CREST Accreditation - What is it?

CREST Accreditation - What is it?

Intro: The CREST Awards

The CREST Awards scheme is the British Science Association’s flagship programme for young people, providing science enrichment activities to inspire and engage 5-to-19-year olds. The CREST team accredits resources or activities that meet the guiding principles of CREST and that we feel could be used towards gaining a CREST Award. To run CREST you do not need to be CREST accredited - accreditation is primarily intended for organisations with their own resources who also would like students to be able to submit for a CREST Award and to be able to advertise this using the CREST logo.

There are six CREST Award Levels, allowing students to progress through the scheme throughout their education. CREST supports students to solve real-life science, technology, engineering and maths challenges through practical investigation and discussion.

Please note, there is a fee for getting resources accredited.

If you know your activity is suitable for accreditation have a look at how the process works.

Questions about this article? Email crest@britishscienceassociation.org  or submit a request on the Help Centre.


Star
SuperStar
Discovery
Bronze
Silver
Gold
Time commitment
8 x 1 hour activites
8 x 1 hour activities
5+ hours project work
10+ hours project
30+ hours project work
70+ hours project work
Recommended age
5-7
7-10
10-14
11+
14+
16+
Assessment
Internal
Internal
Internal
Internal
External
External

What is CREST accreditation?

CREST accreditation is designed to enable other organisations to offer CREST participation to students taking part in their resource (either entire awards, or ‘credits’ towards a full award). We accredit individual activities, not entire schemes or organisations, so each activity would need to be independently approved by the CREST awards scheme. You do not need to be CREST accredited to direct people to complete a CREST Award once they have completed your resource or programme.

When you are accredited you gain access to the CREST logo and are able to use this to promote your resource/activity. You will also be listed on the CREST partners page here.

Requirements of accreditation

CREST accredited activities must:

  1. Usually reach a minimum of 200 students per academic year - N.B. this number is flexible, particularly at Silver and Gold levels
  2. Meet all the relevant CREST guiding principles (or provide details of additional work students could complete after your resource/activity to meet the criteria) – see Appendix 1
  3. (For Bronze, Silver and Gold levels) enable students to meet at least 11 of the 15 CREST criteria, which they will be assessed on – see Appendix 2
  4. Roughly meet the required hours per level (or provide details of additional work students could complete after your resource/activity to meet the hours)
    • Approximate hours per level are as follows:
    • Star/SuperStar - 1 hour per resource, 8 hours total
    • Discovery - 5 hours
    • Bronze - 10 hours
    • Silver - 30 hours
    • Gold - 70 hours

What are the benefits of CREST Accreditation?

  • A framework and project management tool for STEM schemes/activities
  • Enhanced credibility for the scheme/activity, from the positive brand reputation of CREST among teachers and educators
  • Inclusion of a link to the resource/activity on the CREST partner resource page , accessible from the CREST resource library.
  • Enhanced reputation for collaboration and a ‘joined-up’ offer for schools among stakeholders 
  • More opportunities for young people participating in scheme/activity to access regional, national & international events and prizes 
  • Progression opportunities for young people participating in the scheme/activity to take their interest in STEM further using the higher levels of the CREST framework 
  • Increased impact for the resource, including reach and benefits for those who take part. 
  • Access to the CREST logo, opportunity to use the logo to market your resource/activity as CREST accredited

While all CREST levels can have accredited resources, accreditation does not guarantee that participants will achieve their award when assessed at Silver and Gold level by our trained assessor. Accreditation simply means a programme fits the criteria enough that it can fully or partially be used to apply for an award. Participants wishing to subsequently submit for a Silver or Gold Award will still need to refer to the CREST criteria when writing/creating their project report, and filling in their profile form.

More questions?

Below are the answers to some general accreditation questions:

Can you accredit my scheme?

We accredit resources or activities. If you scheme is made up of multiple resources or activities, these will need to each be accredited. 

Can I direct my students to CREST even if I'm not CREST accredited?

Yes, certainly. You don't have to be CREST accredited to let people know they might be able to use your activity to meet the criteria and gain a CREST Award.

Can I use the CREST logo without being accredited?

No, not unless you have spoken to someone from the Education or Marketing teams and they have given prior approval for its use.

Does my activity have to be for schools?

No. We will accredit any suitable activity, so please consider activities in your formal and informal programme.

Why do I need to set my activity in a context?

Because research and experience shows that young people engage with science much better if they come across science in a context that they can relate to. It makes science relevant to their everyday lives and not just something that they have to learn in school. Context can be as simple as a story that relates the science to their everyday lives.

What do you mean by working independently?

We would like young people to be given the chance to work on their own, or as part of a small group, without adults where appropriate. This helps them to gain confidence, and helps organisers to resist the temptation to say ‘no, do it like this’. However, we don’t mean that the adults should sit back and watch! They should, of course, be there to prompt, ask questions and advise on safety concerns and other matters where appropriate.

Why is decision-making a key criteria?

All CREST activities should be based on investigative learning. Our activities might suggest one way to find out, and invite children to think of others. We want that element of choice and decision making to be reflected in our link scheme activities too.

