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.
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.
Requirements of accreditation
CREST accredited activities must:
- Usually reach a minimum of 200 students per academic year - N.B. this number is flexible, particularly at Silver and Gold levels
- 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
- (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
- 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.
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.
my activity have to be for schools?
We will accredit any suitable activity, so please consider activities in your
formal and informal programme.
do I need to set my activity in a context?
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.
do you mean by working independently?
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.
is decision-making a key criteria?
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
do you mean by reflection and discussion?
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.
supplementary materials should I send you if I apply?
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?
CREST Guiding Principles