Folksy Ltd

Teaching your Craft

(Roz) #1

I have had several people approach me at craft fairs asking me if I do any tuition/workshops. This has set me thinking that it might be a fun thing to do but I have absolutely no idea where to start. I’m self taught in my field (felting) and am not looking to teach in depth for participants to gain a qualification but just to share techniques and ideas that I have found work. Is there a short course anywhere you can take to qualify you as a teacher of crafts/hobbies? Are there safety aspects/insurance things I should look at?

Any help/information gratefully received.


(Sarah Eves) #2

I don’t think you need to take a teaching course to run craft workshops, unless that has changed quite recently.
Insurance is the biggest headache as there are so many health and safety aspects to consider.

Years ago I used to run craft workshops for children, and there were many, many hoops to jump through regarding insurance, numbers, police checks, heath and safety etc. but with adults it should be slightly easier.

You will need to be police checked though - the certificate will last four years.

Sarah x

(Roz) #3

Thanks - I’m pretty sure your right about the teaching course - I would just like to take one to point me in the right direction as I have never done anything like that before! Think I would stick with adult workshops - like you say too many hoops for children!

(Ronald Koorm) #4

You also need to ensure your classes are accessible to disabled people, as you would be a provider of services under the law ( Part 3 of The Equality Act 2010 ) . That means your venue where you do the workshops may need to be accessible too, and not just for wheelchair-users, but provision for deaf and hearing- impaired people, blind people, cognitive-impairments, etc.

There are a range of portable hearing-loops available, and even one on a clipboard if you move around a lot, ( Ideal for guides ), which has about a metre or so pick-up area for persons with hearing aids.

The portable loops also display the ‘ear sign’, which indicates the amplification facility is available. The hearing-loop facility is called an ‘auxiliary aid’.

No one is saying you must have this now, this minute, but it is possible for a disabled person with a hearing-impairment to make a claim against a provider of services in some cases, if you are communicating with others on the course, and you don’t make reasonable adjustments to communicate with them too.

If you hire a hall or rooms in a venue always check the facilities are accessible. No point having a booked room for your course on an upper floor if there is no lift or the lift isn’t working, as mobility-impaired persons would have difficulty. Try to have a ground floor room or area, which simplifies matters.

A working, wheelchair-accessible toilet is useful too in the venue, but not saying that you have to make this in your home, (if that is where you will teach) - it all depends on how you run the workshops, whether you offer tuition at the customer’s home, and other factors.

Many people lip-read, so you need to be well-positioned so your lips and face is in the light when speaking. That costs nothing. Don’t assume that if a person is not wearing a hearing aid , that they don’t have a degree of hearing impairment.
Worth sending a questionnaire out to people before they start the course, to see if they have any special needs. You may need a large- print version and ideally, an audio version of that too.

The ECHR has publications on aspects of the law, and free downloadable
guidance for small businesses.

Best of luck !

(Eileens Craft Studio) #5

I used to do workshops and it can be quite a bit of work.

Thankfully I was covered under the insurance of the building and yes it had a hearing loop and disabled access and all my electrical equipment ie sewing machines, irons, etc etc where electrical tested by a qualified tester every 12months.

You’ll need to work out what to charge for materials, what equipment you require, how many people you can legally have in your classroom area,

How many you can cope with ie will you need to some do some one to one assistance. Can everyone see/hear what you are explaining.

Will you provide assistance sheets to go with what you are demonstrating.

Hope some of this helps

(Roz) #6

Thanks for the comments - its not something I am going to rush into. You have given me quite a bit to think about. Will probably look into it in a bit more depth in the New Year when things are quiet. Mind you I have got so much to do “once things are quiet” I’m not entirely sure they are ever going to be!

(Rachel) #7

Hi Roz,

I do workshops from time to time, I need public liability to do so. I also limit the number of customers, and the products they make, as this makes it easier for me. I do adult classes and then also for the girl guides etc. I do not need to be CRB checked as I am never alone with anyone however I have an enhanced disclosure cert. Your local CVS will probably do that for you, its now called something different to CRB I will remember in a minute.

With the workshops I quote a price per head, but if I deliver on behalf of the local council they have a set price.