What do you mean by reflection and discussion?

It is all too easy to rush through an activity without giving young people time to sit and think about what they are doing. We want to encourage young people to feel they can talk about what they are doing, and why.

What supplementary materials should I send you if I apply?

If you have a script or a detailed plan for a workshop, or any ‘take-home’ materials, we would expect to see these. We don’t need to see the materials you give the young people, although of course if you think we’d like to see them, do send them to us.


Which CREST level is my activity suitable for?  


Star


CREST Star activities should support students to solve real-life science, technology, engineering and maths challenges through practical investigations and discussion. Star activities should relate to situations we expect children to have already come across, or to be likely to come across.
Activities should be designed to last approximately one hour. All CREST Star activities should be designed so that you don't need to be a teacher or have a science background to run them.


SuperStar


CREST SuperStar activities should support students to solve real-life science, technology, engineering and maths challenges through practical investigation and discussion. SuperStar activities should relate to situations that children can relate to, for example the community or on broader issues such as recycling.
Activities should be designed to last approximately one hour. All CREST SuperStar activities should be designed so that you don't need to be a teacher or have a science background to run them.


Discovery


CREST Discovery activities should offer a first introduction to project work and should be suitable for classroom, club or youth group activity days. Students should complete either a single project or a series of linked challenges with clear real-world contexts. The project can be around any STEM topic or theme.
At Discovery level, students should work collaboratively on the project or challenge(s) in self-managed groups, record and reflect on their work throughout, using a CREST Discovery passport, and communicate their findings through a group presentation.


Bronze


Bronze Awards should focus on having fun and developing transferable skills, such as problem solving and communicating effectively. They should do this whilst experiencing the project process.
At Bronze level, students should develop a project using their own ideas, taking decisions about how to progress through it, write about their findings and evaluate their project in their CREST profile form or workbook.


Silver


Silver Awards should stretch students and enrich their studies. Students should develop their own project idea and gain experience of the scientific method.
At Silver level, students should develop and lead the project, consider the broader impact of their work and demonstrate an innovative approach to solving problems. Students will need to reflect on their work throughout the project and produce evidence of their work to be presented to CREST assessors.


Gold


Gold Awards should allow students to conduct real research. There should be longer-term projects that require students to contribute something new to the scientific or technological community or to a particular field of study.
At Gold level, students should develop and lead the project, consider the broader impact of their project and demonstrate an innovative approach to solving problems. Students will need to reflect on their work through the project and produce evidence of their work to be presented to CREST assessors.




If you know your activity is suitable for accreditation have a look at how the process works.

Questions about this article? Email crest@britishscienceassociation.org  or submit a request on the Help Centre.


Appendix 1

CREST Guiding Principles


Real-world context

CREST projects and activities have a clear real-world context, appropriate for the level. 

Problem solving 

CREST projects and activities demonstrate creative approaches in developing solutions to scientific problems. 

Independent working

CREST projects and activities show independent working skills, students should carry out their projects either on their own, in pairs or small groups, ideally completing their challenge independently of adults (appropriate to the level).  

Decision making

 

CREST projects and activities should, as far as possible, support students to lead their own projects, to set their own aims and objectives and create their own plans for how to conduct the project.  

Practical science

CREST develops students understanding of the scientific method, as well as research, production and/or communication techniques and knowledge related to their project 

Reflective practice

CREST projects and activities should allow students to reflect on what they have learnt. 

Reporting and Communicating

CREST projects and activities should enable young people to share their results (not necessarily in a written format) and explain the impact of what they did. 

Research

CREST projects and activities require students to do background research to help them complete and understand their project. 

Creativity 

CREST projects and activities allow students to utilise creativity and approach their project in an innovative way. 





Appendix 2
NB. Bronze, Silver and Gold students must achieve 11+ of these criteria to be awarded CREST certification for their project

More detailed criteria can be found here.
 


CREST criteria

How does your activity provide the opportunity for this?



Project aims and objectives

Students can set a clear aim and potentially break it down into smaller steps/objectives



....



Project context

Project links to everyday life



....



Selection of approach

Students can consider different ways to do the project and gave reasons for the one you chose



....



Project strategy

Students have a realistic plan for how to complete their project



....



Planning and organisation

Students are able to plan the project and organise who does what



....



Use of material and human resources

Students decide what/who you needed to help them complete the project and explained why



....



Research

Students do some background research to help them complete and understand their project



....



Conclusions and implications

Students draw logical conclusions and explain the impact of what they did



....



Understanding of project outcome

Students can explain how their actions affected the project outcome and what you might change in the future



....



Reflection on learning

Students reflect on what they learnt



....



Scientific and/or technical knowledge

Students can demonstrate understanding of the topic



....



Decision making

The activity allows students to make sensible decisions about the project and take safety into account



....



Creativity

The activity allows for creativity in the way students tackle the project



....



Problem solving

The activity allows students to identify and overcome problems



....



Communication

Students are required to communicate the project in some way-   e.g. in writing and conversation and maybe in a visual way too



....



 







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