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Equity and Spotlight shift membership criteria for drama school graduates

Students will be able to submit one motion a year to the council. Photo: Monkey Business Images Equity has revealed plans to overhaul its student membership scheme. Photo: Monkey Business Images
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Drama courses will now be subject to revised criteria in order for their graduates to be eligible for Equity and Spotlight membership, after the two bodies agreed a new training structure.

Equity and Spotlight previously relied on external accreditors such as Drama UK to determine if students were eligible to become full Equity members or be entered into Spotlight’s directories.

However, the demise of Drama UK in 2016 prompted Equity, with Spotlight, to create a new “universal standard” in order to remove uncertainty for students and establish an up-to-date list.

The new course criteria, endorsed by Equity Council, will recognise:

  • Vocational training courses for performers – practical rather than theoretical
  • Equivalent to NQF level 4/SQF level 6 qualification issues by a recognised body
  • Contact hours in excess of 36 hours per week
  • No more than 22 students in a class, and 30 weeks in a year of instruction
  • Courses that offer a professional showcase opportunity, attended by industry
  • Courses that offer professional development programme with industry engagement
  • Access to professional facilities
  • Clear commitments on safeguarding, bullying and harassment, and diversity

Equity said this criteria would be adjusted as appropriate when dealing with areas of study not covered by Spotlight, such as stage management, circus, singing, theatre design and directing.

The new accreditation was first mooted last year, when Equity announced a raft of changes to its student membership scheme. These included introducing a graduate membership bracket and a student deputies committee for the first time.