now, and in the future, to the skills and talent needed for continued success. As part of our remit we work with undergraduate, postgraduate and vocational courses that supply talent to the screen industries. ScreenSkills Select endorses and enhances screen courses that develop industry-ready students and industry-leading professionals. Each course undergoes a rigorous assessment by industry professionals in order to be ScreenSkills Select endorsed.
Aims of ScreenSkills Select
The aims of ScreenSkills Select endorsement are to:
- Signpost prospective students (and their parents) to the courses that will provide industry-relevant skills, and strong links with industry professionals and potential employers
- Assure employers that students have the levels of knowledge and skills they want in new employees and can perform to a high standard, helping them to prioritise recruitment and engagement activities with courses identified as having a strong industry-facing ethos
- Help enhance the quality of endorsed courses through the application process and annual monitoring. Each course is reviewed and discussed annually with one of our world-class pool of industry evaluators
- Bring university and college courses closer to industry – setting up new connections, new understanding and new opportunities
- Give educators additional industry insight and connections, rewarding their courses with a distinct value in a crowded marketplace
To qualify for ScreenSkills Select endorsement, courses must have:
- high graduate/leaver employment and progression rates
- excellent standards of student work
- evidence that they are addressing sector skills gaps and shortages in curriculum design
- a focus on preparation of students for the workplace, including teamwork, professional and business skills
- strong engagement with employers and an industry focus
- commitment to diversity and inclusion with regards to both recruitment and training
The endorsement process
All courses must:
- Already be in operation and have produced at least one cohort of graduates or leavers, with the evidence available to demonstrate that a good proportion of them have either gained employment in the screen industries or progressed on to relevant further study
- Be industry-focused, with strong input from employers and relevance to the screen industries
- Courses must be at Level 3 or above – either undergraduate (Levels 4-6), postgraduate (Level 7) or vocational (Level 3-5).
- Vocational course providers, such as FE colleges or private training providers, must have an Ofsted rating of "good" or above.
Precise timelines for the below stages will be agreed with course leaders following the submission of the Expression of Interest form.
- Expression of interest: Course leader receives new application guidance and application form and formally confirms their intent to apply. ScreenSkills is on hand to offer one to one advice and guidance.
- Application form submitted: Course submits application form and accompanying supporting evidence. Payment for initial non-refundable Stage 1 fee is then due.
- Student questionnaire: ScreenSkills will send a confidential questionnaire to all students from the applicant course. A 60% response rate will be required before progressing to a ScreenSkills Select Stage 2 industry panel presentation.
- Assessment Stage 2 - Industry panel presentation: These are held at the ScreenSkills offices in London. Course leaders are asked to give a presentation to a Stage 2 industry panel made up of senior representatives from the relevant part of the screen industry. The industry panel also interview three-four student representatives from each course. We require the course leader(s) to attend in person, however we do not expect all institution staff and students to attend, with Skype/Google Hangouts used to conduct the Q&A sessions.
Prior to the presentation, the Industry Evaluator will present summary feedback on the written application and the results from the student questionnaire. Presentations from course leaders should cover areas arising from the Stage 1 report, as well as information on facilities and industry input into the course, and a quality improvement plan for the future. Further examples of student work can also be provided at this stage.
- Endorsement decisions: At the end of the presentations at Stage 2, the industry panel may provide informal feedback but will not always provide an indication of the endorsement decision.
They will complete a Stage 2 report which provides detailed feedback against the criteria as well as a formal decision. The purpose of the report is also to highlight any particularly innovative areas of the course as best practice and to provide a course development plan, highlighting areas for development.
If the industry panel judge that a good majority of the endorsement criteria have been met, the report will recommend endorsement. The endorsement can be subject to formal conditions or subject to satisfactory monitoring against any areas for development. If the industry panel team judge that critical areas of the endorsement criteria have not been met, the report will decline ScreenSkills Course endorsement and will provide feedback on areas that need to be addressed in order to better align with the criteria in the future.
