As a result of the announcement, PLASA now shares the same status as other award bodies, including City & Guilds, a long-established UK examining and accreditation body for vocational, managerial and engineering training. All future qualifications devised by the organisation can be submitted for National Accreditation in the same way as A Levels or NVQs.
The much-publicised National Rigging Certificate is said to have been central to PLASA's new recognition. Level 2 and Level 3 of the new qualification have been finalised, with the development of a Level 1 Trainee Rigger programme for industry newcomers set to begin this summer.
"The process defined by QCA is naturally extremely rigorous and they do expect high standards to meet the national requirements," Nicky Greet (pictured), professional development manager at PLASA, told II. "Organisations going for Awarding Body status do need to have a good and transparent infrastructure in place. They also need a full understanding of how to deliver and develop training and assessment, aligned to qualifications.
"Through our work on the development of the National Rigging Certificate, we already had a lot of strong policies and procedures in place and were able to further develop these working with the support of QCA to meet the full requirements. This is an amazing achievement for PLASA - and is a significant development for the industry."