If your not sure you could attend one or two workshops to get ideas, your local library or Council for Voluntary Service might offer some.

And one last point - always have a plan B for the customer who decides having booked on the workshop that they are allergic to soap or metal or something else :wink:


(Brenda Cumming) #8

Roz, over the years, I have taught many classes…both privately and for local Adult Education centres. I was told once that I needed to go on a teaching course but i never did. My argument being that they couldn’t tell me how to teach what I knew. (I am stubborn…lol) I worked for Adult Education in London and in Wales and also at young Wives groups etc…loved it. I taught, knitting, machine knitting, crochet, needlefelting,salt dough, card making…you name it, I have done it.
It might be worth approaching your local education authority and say that you do your craft as they are often looking for unusual classes. That would mean that they would be employing you. Alternatively you could hire a hall and do some small classes, OR sometimes local wool shops will let you teach a class and you split the profits (I’ve done THAT as well !!)…never miss an opportunity. If running your own classes in a hall, I think I would get all students to sign a small form to say that you accept no responsibility for accidents etc. easy enough to do and I am sure everyone would be happy to sign. Small classes in your home would be good if you have the space and don’t mind strangers around. I have often written to clubs etc offering to do a demo and let people do a small make and take (if that is possible in the time frame) Just a few ideas…hope they help and give you some choices.

(Stephanie Guy) #9

I have run a couple of workshops and really enjoyed it. I got the Society for All Artists insurance which also covers art exhibitions so is good value for me.

(Ronald Koorm) #10

Just a thought. If you decide to teach or have workshops at your home, you need to advise your insurance company( ie your home insurers). It could have an impact on premiums if members of the public attend. (The risks are greater, ie fire, theft, security, damage, etc.)

As far as I know, whilst you can have disclaimers, they must be reasonable, and very unlikely you can wriggle out by saying you will not be responsible for accidents or injury.

If an accident happens, and the customer was clearly negligent, or caused the accident despite suitable precautions and safety advice by you, then your insurers will usually investigate that on your behalf and challenge it.

But do advise formally the customers that any personal belongings they bring along are their responsibility, and you cannot take any responsibility for loss/damage of those.

I used to teach DIY many years ago, and the Health and Safety requirements then were nowhere near what you have to do now. ie Risk assessments, COSHH sheets, etc.

(Ley Holloway) #11

I have taught the occasional workshop. The easiest way is to find a shop or small gallery that will either pay you to provide a workshop in their space or allow you to use the space for a workshop where customers pay you a fee directly. Craft supplies shops see it as a way of promoting sales of whatever you are teaching. Look out for places that run ‘craftaculars’ offer your craft for the next event.

(Thesecretgardenstudio) #12

I’ve been a trainer and tutor for twenty years…got my PTTLS last year…lol. So you don’t necessarily need a qualification. A PTTLS is the minimum qualification required for funded workshops,i.e. where to the local government, housing associations, charities and community groups get funding to provide activities and workshops for residents and service users…but theoretically you do not need a teaching qualification to run private workshops. However, as mentioned above some sort of public liability is a must…shop around.

CRB check is a good idea, however if you make it clear that if children or vulnerable adults wish to attend they need to do so with a responsible adult or carer/support worker you should be fine…but do cover you’re own back with this one. A risk assessment…i would do…it doesn’t have to be a long drawn out process

You need to prep properly, have clear handouts/visuals, examples, know exactly what the aims and objectives for the workshops are and what you are going to do to get the people your teaching to achieve those aims and objectives. You need to have some idea of the timings of each activity, a contingency plan if you are running ahead of time…and what are you going to do if youre running behind. A list of resources and materials to do the activities…and a list of learning and teaching resources, materials and equipment. Then there is the autopsy at the end…how do you know if your workshop was a success…and if you were to run it again what would you change?

Different people learn things in different ways…show and tell isnt always the best way to do things…and that’s before the whole question of group dynamics and handling difficult situations

The problem is there isn’t that many courses out there…I was funded for the PTTLS course, but it cost my employer over £400. Its very hard to find short ‘Train the trainer courses’…nobody runs them anymore… :frowning:

except me…occasionally…lol

Tina xx