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This apprenticeship is in development and is subject to change

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An apprenticeship is only available for delivery when both the standard and assessment plan is approved and a funding band (core government contribution) has been assigned to the standard.

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Craft assistant

Details of standard

This standard has options. Display duties and KSBs for:

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in a range of settings including specialist craft businesses, design studios, production workshops, restoration and conservation businesses, training establishments, cultural institutions such as museums, galleries and heritage sites, corporate businesses, and the natural environment. Employers are typically known to be micro businesses and SMEs. However, Craft Assistants can occasionally be found in larger organisations in the public, private and charity sectors. Craft Assistants may also progress into freelance work and/or operate as sole traders once sufficient skills and experience are gained.


The broad purpose of the occupation is to design and deliver hand-crafted products. Craft Assistants make, service, restore and/or conserve individual hand-crafted items and do so for customers/clients, public and/or private collections, and/or the built or natural environment. Craft Assistants will work with a range of materials such as textiles, moldable and rigid materials, paper, glass, clay etc. Typically, the businesses Craft Assistants are employed by specialise in a selected craft and an individual in this role will achieve occupational competence in that craft. Craft Assistants provide technical support to ensure new or existing items, to be made or restored by hand, are designed, developed, and created in line with company and client requirements. Increasingly, the integration of digital technologies across this sector will support production processes while retaining unique craft qualities through hybrid manufactured and handmade production. Craft Assistants must adhere to the organisation’s confidentiality requirements and understand basic copyrighting and intellectual property arrangements. Working with discretion, taking positive action in response to feedback, being solution focused, and maintaining awareness of the bigger picture, including budget and broader resource constraints and environmental impacts and ways to reduce these, are essential to a Craft Assistants approach.


In their daily work, Craft Assistants are expected to work collaboratively with other designers and craft practitioners, customers/clients, wider team members such as administrators, distributors, marketers, retailers, suppliers and external stakeholders. Craft Assistants work to agreed deadlines as part of a team but are expected to work with autonomy once sufficient skill and knowledge is obtained. Whilst training, Craft Assistants work alongside, and under the instruction of, a master craftsperson and are sometimes responsible for creating component parts of a product that the master craftsperson would use to finish the product.


An employee in this occupation will be responsible for effective client communication, demonstrating sound project management and project delivery skills. They will be competent in the processes, materials, and tools used to create the specified hand-made products of the business they are employed by. Craft Assistants will demonstrate a sound understanding of sustainable practices including the sourcing, use, disposal, recycling and reuse of materials across the craft industry.


Craft Assistants are responsible for maintaining the workspace and its contents in line with the business’ standards and health and safety requirements. They will also assist with the creation and managing of databases, client/customer information, and ongoing ordering and control of stock.


Craft Assistants would be expected to have an understanding of working with customers/clients and may also be expected to liaise with customers/clients throughout the making process and/or to aid in any relevant item aftercare.

Typical job titles include:

Assistant maker Craft technician Design assistant For example ceramics technician. Junior craft practitioner Studio assistant These titles sometimes include direct reference to the specific craft that the ca is working in Workshop technician

Core occupation duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 1 Utilise technology as an enabler to make hand crafted items within the social, cultural, economic, technological and environmental contexts impacting craft

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K14 K20 K21

S2 S3 S5

B1 B3 B4 B6 B7

Duty 2 Make products or component parts of products by hand in line with the organisation’s quality standards, confidentiality policies and Intellectual Property requirements

K1 K2 K8 K17

S1 S3 S5

B1 B3 B4 B6 B7

Duty 3 Focus on sustainability, research and develop green production techniques, processes and the use of recycled materials

K7 K19


B1 B4

Duty 4 Maintain equipment and the workspace, and store tools in line with the organisation’s standards and Health and Safety requirements

K8 K10 K12 K21

S4 S5 S6


Duty 5 Record and control materials, items, stock, products and suitably store these to maintain their fitness for use

K10 K12

S4 S10


Duty 6 Order or recommend materials and/or tools in line with the organisation’s procurement policies/processes and stock management procedures as needed to achieve value for money

K10 K11 K12 K16

S8 S10 S11


Duty 7 Follow agreed plans, designs or brief to aid the successful creation of a specified hand-made product within time and cost constraints

K7 K9

S7 S9

B3 B7

Duty 8 Manage client expectations by maintaining regular client communication and delivering effective project management, budget tracking, troubleshooting, project delivery and timekeeping

K9 K13 K16

S7 S8 S9 S11

B2 B3 B5

Duty 9 Utilise technology to communicate, market and sell hand-made items effectively

