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Playwork CACHE Level 3 Diploma

This qualification provides in-depth information about the role of the Level 3 play worker when working with children and young people between the ages of 4 to 16. It allows learners to gain an understanding of the management of play environments and the line management of other staff. The Diploma covers the knowledge and skills needed when working unsupervised and requires the learner to demonstrate these in the workplace. It is aimed at experienced playworkers who have a wide knowledge and understanding of children and young people and a deep appreciation of playwork principles and practice. This is a flexible roll on roll off programme, allowing you to start according to your individual learning needs.


Entry requirements

You need substantial relevant experience in employment for example, as a breakfast or after school assistant and have completed an NVQ/QCF Level 2 course. It is not necessary to complete Level 2 before Level 3, as the level you would start on depends on your job role. You must be in paid employment as an extra-curricular playworker for a minimum of ten hours a week.

Course content

Learners must achieve 65 credits to complete the qualification within an 18 month period. The units that are unique to the Diploma are not intended to be a snapshot of the learner’s work, but should provide a confirmation that the learner meets the National Occupational Standards some of which are; the principles of playwork; understanding self-directed play; safeguarding; health and safety.  These must be meet on a consistent basis in the workplace over time.

Units include:

  • Understand Playwork Principles
  • Understand children and young people’s self-directed play
  • Understand how to safeguard the well being of children and young people
  • Understand the organisational framework for play
  • Understand relationships in the play environment
  • Understand health, safety and security in the play environment
  • Engage in personal development in health, social care or children’s and young people’s settings
  • Contribute to an organisational framework that reflects the needs and protects the rights of children and young people
  • Develop and maintain a healthy, safe and secure play environment for children and young people
  • Develop and promote positive relationships in the play environment
  • Plan for and support children and young people’s self- directed play.

Plus a range of optional units for the relevant pathway.

Assessment methods

It is recommended that a total of 18 hours of observation should take place, with each observation session being followed by a professional discussion. Evidence for each learning outcome and assessment criterion must be ‘cross referenced’, ‘mapped’ or ‘logged’ on one occasion only. Observational evidence should be supplemented by additional performance evidence, such as witness testimony, reflective accounts or professional discussion, only on occasions when the assessor has not been present or because the evidence is not generated on a frequent basis. 

Further study and career options

Foundation Degree in Health & Social Care or Foundation Degree in Child & Adolescent Studies, Disability Studies or Educational Practice. This qualification is recognised as acceptance as entry requirements for a number of HEI programmes.

Additional information

Learners will be advised of relevant reading materials that will benefit them when on the course. We would recommend as working with Children that a Paediatric First Aid Course be completed. There is an additional cost of £20 for a textbook.

Funding information

If you are aged 19 or over you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan to help you pay the tuition fees for this course. Find out more at You can also pay by instalments to help make the cost of this course more affordable.

Course Information & How to Apply

To book onto this course please contact our Business Development team on 01234 291747 or email

LengthStart DateFeesLocationCourse Code
Up to 18 months Flexible Ring our Sales team on 01234 291747Ring our Sales team on 01234 291747 Work-based Learning BBK1525


Additional Learning Support
If you have a specific learning difficulty or disability, are deaf or hearing impaired, our Additional Learning Support team are on hand to give you assistance whenever you need it.  Find out more.

Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome Support
At Bedford College, we are committed to developing the provision for students on the autistic spectrum, including Asperger’s Syndrome.  Find out more.

We have access arrangements in place to help students with disabilities or any other particular needs. Call us on 01234 291000 for more information.

Additional formats
Course information sheets are also available in large print and audio formats. Call us on
01234 291000 to order your copy.

Don't let money be a worry! Low-interest loans - study now, pay later

Advanced Learner Loans
If you’re aged 19 or over on the start date of your chosen course, you can apply for a loan to cover the tuition fees for some Level 3+ qualifications. There’s also nothing to pay back until you’ve completed your course and you’re earning over £25,000 per year!

» Visit the Advanced Learner Loans page for more information

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