Creative therapy support worker - Level 2


Arts and crafts can be used as part of a person’s therapy as a way of helping them deal with their issues. Art, music, and drama can be particularly helpful when there are things people cannot say in words. This could be because the emotions are too distressing. Or it may be because the patient has difficulties with communication.

Job titles vary, for example you might work as:
• activities co-ordinator
• activity co-ordinator
• activities support worker
• activities facilitator
• activity assistant
• creative assistant
• activity worker

You'll typically plan activity programmes based on patient’s needs, abilities, and preferences. This might include, for example, art, music, cookery, or photography. You will help groups and individuals to take part in the activities.

In the NHS, many staff in roles related to the creative therapies work with adults with mental health issues. Other creative staff may work with:
- elderly people, including those with dementia
- children and young people with mental health issues or disabilities

Skills and knowledge

To become a Creative Therapy Support Worker you will need to be:

  • creative
  • patient and caring
  • able to motivate people
  • accepting of other people’s lifestyles
  • willing to work with people from all walks of life
  • happy to talk to and work with groups
  • flexible
  • able to work in a team but use their own initiative
  • able to follow procedures
  • able to deal with people with challenging behaviour
  • arts and crafts skills
  • good communication skills
  • good organisational skills


There are no set entry requirements but employers expect good literacy and numeracy. They may ask for GCSEs (or equivalent) in maths and English.

Employers also ask for an interest and ability in one or more areas of arts or crafts, such as art, music, drama, cookery, gardening, photography etc. They may also ask for a qualification in health or social care such as an NVQ or BTEC, or equivalent.

Employers usually ask for experience in working in the arts in a care or therapy setting. This is particularly important for roles working with people with mental health issues. Your experience could be from paid or voluntary work.

Some staff enter by working as healthcare assistants or occupational therapy assistants in jobs which may include creative therapies.

Routes into this job

You could do a college course in Health and Social Care or a relevant art course.


You'll usually need:
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent for a Health and Social Care level 2 course
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a Health and Social Care level 3 / T Level course or relevant art course

You can get into this job through an entry level apprenticeship.


You'll usually need:
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent for a level 2 apprenticeship
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 / T Level course or relevant art apprenticeship

You'll find it useful to get some paid or volunteering experience in care. This will help when you apply for jobs.

You could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for advice about opportunities.

You can also find volunteering opportunities through The National Council for Voluntary Organisations and Do IT.

Career progression

You will be given the training you need to do the job, including an introduction to the department and its procedures. You will also have training in relevant issues such as mental health or disability.

You could apply to train as an art, music or dramatherapist or as an occupational therapist.

Senior Healthcare support worker - Level 3

Senior support workers will use more advanced skills under the supervision of registered staff and may also work alone, with access to a registered member of staff on site or via the telephone. Responsibilities include the direct delivery of clinical, technical, or scientific activities following training. They may demonstrate own duties to other support workers, students, or less experienced staff. They will also carry out administration tasks related to patient care and the wider service. At this stage, senior support workers will contribute to service improvement and be able to make fact-based judgements.

Assistant Practitioner - Level 5

Assistant practitioners work at a level above that of healthcare support workers and have more in-depth education and understanding about factors that influence health and ill-health, for example anatomy and physiology. Support workers at this level will possess enhanced skills in their area of work, which may be a specialist clinical area. They will provide routine and non-routine care and support, including to service users with more complex needs and making assessment of progress. They can demonstrate own activities to new or less experienced employees and provide training to others.

Drama Therapist MSc – Advanced Clinical Practitioner - Level 7

You'll use the healing aspects of drama and theatre to help people explore and reflect on their feelings. You'll offer people the opportunity to change by experimenting with different ways of thinking, feeling and behaving.