Designed to provide support for students, staff and parents, JAMES Course Accreditation is a supportive process that assesses the quality and suitability of a specific course to meet industry needs.

The industry members of JAMES have combined their experience and expertise, with educators, to bring a concerted and integrated approach to this process.

Course Accreditation is valid for 3 years, at which point re-accreditation will be necessary and is available for both public and private sectors in the U.K. and internationally.

JAMES representatives are available to act as consultants on course design and delivery and to sit on validation panels

Course Accreditation:
Assures potential students of the value of the course.
Assists employers in judging which courses are relevant for recruitment.
Allows the industry to focus support for education and training, including CPD.
Enhances courses by enabling direct access to industry professionals.

JAMES Course Accreditation is currently available for courses in any of the following:
Audio recording and music production, music performance, music composition and songwriting, audio post production for film and TV, music management and business, live sound, lighting, sound for film and TV, film studies, games, rigging and technical theatre.

JAMES now accredits education on behalf of the APRS (Association of Professional Recording Services), MPG (Music Producers Guild), MMF (Music Managers' Forum), AMPS (Association of Motion Picture Sound), PLASA, UK Screen Association, MIA (Music Industry Association), ABTT (Association of British Theatre Technicians) and Drama UK.

JAMES Course Accreditation is recognised by Creative Skillset, City and Guilds, Edexcel and other government organisations. JAMES members have been closely involved with City and Guilds and Edexcel in Qualification Development and in Continuing Professional Development (CPD). JAMES is a recognised PSRB (Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body) for undergraduate higher education courses. UNISTATS reference ‘ACC Type 10101’.

The Course Accreditation Process:
The University or college apply for course accreditation and our accreditation team will assist the application process.
Documentation is sent to JAMES.
Two JAMES assessors will then visit and feed back to our accreditation committee.
The accreditation panel will then review the feedback and a confidential report, including recommendations, will be collated.
A starting date for the Course Accreditation will be notified.
From this date JAMES logos and other marketing materials can be used to promote the course.
The course team would like to thank you for the accreditation visit, which was thorough, supportive and fair. The course will be stronger as a result of your input.
Matt Bellingham, Music Technology Course leader, University of Wolverhampton
  • Why does JAMES exist?
    JAMES exits because educational HE/FE establishments seek to have their learning skills content approved, monitored or supported by Industry to make for better employable graduates and students. There is a demand for JAMES services from these establishments. JAMES are a working professionals group dealing with all aspects of professional audio, music technology and studio training within FE/HE.
  • What are JAMES Masterclasses?
    JAMES Masterclasses are simply about working professionals sharing their experience alongside the students. We can design a masterclass on any particular subject, or a particular recorded project combined with lectures, discussions and Q & As. They normally last at least one day as a session.
  • What is the difference between Accreditation and Validation?
    As representatives of the contributing trade and professional bodies the JAMES Committee recognizes that validation and accreditation are distinct operations and that there will be a difference in emphasis between them.

    Validation is concerned mainly with academic standards and the application of the rules of the validating body. Industry accreditation is concerned not only with the course content but also with the environment in which the course is delivered, relevance to Industry, the professional outlook and experience of those who deliver it.

    Accreditation will be considered in relation to the employment needs of the Association’s members (this includes the needs of self-employed and freelance personnel). It also takes into account rapid changes in industry practice.

    The JAMES Education Committee will wish to avoid being prescriptive towards educational establishments but will hope to encourage initiatives in course design. It may be necessary to recommend where improvements could be made to the course structure or content. In this way the industry can support educational institutions.

    Full details of all costs involved, including reduced cost options for multiple Course Accreditation at the same visit, are available on the
    Accreditation Process page.

    Contact JAMES Accreditation.
  • How does JAMES acknowledge educational courses?
    JAMES currently offers industry recognition course in 3 ways:

    FE Course Accreditation covering a 3 year period - available for institutions to cover one or more of the NQF Level 3 courses that they are running.
    HE Course Accreditation covering a 3 year period - available for institutions to cover an established* NQF Level 4 or higher FHEQ course that they are running.
    Provisional Accreditation covering 4.5 years in two phases - available for institutions to cover new courses in the start-up phase leading to full Accreditation.

