The Assumptions and Values for Playwork were developed during the drafting of the Playwork National Vocational Qualifications in the early 1990's. During the 2002 review of the National Occupational Standards for Playwork at level 2, the need to revise them was identified.
In the meantime within Wales, the Steering Group of the Welsh Council for the Professional Endorsement of Playwork Education and Training identified tensions between the philosophy that informs The First Claim, and the Playwork Assumptions and Values.
In late 2002 Play Wales was awarded additional grant funding by the Welsh Assembly Government to host a UK review and consultation on the Playwork Assumptions and Values, and UK's major play and playwork organisations agreed to contribute to the process. A proposal was commissioned from Play Education by Play Wales and three phases of consultation followed.
A Scrutiny Group of experienced playworkers and playwork trainers from across the UK was convened to act as an honest broker that would evaluate and revise the responses to best represent the majority view.
The Playwork Principles were endorsed by SkillsActive in 2005.