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Level 3 Certificate in Playwork

National Extension College


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What will I learn?

NEC's suite of playwork qualifications provide in-depth information about the role of the level 3 playworker. This home study course in playwork is mainly knowledge-based with a limited amount of practical application in a work setting required. It covers all the areas you need to learn about to be competent and confident working in a playwork setting, including health and safety, relationships in the play environment and young people’s self-directed play. The qualification will give learners the skills, knowledge and understanding required for playworkers at Level 3 based on the National Occupational Standards.

As well as leading to a qualification in its own right, this course forms part of the Diploma in Playwork (QCF) and carries 32 credits towards the higher-level qualifications.

This course is delivered online and assessment will consist of a portfolio of evidence in different formats such as learning plans, written tasks and discussions and direct observation. To achieve the Certificate in Playwork you'll need to complete the three units making up the Award in Playwork and the six that make up the Certificate: nine units totalling 32 credits.

Award in Playwork Units:

Understand playwork principles
Understand children and young people's self-directed play
Understand how to safeguard the wellbeing of children and young people's play

Certificate in Playwork Units:

Understand the organisational framework for play
Understand how to support positive outcomes for children and young people
Understand relationships in the play environment
Understand health, safety and security in the play environment
Understand how to plan for and support children and young people's self-directed play
Engage in personal development in health, social care of children and young people's settings

Additional information:

To gain this qualification you will need to register with CACHE. We will take care of this process.

What do I need to know?

There are no formal entry requirements but you will need to be at least 18 years of age and working or volunteering in a play environment. You will need to be based within the UK, or if you are overseas then within Europe. This is an online course so you will also need easy access to the internet and to be competent working with electronic documents.

Awarding Body

Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education

Course info


Nationally recognised qualification

Study Hours

Variable - to suit the learner

Study mode




Total time for completion

No time limit

More info on price

Payment by instalments available.

Who runs this course?




About NEC The National Extension College (NEC) provides the opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds to fit life-changing learning into their lives. Whether you’re looking to study in order to go onto further or higher education, change or advance your career or simply for enjoyment, NEC provides online distance learning courses which are of the very highest quality. Course materials are written by experts such as teachers and examiners and are available to you online 24/7 through learn@nec - our virtual learning environment and the gateway to the NEC community. You can study whenever and wherever you like. With tutor support from a qualified teacher and specialist in your chosen subject, NEC will make sure that you

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