    The process is seen as supportive to the course team and completely confidential.

    * Established courses will have been running for 18 months or more.
  • What is the proceedure for gaining Accreditation?
    JAMES receives accreditation enquiry from Course Team.
    JAMES liaise with Course Team who complete and return a simple 'Initial Evaluation' application document.
    JAMES and Course Team agree a suitable event timetable.
    Course Team liaise with JAMES to complete and return full course documentation with fees*.
    JAMES agrees with Course Team for a one day assessors inspection visit to view the facilities and meet with staff and students.
    Assessor's written reports reviewed by JAMES assessment panel.
    JAMES final report sent to Course Team.
    JAMES industry accreditation/approval logos sent to Course Team for marketing use.
    Course Team supply content and links for information page on JAMES website.

    *Published fees refer to the cost for a single course application. Multiple course applications will be heavily discounted.
  • What happens on the Accreditation visit day?
    Representatives of JAMES will visit the educational establishment to discuss the course, meet students, inspect facilities and project work. A date and timetable for this will be agreed with the institution.

    Below is the schedule that we normally use but this can be adapted by agreement beforehand.
    9.30am. Arrive, coffee in room set aside for assessors for the day. Assessors meet to review procedure.
    10.00am–10.30am meet with course leaders. This gives the assessors time to ask initial questions and to orientate themselves to the courses.
    10.30am-12.00pm. Tour of the facilities, during which questions can be asked. This will include a tour of the library and other learning facilities.
    12.00pm–1.00pm. Meet with students, past and present.
    1.00pm-1.45pm. Lunch with staff and students.
    1.45pm. Assessors meet again alone in their room and have a chance to review what they have seen.
    2.00pm. Meet with course team. A chance to ask questions of the lecturers.
    3.30pm-4.30pm. Assessors meet together again and after discussion give feedback to course leaders.
    4.30pm. Leave.

    This schedule may need to be extended and altered as circumstances dictate.
  • Is JAMES Accreditation officially recognised?
    Yes! JAMES Accreditation is recognised by not only the Sector Skills Councils, Creative Skillset and Creative & Cultural Skills, but also by the Awarding Bodies Edexcel and City and Guilds, with whom our members work closely to ensure that any new qualifications are relevant to our industry. We are discussing co-operation with other government bodies such as Ofsted, QAA, LSC, fDa and LLLUK, to ensure that we can offer the greatest amount of industry support to learners, teachers and institutions. This is our way of ‘Linking Industry and Education’.

    JAMES is also a recognised PSRB (Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body) for undergraduate higher education courses. UNISTATS reference ‘ACC Type 10101’.
  • Where can I find an updated list of all JAMES Accredited courses?
    Our Accredited Courses webpage has all the up to date information.
This scheme was initiated by the APRS, ‘piloted’ in 1998 and is now available internationally. The APRS and the MPG developed the scheme as a supportive process.

It was originally created at the request of APRS Recording Studio members who needed to evaluate courses attended by job applicants. The UK Screen Association represents the audio post-production industry and has recently added their expertise to the process.

In 2008 JAMES became one of the Accreditation bodies recognised by Creative Skillset as having programmes consistent with their own schemes in the creative professions.

2008 saw the introduction of FE Centre approval for colleges.

2009 JAMES introduced Provisional Accreditation for the pre-approval of planned courses.

2011 saw the introduction of accrediting Music Performance courses.

2012 saw the British Academy of Songwriters and Composers (BASCA) and the Interactive Audio Special Interests Group (IASIG) join the list of industry organisations that formally endorse the JAMES Accreditation.

2012 also saw the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and UCAS recognising JAMES as an Industry Accreditation Awarding Body.

2013 saw the introduction of JAMES Integrated Learning Centre recognising Institutions who are taking further steps beyond course accreditation to provide multiple pathway, cross discipline collaborations.

2014 saw MMF [The Music Managers Forum] and PLASA [Professional Lighting and Sound Association] became associate members of JAMES representing the artist management and sound for event and entertainment systems.