Why is P3 so good?

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Playwork: Principles into Practice (P3) qualifications and course materials are internationally unique and have been exclusively developed by Play Wales and the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

Play Wales is currently the only SQA Centre offering these qualifications at Level 2 and Level 3 and we work with training teams across Wales to support delivery to the sector.

What makes the P3 qualifications so special? How do we assure the quality of the learner's experience and that the outcome for employers and children is the best it can be?

The P3 qualifications represent the culmination of a work programme that commenced 12 years ago when Play Wales produced and published the ground-breaking The First Claim ... a framework for playwork quality assessment, and the subsequent publication The First Claim – Desirable Processes – a quality assessment process recommended in the National Minimum Standards.

Shortly after this, the Welsh Government agreed to fund the review of the Playwork Values and Assumptions. Play Wales led this development, working in partnership with colleagues from SkillsActive and the playwork sector in the UK. These became known as the Playwork Principles.

At the same time, Play Wales, working with SkillsActive, consulted with the sector in Wales to establish a Playwork Workforce Development Strategy for Wales. Through this process it became clear that Wales needed new playwork qualifications to address specific needs reflecting the nature of the workforce, in a bilingual nation.

The P3 qualification development has been led by Play Wales, in partnership with SQA and with the support of SkillsActive. The Welsh Government and the European Social Fund have funded these vital developments for Wales.

Philosophy and structure

  • P3 is structured around the Playwork Principles (the sector endorsed professional and ethical framework for play) that underpin the national occupational standards for playwork.
  • P3 is truly play centred training where the needs of playing children come first.
  • Inclusive playwork and meeting the play needs of disabled children are embedded throughout the P3 courses.
  • The P3 course materials have been written, designed and edited by some of the UK's leading playwork experts.
  • P3 is modular in structure with the Level 2 and Level 3 qualification divided into three parts: Award, Certificate and Diploma. Each part can be delivered and accredited separately.
  • P3 is on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) and is one of only two playwork vocational qualification suites available in Wales.
  • P3 is available in both Welsh and English and Play Wales has developed new terminology in Welsh to support the understanding of playwork theory bilingually.


  • P3 is a blend of theory and practice: learners will be able to explain what they do and why they do it and are expected to put into practice what they have learnt.
  • P3 is unique in how it assesses learners; which sets it apart from other playwork qualifications. Assessment methods are tailored to the nature of the job role to ensure coherence between learning and practice.
  • P3’s core competences (such as how learners facilitate play) are assessed through practice, while reflection and written questioning are used to assess underpinning knowledge.
  • P3 is supported by a range of high quality materials including comprehensive learner handbooks and a specially commissioned film Pushing Eddie into the Nettles with Connor that features children playing in a variety of environments across Wales.

The delivery

  • P3 is delivered by some of the most dynamic, inspirational playwork trainers in the UK. All P3 trainers are occupationally competent playworkers and qualified playwork trainers who have undergone additional specialised play trainer training delivered and assessed by Play Wales.
  • The P3 learning experience is a dynamic interactive one that ensures learners will find it interesting and stimulating - whatever their learning style.
  • P3 can be delivered in English or Welsh (including handbooks).
  • P3 can be delivered flexibly to suit local need with both times and venues negotiable. It can be delivered either as a recognised qualification or as a slightly shorter straightforward training course.



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