K14 K15 K16 K18


B2 B5

Duty 10 Provide excellent and inclusive customer service and relationship management to a diverse range of clients

K9 K13 K16 K20


B2 B5

Duty 11 Package/present products in line with the organisation’s standards, procedures and/or client/customer requirements

K15 K18 K19


B2 B5

Option duties

Ceramicist duties

Duty KSBs

Duty 12 Make, service, restore, and/or conserve ceramic items for customers/clients and/or public/private collections

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K14 K22 K23 K24 K25 K26 K27 K28 K29 K30 K31

S1 S2 S3 S5 S12 S14 S15 S16 S17 S18 S19 S21

B1 B3 B4 B6

Duty 13 Manage the planning and/or design process for hand-made ceramic products

K8 K9 K22 K26

S7 S9


Duty 14 Work with clients/customers to understand their requirements and creating technical and/or other drawings and plans (by hand or digital) for the product as needed

K9 K13 K16 K22 K31

S7 S11 S14 S20 S21

B2 B3 B5 B7

Duty 15 Create samples and/or prototypes to assist in the creation of hand-made ceramic products

K14 K22 K23 K24 K25 K26 K27 K28 K29 K31

S1 S2 S3 S5 S12 S14 S15 S16 S17 S18 S19 S21

B3 B4 B6



K1: The history of craft and how craft has shaped places, communities, and wider society Back to Duty

K2: The history of your chosen craft Back to Duty

K3: The economic contribution of craft and the make-up of the craft workforce Back to Duty

K4: The different types of craft businesses including sole traders, publicly funded organisations, commercial operations, craft councils, associations and societies Back to Duty

K5: The financial environmentof the craft sector and external factors impacting on this, and the ways in which craft practitioners and craft businesses generate income, such as through public/private subsidy, teaching, community outreach, product sales Back to Duty

K6: The range of settings within which craft making is used to support the health, wellbeing and education of society e.g. in schools, hospitals, residential care homes, as part of community outreach projects, as well as the practical support craft practitioners can provide during a crisis e.g. the making of extra scrubs and face masks in the event of a pandemic Back to Duty

K7: The environmental impact of different crafts and the steps being taken by craft practitioners and businesses to operate in a more environmentally sustainable way including circular economy concepts, sourcing of materials, sustainable production and distribution processes Back to Duty

K8: The range and type of hand and machine operated tools used by craft makers and identify the craft/s and/or materials they are typically used for Back to Duty

K9: The project life cycle and factors that aid successful progression including customer/client liaison, team working, budget management, project mapping and problem solving Back to Duty

K10: The systems used to record and manage stock Back to Duty

K11: The range and type of suppliers used by your organisation and how to research and source suppliers for financial competitiveness, environmental sustainability, and quality Back to Duty

K12: Know how to store tools, materials and products safely and appropriately Back to Duty

K13: The key principles of excellent customer service Back to Duty

K14: How digital tools and technology, such as 3D printing and computer aided design can improve productivity and delivery Back to Duty

K15: The different routes to market, including galleries and exhibitions, craft markets, open studios, online platforms, physical shops, printed materials such as books and catalogues Back to Duty

K16: The different communication channels and methods used to reach clients/customers, suppliers, and key stakeholders such as social media, press, specialist networking, open studios, web Back to Duty

K17: The basic principles that apply to copyrighting and Intellectual Property and how to protect craft items from external exploitation Back to Duty

K18: The quality assurance methods and associated stages deployed by your organisation prior to releasing hand-made items to market Back to Duty

K19: Benefits of eco-friendly/recycled materials including different packing materials, their properties and associated environmental impact/s Back to Duty

K20: The 2010 Equality Act, 1998 Human Rights Act and the 1998 Equality, and the Equality and Human Rights Employer Code of Conduct for equality. Back to Duty

K21: Health & Safety; regulations including the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH), Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER), the Health & Safety At Work Act (HASAWA), the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR), and manual handling. Back to Duty

K22: Key factors associated with ceramic items such as use and function, size, shape, ergonomics, fitness for purpose, and production scale Back to Duty

K23: The types of clay used to make ceramic items, the unique properties of each, and the types of items each is most suitable for, including white earthenware, red/iron terracotta earthenware, stoneware, porcelain, bone china, fine bone china, magnesium clay Back to Duty

K24: Characteristics and states of clay for industrial or studio production including slip, wet clay, leather hard, bone dry, bisque fired, glaze fired, post firing techniques, vitrified Back to Duty

K25: Preparation methods of clay for use including wedging, kneading, pugging and filter pressing Back to Duty