- Four-year endorsement cycle and annual review: Courses are endorsed for four years and are encouraged to participate in annual review at the end of the first twelve months of endorsement and each subsequent year of endorsement. The annual review requires courses to report on any major staffing, resource or curriculum changes as well as having the opportunity to gain ongoing support and advice from industry experts. The annual review provides ongoing enhancement, shares good practice with the opportunity to feedback, and ensures courses maintain standards. At the end of the four-year cycle the process is repeated and courses apply for renewal.
Application form and supporting evidence
As outlined above, at the application stage courses are asked to submit an application form along with some supporting evidence.
The application form should be self-explanatory, but please contact the ScreenSkills Select team at any point for advice and guidance if unsure. It requires narrative answers against the employer engagement criteria below and tabled information on graduate/leaver employment rates, work experience, staff experience, staff/student ratios, lists of industry input as well as cohort profiles (application/enrolment/retention numbers and diversity information).
The list of supporting evidence below consists of all the additional mandatory information that we need in addition to the application form. In exceptional circumstances additional pieces of information can be submitted by the applicant but these should be discussed with the ScreenSkills Select team in advance.
Course Content and Structure:
- Course structure diagram clearly defining progression routes from year to year.
Course Monitoring and Development:
- External examiners’ reports from the past two years
- Examples of feedback from students
- Information relating to live briefs i.e. example project brief set by an employer
Facilities and Equipment:
- An outline of relevant facilities
- A list of relevant equipment, with quantities
- Details of technical and/or IT support and student access to facilities and equipment
- Eight or more recent pieces of individual student work from appropriate major projects, along with feedback and assessment information for each (final year or final term/semester). The range should include work assessed as top, average and borderline fail.
- Eight or more recent pieces of individual student work from their interim projects, along with feedback and assessment information for each (depending on the length of the course, this should be from the middle term/semester or second/third year). The range should include work assessed as top, average and borderline fail.
- Eight or more recent samples of industry-facing work showcasing the best student talent from the course, such as show reels, exhibitions/showcase, etc.
For those courses that produce actual artefacts (e.g. set design, production design etc.) – only digital images/videos should be provided to support the application at the first stage. A sample of actual artefacts could then be presented to the Industry panel. For courses submitting games or digital student work, the application form requires you to detail any specialist software industry evaluators will need in order to view the material (e.g. engines, 3D models, specialist video).
We require an electronic copy of your application and supporting materials:
- Preferred submission format – file sharing via One Drive, or other file sharing/transfer sites
- USB Stick/External hard drive (please note we are not able to return these)
- Email (under 10Mb). Please follow up with a separate email with no attachments to ensure that your application has been received.
- Maximum 10Gb for all files
The application must clearly reference the provided supporting evidence. ScreenSkills Select may reject any applications which do not comply with the submission recommendations, in which case it will need to be returned to the applicant un-assessed for re-formatting and referencing.
If you have any questions about this Policy or concerning your personal information please contact ScreenSkills, Data Protection Officer(s) at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by post to Data Protection Officer, ScreenSkills, 94 Euston Street, London, NW1 2HA.
ScreenSkills Select endorsement criteria
The ScreenSkills Select endorsement criteria outline the standards of excellence required by employers to produce graduates who are creative and highly skilled in their specialisation. They also highlight the necessary professional skills to enter the industry, including entrepreneurship, leadership skills, awareness of ethical, legal, and compliance issues. The criteria define the outcomes of course design, curriculum and delivery that will meet these challenges and needs as follows:
The following criteria which is assessed at each stage of the process is designed to enable courses to demonstrate how they have a specific focus towards:
- Current industry practice
- Professional preparation for students
- Significant involvement of industry in course design, curriculum and delivery
The ScreenSkills Select application form will take you through each section of the criteria and provide you with guidance on how to submit evidence that your course meets the criteria.
Graduate achievement – Initial Criteria Check
Criterion: Provide evidence of successful progression of students into or towards the screen industries.
- Information should be provided on where at least 60% of graduates or leavers from the past one year (preferably three years), are employed or have progressed to ongoing education.
- Of these, a good proportion of graduates or leavers should be employed in roles relevant to their course or in creative/transferable roles in other industries, with evidence of progression towards senior roles after a few years. Alternatively, a good proportion of leavers should be engaged in ongoing education relevant to their course.
- Ideally, a proportion of current students and/or graduates should be achieving appropriate festival awards, industry and professional accolades, reviews, promotions or newsworthy achievements.
