Press release: Towards the Council for Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre



CDET has repositioned as the industry body quality assuring institutions delivering training, education and assessment in Drama as well as Dance and Musical Theatre.

At the start of the organisation’s fortieth year, an adjustment of the company name to the Council for Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre has been formally launched at the House of Lords, London on

Thursday 22nd March 2018.



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The launch highlighted the significant roles of industry Accreditation and Validation in securing the voice of employers, sector bodies and teachers in the design and delivery of professional training and qualifications across the full range of performing arts.

Glyndwr Jones, Director of the CDMT explains: ‘The Council for Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre will:

o Ensure the consistent application of standards across professional schools, conservatoires and awarding organisations, better complementing the breadth of disciplines offered by performing arts’ providers
o Promote outstanding industry-approved institutions which allow prospective students, candidates and their parents to better understand what constitutes excellent provision
o Advocate powerfully on behalf of members, increasing their public profile and influence with key industry and political stakeholders
o Act as an authoritative source of information on high quality provision across the sector, informing practitioners and government education authorities in their work.’

‘We also strive to ensure that specialist training is complemented by strong advancement pathways at the earlier stages of learning, such as graded examinations, and valued professional development opportunities for proficient individuals going forward in their careers.’

Roger Bramble, Chairman of the CDMT elaborates: ‘Our membership presently comprises 30 Accredited professional schools, 16 Validated awarding organisations and 11 Affiliates, with growing interest from others. The dedication of these institutions to excellence in dance, drama and musical theatre is inspirational, as is their shared commitment to the advancement of outstanding, world class, artistic performance.’

The following affirm their support for the CDMT:

o Ben Seale, Chief Executive of Spotlight: ‘The UK’s performer training is the envy of the world, the consistently high quality of this training is largely due to the work of CDMT. Thanks to CDMT we can be confident that excellent quality training will be protected well into the future.’

o Matt Hood, Assistant General Secretary of Equity: ‘Equity welcomes the developments at CDMT which ensure that our student members, and potential students, can expect consistent standards in their training and authoritative information.’

o David Grindrod, Casting Director and CDMT Board member: ‘CDMT members make an enormous contribution to the sustainability and international profile of the UK creative industries. By supporting the performers, students and teachers of tomorrow, we collectively keep professional training and rigorous assessment as the two cornerstones of a dependable progression route to a career in the performing arts—through confirming quality in dance, drama and musical theatre.’

o Julian Bird, Chief Executive of Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre: ‘We welcome CDET’s development to the Council for Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre and its mission in ensuring the consistent application of training and assessment standards across professional schools, conservatoires and awarding organisations.’

Additional supporting statements from industry bodies, professional schools and awarding organisations

o Mark Rasmussen, Head of Industry Relations at Harlequin: ‘The work of the CDMT doesn't just ensure high quality in dance, drama and musical theatre education and training, it helps support the UK's performing arts related industries.’

o Stephen Jameson, Principal of Mountview: ‘The benefits to the industry include the consolidation of a single organisation to advocate and ensure the consistent application of standards across professional training in the performing arts... increasing providers’ influence with key stakeholders.’

o Sarah Wilson, Vice-Principal of Laine Theatre Arts: ‘CDMT membership is highly valued by the professional training colleges as a kitemark of excellence, giving them a UK wide forum for discussion with employers, educators and funding authorities, and a collective voice to promote and lobby for future support of world class training in the performing arts.’

o Urdang Academy’s College Director, Craig Phillips: ‘Ofsted, Ofqual and QAA acknowledge CDMT’s industry credentials and use CDMT reports and accreditation documents to inform inspections and moderations. Also the Department for Education identifies the organisation as a key player advising on the Dance and Drama Awards scheme. Further, CDMT recently held a workshop on performing arts provision in Higher Education which was highly successful.’

o Shirley Coen, Principal of Bird College: ‘CDMT is the first point of contact for those seeking guidance about high quality training, education and assessment in the sector. It plays a particularly important role for applicants and their parents as the advice helps them make good choices for their education and training, which has a clear impact on their career in the theatre and related industries.’

o Dr Andrew McBirnie, Director of Examinations at the Royal Academy of Dance: ‘CDMT has for many years acted as a highly effective facilitator of collaboration between awarding organisations, enabling them to work together to achieve common and mutually beneficial goals, particularly in the area of regulation.’

‘Having assumed oversight of the Graded Examinations Forum, CDMT has extended its advocacy for these important and highly valued qualifications across the performing arts, encompassing dance, drama and music!’

o Sarah Kemp, Chief Executive of Trinity College London: ‘For nearly twenty years Trinity has been proud to be the awarding body for the Professional Performing Arts Diplomas. These qualifications assess the training received by many students in professional training at some of the leading colleges in the country.’

‘We are aware of the many challenges that face young people seeking a career in the performing arts and continue to work closely with industry bodies and organisations to support them and help them achieve their goals. Trinity has appreciated the support of CDMT in this important work.’

o Penny Milsom, Executive Director: Products and Services at the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM): ‘We are delighted to be working collaboratively with the CDMT on matters affecting graded exams in the UK regulatory context and their positioning internationally.’

‘The production of the booklet Graded Exams: The Definitive Guide and its associated website as well as the numerous sector and comparability reports across music, musical theatre, dance and drama illustrate the important function of the CDMT in highlighting how these qualifications contribute to the development of performing artists, of all ages and ability, across the world.’

o Sue Passmore, Chair of the ISTD: ‘On behalf of the ISTD may I offer my congratulations to the CDMT on its 40th
Anniversary. In my role as Chairman of the ISTD it is important to note that the CDMT is a respected and valued organisation for the world of dance, drama and musical theatre through its sound education and training validation and accreditation processes.’

o Liz Dale, CDMT’s Head of Education and Training: ‘When young aspiring performers invest in their training they must have assurances that the provider they choose will offer the high-quality skills, experiences and industry connections needed to succeed and maintain sustainable careers. This is where CDMT comes in, and we are proud to have helped thousands of young performers make those informed and inspired choices.’