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CDET logo.jpg
Formation 1979 (1979)
Type United Kingdom Awarding Bodies
Legal status Nonprofit organization
Region served
United Kingdom United Kingdom
"CDET Trustees & Staff". 
Website Official website

CDET (formerly referred to as the Council for Dance Education and Training) is the quality assurance and membership body for the professional dance, drama and musical theatre industries. [1] CDET was founded in 1979 [2]and it is the industry body offering quality assurance and membership services to institutions delivering training, education and assessment in dance, drama and musical theatre.


  • Accredits excellent professional training at full-time dance, drama and musical theatre schools—providing the industry benchmark of quality since 1979[3]
  • Validates the world's leading awarding organisations which offer performing arts qualifications
  • Works with Affiliates and Collaborative Bodies to develop the highest standards of programme provision across the performing arts
  • Recognises, by means of the Recognised Awards Scheme, pre-vocational dance, drama and musical theatre schools and teachers
  • Provides membership and other specialist services through the Conference of Professional Dance Schools, Awarding Organisations Committee, Steering Group for the Dance and Drama Awards (DaDA), Affiliate meetings and Graded Examinations Forum
  • Negotiates with government authorities on issues of education funding, policy and regulation
  • Manages a substantial public-facing online platform which promotes members and core services, as well as administering two information websites for DaDA and Graded Examinations respectively
  • Publishes the UK Guide which is the definitive resource for those seeking information on quality provision in the sector (this is sponsored by Spotlight)
  • Operates a free comprehensive information service for students, parents, teachers, artists and employers


In 1979, alarmed at the indifferent quality of what was being presented as appropriate professional training and education in dance, musical theatre and the related performing arts, a number of eminent artists met with representatives of the leading industry organisations to discuss how the sector could work together to ensure high standards of provision. What emerged was CDET. Over the years CDET has become the first point of contact for employers, students and teachers seeking information about high quality training, education and assessment not only dance and musical theatre, but also drama across the UK.


The organisation works hand in hand with Accredited Schools and Validated Awarding organisations to ensure that professional training and assessments both remain abreast of current industry trends and, importantly, address the real world needs of employers, with the purpose of securing the supply of high quality practitioners for the future.[4]

Accredited Schools[edit]

CDET ensures the provision of high quality professional dance, drama and musical theatre training through the accreditation of full-time performing arts schools. Accreditation is only awarded to those schools and colleges that have successfully undertaken a thorough and comprehensive institutional-level review by a panel of nominated industry experts.[5]

Validated Awarding Organisations[edit]

CDET validates the world's leading awarding organisations offering graded, vocational and diploma examinations in dance, musical theatre and the performing arts, ensuring excellence in examination provision by carrying out quality assurance inspections and annual comparability studies of assessment standards.


Affiliates are committed to working with CDET to develop the highest standards in their scrutinised courses. Some programmes focus on progression towards a specific role in the performing arts, others encourage reflective practice in a work-based context, including continuing professional development, whilst others develop skills in research and analysis which contribute to the sector’s wider understanding of its history and contextual influences.

Recognised Awards scheme[edit]

The Recognised Awards engage pre-vocational schools delivering provision across the performing arts, with associated teachers holding specialist teaching diplomas in dance, drama, musical theatre and music. This self-certification scheme makes a valuable contribution to the development of safe and professional standards of practice in pre- or non-vocational teaching settings.[6][7]


Advocacy on behalf of the sector is a significant CDET undertaking. The organisation provides a UK-wide forum in which authorities, educators and employers can come together to discuss common concerns and work strategically to promote training, education and assessment. Membership services are coordinated through the Conference of Professional Schools, Awarding Organisations Committee and affiliate meetings.

CDET website[edit] is the primary source of up-to-date information on high quality provision across the sector, including an up-to-date list of membership and initiatives.

UK Guide[edit]

CDET publishes the annual UK Guide to professional training, education and assessment in dance, drama and musical theatre which is the definitive resource for those seeking information on quality provision in the sector. The publication is sponsored by Spotlight.

Dance and Drama Awards (DaDA)[edit]

CDET administers the steering group for the Dance and Drama Awards (DaDA) on behalf of members, which involves facilitating communications between the Education Funding Agency and schools delivering dance, drama and musical theatre courses within the scheme; developing briefing papers on funding for government ministers; and administering the DaDA information website on behalf of stakeholders.

Graded Examinations booklet and website[edit]

CDET coordinates and progresses cooperation across all Ofqual recognised organisations awarding graded examinations in dance, drama, music and musical theatre. Projects to date include the booklet Graded Exams: The Definitive Guide, its associated website and many detailed sector reports.

Careers Conferences and Showcase Performances[edit]

The most recent Careers Conference took place at the Urdang Academy, London In November 2016 which disseminated up-to-date guidance on careers, funding and training opportunities for prospective students and their parents, culminating in showcase performances by current students of CDET Accredited Schools. Previous conferences have taken place at the Hammond, Chester and Elmhurst Ballet School, Birmingham. The next Careers Conference is organised for the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts on 19th November 2017.[8][9]


CDET members contribute to the sustainability and international profile of the UK creative industries. By supporting the performers, students and teachers of tomorrow, collectively they keep professional training and rigorous assessment as the two cornerstones of a dependable progression route to a career in the performing arts.[3]

Accredited Schools[edit]

Validated awarding organisations[edit]

CDET validates offers graded,vocational and diploma examinations in the performing arts, carrying out quality assurance inspections and annual comparability studies of assessment standards.[10][11]


Some Affiliate programmes such as Access to Professional Training and Performing Arts Training focus on progression towards a specific role. Others, including Continuing Professional Development encourage reflective practice in a work-based context. Higher Education modules help users develop skills in research and analysis.[12]

  • The Centre Performing Arts College
  • International Dance Supplies Ltd
  • Magpie Dance
  • Mandy Ellen Performing Arts
  • Melody Movement Early Learning Ltd
  • Jason Thomas Performing Arts
  • Safe in Dance International (SiDI)
  • Stageworks Studios
  • WAC Performing Arts and Media College


  1. ^ "CDET Confirming quality in Dance, Drama & Musical Theatre". Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  2. ^ "History & Patrons". Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  3. ^ a b "About Us". Retrieved 2017-04-20. 
  4. ^ "Quality Assurance". Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  5. ^ "Sponsored by GUIDE. UKThe UK Guide to Professional education and training in dance and musical theatre - PDF". Retrieved 20 April 2017. 
  6. ^ "Recognised Schools". Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  7. ^ "Recognised Teachers". Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  8. ^ "CDET Careers Conference". Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  9. ^ "CDET Careers Conference 2017". Retrieved 21 April 2017. 
  10. ^ "Graded examinations booklet and website". 
  11. ^ "Qualifications". Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  12. ^ "Membership". CDET. Retrieved 20 April 2017. 

External links[edit]