- Postgraduate courses should enable students to specialise in the field above the level expected from undergraduate students and gain in-depth knowledge and experience of their field at a professional level. Graduates from postgraduate courses should progress to senior levels in their career more quickly than their undergraduate counterparts.
Criterion: Demonstrate that student work produced on the course is appropriate for the level of the course and the discipline.
- Student work should reflect current industry practices where appropriate, but creativity, innovation and challenges to current practice should also be encouraged
- Assessment standards should take into account students’ readiness for industry
- Graduate or final year work should be judged according to entry requirements for the chosen industry/sector, or alternatively entry requirements for appropriate ongoing education courses.
Recruitment and selection procedures
Criterion: Demonstrate effective and fair recruitment, selection and training procedures to increase participation from students from diverse backgrounds who wish to embark upon or further develop careers in the screen industries, and to encourage the development of appropriate behaviours and attitudes for working positively in a diverse setting.
- Effective procedures should be in place to identify those applicants who are innovative, creative and who have the potential to establish careers in the screen industries
- Proactive recruitment practices should be in place to encourage wider access and diversity
- Pre-course information should clearly outline what students can expect during the course and should emphasise its vocational purposes
- Teaching staff should be able to filter and refuse places to applicants that they judge unable to complete the course successfully. All shortlisted students should be interviewed, either face-to-face or by telephone and/or provide portfolios or equivalent where appropriate
- Training opportunities should be available to develop appropriate attitudes and behaviours among students that will enable them to contribute positively to the workplace (for example, tackling bullying and harassment, or unconscious bias).
Close links and interaction with the screen industries
Criterion: Demonstrate close links and interaction with the screen industries
- Curriculum design should have regular input from the industry including where appropriate:
- industry advisory board
- consultation with industry professionals on course design
- industry assessment of student work and providing feedback to students
- external examiners with professional backgrounds
- appropriate visiting and guest industry lecturers should be regularly scheduled
- students should have access to relevant industry experience via work experience/work placements/internships
- students should have the opportunity to take part in live briefs, work simulation and project work. However, live briefs and project work should not undermine commercial business opportunities.
Staff industry backgrounds and professional development
Criterion: Ensure that all practice staff have credibility as practitioners and are up to date with contemporary industry practices.
- All practice staff should demonstrate a suitable background in professional practice in the relevant industry sector/s
- Clear procedures should be in place to ensure that all production staff are required to regularly refresh their industry practice. This may include
- dispensation to deliver commissions or work
- placements with appropriate companies, etc.
- development should not be restricted to attending courses or conferences
- senior management should have systems in place to keep track of staff professional development and ensure all staff have sufficient time and are enabled to put the above into practice.
Professionally relevant education and business skills
Criterion: Provide a track record in high quality education relevant to the screen industries.
- Students should be provided with an overview of the structure of the screen industries and the sector(s) relevant to the course, including job roles, key current issues, skills shortage areas and skills gaps, further training, employment or career development, including freelance work.
- Professional preparation should be an embedded part of the course and should provide students with the financial, legal and business skills to further their career upon course completion, with an emphasis on freelance employment if appropriate for the discipline.
- Methods should be in place to develop students in the professional skills required of a successful industry professional, such as
- team working
- personal development planning
- competitive pitching and presenting
- appropriate behaviours and attitudes for the workplace (see above).
- Courses should show how students and graduates develop their entrepreneurial skills within their chosen field(s), for example through specialist mentors and incubator units.
- Students should develop appropriate skills to promote and showcase their work and to market their skills after course completion. Students should be aware of current industry issues and developments relevant to their sector, including
- sector priorities
- business environment for sector
- technological divergence and convergence and impact of digital networks
Criterion: Have resources which will enable students to practise their skills in environments which reflect screen industry practice.
