Launched in 2015, the Performance Support Award has been created in order to recognise and encourage the achievements of young people who want to be involved backstage outside of the classroom.

It has been developed by STSG members in response to demands for a non-academic course which can be tailored to suit the needs of technicians/tutors responsible for pupils undertaking extra-curricular activities in the school theatre.

The Award provides a reference framework for busy technicians/tutors to use as the basis for a regular activity programme, in a similar way to a teacher using a scheme of work or lesson plan.

This is not an academic course, although it can be incorporated into a curriculum if required. It is intended to be delivered outside of classroom hours in whatever format works best for your learners. There are no time limits or exam dates.

The scheme is divided into Bronze, Silver and Gold levels. The modular nature of each level will allow tutors to adapt the content to suit the time available, the facilities and equipment available, and the specific interests and skills of the participants.

The final portfolio can be used by the pupil as evidence of skills and experience during an university interview process.

More information and FAQ can be found below.

The Award is available free to all STSG members, via the Member Portal in our shared drive.


The PSA is spilt into into 3 levels, participants must complete them in consecutive order, starting with Bronze.


Bronze participants must complete all of the bronze objectives for FIVE units. This includes the compulsory Unit 1 (Performance Support), plus at least 4 of 8 further optional units.


Silver participants must have first completed the Bronze award, including the equivalent unit(s) they wish to take at Silver level. They must complete any TWO silver objectives from any unit, which can be from the same unit or preferably different units.


Gold participants must complete the Gold level objective from any ONE unit. They must have previously completed the Bronze and Silver objectives from this unit. Evidence for the Gold level must be distinctly different from that used for the Bronze and Silver levels – i.e. a different performance.


The Performance Support Award is spilt into 9 modules.

  1. General Performance Support
  2. Costume (Sample)
  3. Digital Media
  4. Lighting (Sample)
  5. Make-up and Hair
  6. Set Design
  7. Sound
  8. Stage Management
  9. Front of House


The Performance Support Award has been sponsored / endorsed by:


Who is it for?

The Award is mainly for secondary school pupils (age 13-18) at an extra-curricular level, such as those participating in a ‘Tech Club’ or helping backstage on school productions. It is designed to support and encourage development outside of the classroom, and to offer a standardised method of recording skills and achievements.

Progress through the scheme is intended to encourage a potential future career path in the backstage industry, but can equally be used by those seeking a hobby activity. Bronze is aimed to start at Year 9 (13+), but the Award can be used with any students or young people.

Who can run it?

The Award is designed to be managed by any technician or tutor involved in the extra-curricular support of performance activities. The tutor does not need any teaching training or qualifications. Tutors can use as much or as little of the scheme as required to suit your environment.

It is free for STSG members to download as a PDF file.

What is it’s outcome?

At the very least, we want schools to use this scheme to increase the level of interest and participation in backstage activities, by rewarding pupils who may otherwise be unrewarded. It should encourage those pupils to consider the possibility of a future career in the theatre industry, and could be used on a CV or university interview to demonstrate skill and interest.

‘Print your own’ certificates can be awarded for the completion of each level, and Gold Awardees will be entitled to free Young Associate membership of the ABTT (conditions apply).


Progress is assessed internally by the tutor(s) delivering the course. The intention is that participants gather evidence as they work through the course to create a portfolio of work. Evidence can be photos, video or audio recordings, reports, notes, plans, lists, cue sheets, scrapbooks, etc.

Each unit contains a number of learning objectives, against which the tutor should record an assessment with evidence for each participant. The specific details of the assessment criteria are intentionally broad, so that the tutor can adapt the programme to suit the particular learning environment.

There is a flexible pathway through the modules and levels, in order to cater for those with specific interests or time/resource restrictions.

Getting help

The PS Award is only available to STSG members, so the group network is ideally placed to provide advice, support and feedback. Members can share experiences, problems and achievements. We also encourage members to contact other local schools for visits and to combine resources.

There is usually a discussion at the annual STSG conference, plus dedicated training symposiums have taken place.

Future Plans

STSG is currently developing methods for recording and submitting participants’ final evidence. The Award is intended to be delivered and assessed ‘in-house’ for the most part, but we are working on ideas for Gold awardees to receive additional validation.

From September 2021, Gold Awardees will be able to claim a year’s free ABTT Young Associate Membership. More details will be announced soon.