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DMU professor helps instigate a professional register for the creative industries


They are the people who work away behind the scenes to make student and academic projects come to life but, beyond the campus, are very rarely given the credit they deserve.

Now Tracy Harwood, Professor of Digital Culture at ͼ Leicester (DMU), is heading up a group that will award people working in the creative technologies a place on a professional register to recognise their highly specialised skills.

PROF TRACY HARWOOD main CMS

Whether it’s firing up a blast furnace for glass blowing, laser cutting materials for a design project or setting-up motion capture cameras for a dance demonstration, the technical workforce makes things happen to ensure students get the best out of technology.

Endorsed by , the Creative Registration Framework (CRF) offers professional accreditation for those working in the creative industries and technologies and aims to provide parity with existing schemes available in fields such as science and engineering.

Prof Harwood, who heads up DMU’s Institute of Creative Technology, said: “This is the first time that a professional register has been created for these highly specialised staff

“I am thrilled to be the chair of the advisory board and will be developing this further with Creative UK and the Institute of Science and Technology.

“Technical staff are not mentioned in research papers and never included as collaborators or co-authors, and yet they are fundamental to the success of many projects.

“The opportunity for creative technologists to gain professional recognition is a big step in the development of the UK's talent pool

“It provides a framework through which the rapidly advancing creative industries can mobilize skills.

“It also gives creative technologists, many of whom choose to operate as freelancers, the due recognition they need to remain competitive in the workforce.”

Professor Harwood called on 15 years of research expertise to make early noises about the need for a register when providing evidence to the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee on ‘A Creative Future’ in 2022.

Prof Harwood said: “There is a need to develop and recognize skills in ways that scale talent while maintaining professional standards.

“My comments were based on 15 years-worth of research and collaboration with creative technologies professionals.

“One of the key challenges with creative technologies is, of course, the very rapid advancement of the technologies used, such as the emergent generative AI tools. This is something this register gives due recognition to.”

Simon Hooper, Head of Membership, Creative UK said: “The Creative Industries are rich with highly skilled professionals, working across a range of specialities.

“We’re pleased to see accreditation being made available for individuals, in acknowledgment of the amount of talent that powers our amazing sector.”

Posted on Wednesday 22 May 2024

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