- Sufficient dedicated access to professional facilities and resources that replicate current industry practice
- Students should have sufficient out of course workshop hours access to facilities and equipment
- Sufficient dedicated access to supervision and technical support should be available to all students
Terms and conditions
- All endorsed courses will be under contract with ScreenSkills during their endorsement cycle. Requirements of the contract will include the submission of annual monitoring, maintenance of endorsement standards, payment of annual fees and active promotion of ScreenSkills Select through their own channels and the ScreenSkills website and compliance with branding and communication guidelines
- For institutions wishing to submit multiple applications/ re- endorsements we offer a discount for courses (applicable for Stage 2 fees only) ranging from 10% for two courses to a maximum of 40% for five or more courses. Please see ScreenSkills Select Course rate card October 2019 for more details.
ScreenSkills Select: fees
Undergraduate and postgraduate course endorsement fees
Many thanks for your interest in ScreenSkills Select. We feel that it’s important to tell you exactly what we charge and what you get in return, making the whole process open, honest and easy to understand.
If you are interested in endorsement of vocational or further education courses, please contact email@example.com for information on fees.
All fees detailed here are exempt from VAT charges.
Fees consist of a Stage 1: Application fee and Stage 2: Industry panel presentation fee followed by a rolling annual monitoring and support fee.
Stage 1: Application/Re-endorsement fee
The application/re-endorsement fee of £605 incorporates a review of your application form and submitted evidence to help us make an initial, desk-based assessment and decision on whether or not to progress to a Stage 2 Industry panel presentation. This is a one off and non-refundable fee.
Stage 2: Industry panel fee
The Industry panel fee of £2,394 incorporates the Stage 2 panel meeting, which will make a decision as to whether or not the course can be endorsed, as well as subsequent access to ScreenSkills Select benefits. This is a one off and non-refundable fee.
- Stage one: £605
- Stage two: £2,394
The total application fee therefore totals at £2,999.
Multiple course endorsement fees
For institutions wishing to submit multiple applications/re-endorsements we offer a discount (applicable for Stage 2 fees only) ranging from 10% for 2 courses to a maximum of 40% for 5 or more courses.
For institutions submitting one course:
- Stage one: £605
- Stage two: £2,394
- Total: £2,999
For institutions submitting two courses:
Institutions submitting two courses receive 10% discount off the endorsement fee.
- Stage one: £1,210
- Stage two: £4,309
- Total: £5,519 (price per course: £2,759)
For institutions submitting three courses:
Institutions submitting three courses receive 20% discount off the endorsement fee.
- Stage one: £1,815
- Stage two: £5,746
- Total: £7,561 (price per course: £2,520)
For institutions submitting four courses:
Institutions submitting four courses receive 30% discount off the endorsement fee.
- Stage one: £2,420
- Stage two: £6,703
- Total: £9,123 (price per course: £2,280)
For institutions submitting five courses:
Institutions submitting five courses receive 40% discount off the endorsement fee.
- Stage one: £3,025
- Stage two: £7,182
- Total: £10, 207 (price per course: £2,041)
The 40% discount applies to five courses or more.
NB: If you would like to further discuss arrangements for multiple applications/re-endorsements, please contact the ScreenSkills Select Team directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Spreading the cost
In addition to the discount package for multiple courses, ScreenSkills can offer a staggered payment plan in regard to the Stage 2 Industry panel fees. If this is something you would like to discuss please contact a member of the ScreenSkills Select team at email@example.com
Annual Endorsement Fee
The annual endorsement fee of £980 per annum contributes towards exclusive training and support opportunities over the course of endorsement. Through endorsement, you will gain access to benefits which help enhance your course, strengthen engagement with industry, and equip your students with employability support. The annual fee is invoiced in year two, three and four of the course endorsement period.
At the end of the 4-year endorsement cycle, courses can apply for re-endorsement by following Stages 1 and 2 above. The ScreenSkills Select team will notify you well in advance of when your endorsement is due to be renewed.
Support visits are offered to provide extra guidance and advice to a course either prior to the endorsement application, or in addition to the monitoring visits once a course is endorsed. Please contact ScreenSkills Select team at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss this option.
Fees for appeals
The fee for an appeal is £250. All fees for appeals are refundable if the appeal is upheld.
At each stage, we cannot process your application until payment has been received unless a staggered payment plan has been agreed. Once your application has been submitted, we will send you an invoice. Please forward payment to ScreenSkills. The preferred method of payment is via BACS upon receipt of a sales invoice but cheques will be accepted. All payments are non-refundable. Please email email@example.com for more information.