For Creative Freelancers and Networks:

As Creative Freelancers, we need to benefit from our work with recognition, income and further opportunities.

CREATIVE FREELANCERS AND PROFESSIONAL NETWORKS ARE CRITICAL IN ALL CREATIVE WORK in the global Creative Industries and all other industries that require creative input. We need to be able to find opportunities to design, develop, produce and deliver our work projects for sustainable remuneration and rewards. This involves various degrees of collaboration with others and either fulfilling short-term roles, working to briefs or tendering for contracts or delivering commissioned work.

CREATIVE FREELANCERS NEED TO ACQUIRE, DEVELOP AND APPLY SKILLS to meet the requirements of established and emerging audiences or markets, which may be local, regional or international. We need to prioritise our professional development and learn from recent work and projects and reflect on our professional role, skills and personal and professional experiences as a freelancer. We can do this alone or informally, as part of a previous project team or in a trusted freelancer network.

WE CAN BENEFIT FROM RECOGNISING THE LEVEL OF SKILLS that we have acquired and consistently apply and to identify our professional and personal patterns in individual and collaborative work processes. We can then, more purposefully, seek work opportunities that refresh or develop our skills. We can challenge ourselves to relinquish old bad habits or working practices and develop those that that are more rewarding or healthier. This supports improving our working conditions, broadening and diversifying professional contexts, with different collaborators and with new emerging audiences or markets.

WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO SHOW WHAT WE CAN DO beyond local or regional contexts or those of our own networks and boundaries. We may seek cross-sector and international opportunities with increasing development potential or higher responsibilities and rewards that are currently outside our own networks. To gain access to these we may require formal evidence of the level of our professional expertise. CLOCK can help us to prepare ourselves and to benchmark our skills for the growing international creative economy.

THERE IS RARELY THE TIME OR MONEY FOR 'OFF THE JOB' TRAINING for professional or freelance workers. Training happens 'just-in-time' and our professional expertise is often bought ‘off the peg' by contractors to bring the required skillsets into their projects. However, we are often much too busy to acknowledge the learning that continually takes place through the undertaking of our work projects or services provided.

WE MOVE RAPIDLY ON TO THE NEXT PROJECT, like we are on a conveyor belt, without fully reflecting on what we have learned from the last project; what has been reinforced in our thinking and proved essential in our skillset? What has been challenged? Where do we have solid and credible skills? Where are we skating on thin ice or crossing our fingers and hoping for the best? What are we learning? From whom? How can we capitalise on that learning for our next project?

ARE WE FUTURE-PROOFED FOR DISRUPTION or for new directions in our sector? What if the rules changed in our sector? Next week? Next month? Next year? How do we improve our individual and collaborative contributions? How do we currently realise new ways of developing ourselves to engage with emerging professional roles, new opportunities and different constraints? How can we prepare ourselves for competing internationally in this brave new world?

WE MAY STRUGGLE TO BRING FRESH THINKING AND PERSPECTIVES into our professional development and achieve the diversity of approach that dialogue and peer-to-peer learning can stimulate. This diversity may already exist in some of our work contexts or networks as we share opinions on the nuts and bolts of our practice and the experiences of the highs and lows of our professional journey. Professional networks are invaluable for connecting us with opportunities and industry intelligence but they can also provide opportunities for collective professional development. CLOCK can help us to structure, support and reward this collective development with recognition and certified progression opportunities.

TRADITIONAL GATE-KEEPING METHODS MAY NOT UNCOVER OUR PRACTICAL COMPETENCES so that if we have low or no formal qualifications we may perceive that we appear unqualified or underqualified when in fact we are ripe for progression opportunities. Some industry gatekeepers rely only on the level of our previous formal qualifications or whether we have accessed exclusive sector networks and exclude those of us with different profiles and backgrounds. We need to be able to uncover our actual ‘higher skills in use’ to be included in progression opportunities where we can stimulate and grow new networks, develop fresh content, explore and exploit new markets and transform ‘business as usual’ strategies.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT CAN BE ‘LIGHT OF TOUCH’, NON-FORMAL AND INTEGRATED with the individual career and personal profile of the freelancer concerned. It is carried out ‘on the job’ and supported by a Sector Expert mentor, who currently works in your sector. CLOCK can provide you and members of your network an enhanced and transparent opportunity for monitoring, supporting and rewarding career development from industry entry level to competent professional level. It will also give the freelancer sector experts among us the recognition they deserve by providing them with Masters Level professional qualifications based on their current skills and experience.

WE CAN NOW VALIDATE THE HIGHER PROFESSIONAL SKILLS OF FREELANCERS that are applied in every-day work by joining the CLOCK programme. We can all achieve the recognition and validation that we have earned through our Professional Practice at our current Professional and Higher Education levels rather than referring to formal education programmes at school, college or university.

WE CAN ACHIEVE QUALIFICATIONS EQUIVALENT TO UNIVERSITY EDUCATION LEVELS up to Masters Level, certificating current Professional Practice Levels and Higher Educational Levels. Any previous formal qualifications that we may or may not have are no longer relevant to our professional a nd educational practice-based achievements.

THE CLOCK PROGRAMME CURRENTLY PROVIDES access to Professional Development Awards for the Creative and Cultural industries (PDACCI). There are 2 pathways which candidates can take separately or in combination. The first pathway is entitled Cultural Learning and focuses on Creative Practice and Technical skills. The second pathway is entitled Creative Business Development and Support and focuses on Creative Entrepreneurship and Enterprise skills. Both pathways include Nonformal learning skills and People skills, including well-being. All creative practice candidates wishing to develop their capacities for undertaking freelance work or a business start-up are strongly encouraged to combine both pathways. The PDACCI is currently awarded by the Scottish Qualifications Authority at 4 levels: •

  • CLOCK ADVANCED TRAINEE: PDACCI with 64 or 96 credits at SCQF Level 6 or EQF Level 3/4;
  • CLOCK COMPETENT PROFESSIONAL: PDACCI with 64 or 96 credits at SCQF Level 8 or EQF Level 5;
  • CLOCK SECTOR EXPERT: PDACCI with 64 or 96 credits at SCQF Level 11 or EQF Level 7;
  • CLOCK PEER REVIEWER: must already have a Sector Expert PDACCI to gain an additional 16 credits at SCQF Level 11 or EQF Level 7;

IF AN EXPERIENCED MEMBER OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL NETWORK gains the Sector Expert and the Peer Reviewer qualifications then you can run the CLOCK programme as a local or regional CLOCK Club using a ‘white label’ kit. The full cost of the mentoring role and the regional Peer Review role will then be absorbed for any candidates from your network and the CLOCK role can be centralised as a collective tool for professional developmental. This will effectively half the cost of the CLOCK programme per candidate, add value to your professional network by providing a transparent and externally accredited in-house Professional Development Programme and connect your network with additional international peer networks who will peer review candidates in your sector.

For more information and an appointment (on-line or in your region) please register your interest on WWW.CLOCKYOURSKILLS.COM or email Tania Olatunji on

We look forward to hearing from you.

Denise Stanley-Chard PDACCI FRSA Director of the CLOCK Programme.

Download the Clock Freelancers resource file.

Download the The Unique Mission of the Clock Programme resource file.

Last modified: Wednesday, 7 March 2018, 11:15 AM