K26: Different making/production techniques including throwing, slab work, coiling, press moulding, slip casting, jigger and jollying, ram pressing, high pressure casting, Back to Duty

K27: Different ways that decoration can be applied to ceramic items including stamping / embossing, sprig work, brushwork, decals, glaze and sgraffito Back to Duty

K28: Different kiln and firing types including electric kiln, gas fired kilns, and wood/coal fired reduction firing, the use of different temperatures and the effect of different temperatures, and the stages of firing including bisque and glaze firings Back to Duty

K29: The range, types and properties of different glazes and which one/s to use for the type of clay and the specific item being made, knowing when to use pigments and underglazes, biaxal and triaxal glazes, and glaze ‘recipes’ Back to Duty

K30: The different production processes and uses for ceramic products including personal use items, bespoke commissions, batch production, limited run, and mass production Back to Duty

K31: Design principles including line, texture, size, shape, form, colour, volume, proportion Back to Duty


S1: Select and safely use the most appropriate tools for your chosen craft Back to Duty

S2: Use technology as an enabler to make hand-crafted items, models and prototypes Back to Duty

S3: Use green production techniques, processes and recycled materials to deliver hand-crafted items Back to Duty

S4: Store tools/materials safely and appropriately, ensuring they are protected from damage when not in use Back to Duty

S5: Follow the appropriate Health & Safety procedures for your chosen craft, using tools, materials and personal protective equipment ( PPE) in a safe and secure way Back to Duty

S6: Clean, maintain and prepare the craft workspace/workshop in line with the organisation’s requirements, contributing to a safe and heathy working environment Back to Duty

S7: Identify the roles, responsibilities, and interdependencies of different parties in a project and your role within this Back to Duty

S8: Undertake budget setting and deploy controls to enable effective budget management Back to Duty

S9: Undertake duties in line with project timelines, demonstrating the reputational, financial, and legal risks of not completing a project to time or budget Back to Duty

S10: Demonstrate effective stock control and supplier liaison Back to Duty

S11: Demonstrate effective verbal and written communication with colleagues, and/or customers/clients, and suppliers in line with the organisation’s expectations Back to Duty

S12: Follow the organisation’s quality assurance procedures Back to Duty

S13: Choose the most appropriate packaging for your craft items to protect them whilst in transit and to ensure items are presented as per the organisation’s and/or client/customer requirements Back to Duty

S14: Make ceramic items and/or prototypes in line with the organisation’s brief / private client / customer brief / own brief, ensuring close consideration is given to its chosen purpose, end user, market, and budget Back to Duty

S15: Select and use the most appropriate tools and equipment for the ceramic item/s being made such as a wheel, wire clay cutter, sponges, shapers, brushes, loop and ribbon tools, bats, calipers, glazing tongs, pugmill, filter press, blunder, extruder, kiln Back to Duty

S16: Apply design principles in the making of ceramic items, relative to the brief including shape, size, proportion, colour and finish Back to Duty

S17: Select the most appropriate clay for the ceramic item being made to ensure the final item is fit for purpose Back to Duty

S18: Employ a range of relevant making skills such as hand building, sculpting, throwing, casting, moulding, and tool crafting ensuring these are appropriately selected and applied to the chosen clay relevant to the final product Back to Duty

S19: Decide on decorative techniques and glazes to be applied to the final ceramic products Back to Duty

S20: Evaluate the extent to which the finished ceramic item meets the detail of the brief and against the production schedule including efficiency and wastage, quality, budget Back to Duty

S21: Use technical drawings (created by hand and/or digital) to aid the making of a hand-made ceramic product Back to Duty


B1: Committed to keeping up to date with industry best practice Back to Duty

B2: Works effectively with colleagues and others Back to Duty

B3: Takes ownership of work Back to Duty

B4: Sources solutions and seeks to continuously improve and develop Back to Duty

B5: Respectful of others Back to Duty

B6: Puts safety first for themselves and others Back to Duty

B7: Work in a time and budget conscious way Back to Duty


English and Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Additional details

Occupational Level:


Duration (months):



This apprenticeship standard will be reviewed after three years

Status: In development
Proposal approved Standard approved EPA plan approved
Level: 3
Reference: ST0919
Route: Creative and design
Typical duration to gateway: 18 months (this does not include EPA period)
Options: Ceramicist

Contact us about this apprenticeship

Employers involved in creating the standard: Heritage Craft Association, Devon Guild of Craftsmen, 1882 Ltd, The Leach Pottery, Royal Crown Derby, Spode Museum, Creative and Cultural Skills

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