Cred-Ability Developing accredited training programmes for delivering arts in prisons


Developing accredited training programmes for delivering arts in prisons

by Hannah Hull

On 4th July 2013 ICCE hosted a development event for this research-led project. Arts practitioners were invited to test module exercises and offer critical feedback to the current structure of the course. ICCE provided the perfect environment and context for this project, which shares ICCE’s aims of embedding itself into a social context in a functional but highly innovative way. I am developing a Critical Thinking module for this programme, a core module that underpins the project and provides knowledge transfer from ICCE to our European partners.

The CredAbility project is a European collaboration to develop training for artists that want to work in prisons. Five key organisations from Ireland, England, Lithuania, Latvia and Germany are contributing both their specialist knowledge and their cultural situation to the project, enabling the development of a comprehensive course that addresses the strengths and weaknesses of prison arts across Europe.

From the basic needs of obtaining funding and developing demand, through to critical thinking and innovation theory, the final course aims to treat theory and practice with equal weight. By embracing both the traditional and radical potential of this type of activity, the course will not only offer practical skills to learners, but also challenge their preconceptions about purpose of prisons, the notion of crime, and of prisoners themselves.

This ‘total’ approach means the course will benefit existing prison arts practitioners as well as new recruits, offering a space in which to redefine and challenge their own – and society’s – approach to prison arts.

 The often abstract and unconventional content, the scale of the collaboration, the diversity of languages (both academic and geographic) and the attempt to push the boundaries of its own context has made the development of a legitimate course structure a complex challenge for The College of Teachers. The ultimate aim, however, is to produce a learning offer and experience that is as appealing and clear to navigate for potential candidates, and organisations who want to offer the course to their catchment.




Further information:

Think Critical by Hannah Hull

An article for ArtsProfessional

“Working in prisons and other challenging environments is, well, challenging. Hannah Hull argues for the importance of thinking critically about what you are doing and why.”  


Main website

“Developing accredited training programmes for delivering arts in prisons”


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