Conferences & Maker Training

COMPASS Emerging Maker 2023

Closing date: 10 Oct 2022

COMPASS Emerging Maker 2022 / Photography by Neil Hanna

Applications are now open for Craft Scotland's flagship maker learning and development programme.

Now in its fifth year, the COMPASS: Emerging Maker Programme focuses on nurturing talent and equipping individual makers with the skills they need to create a successful, sustainable, resilient business and creative practice. 

About the programme

The programme takes a practical approach to nurturing a creative business through the early stages of development. The programme is delivered through a combination of online workshops, an immersive five-day residential, one-to-one sessions, specialist advice, peer learning, work critiques and mentoring. It draws on the experience and skills of established makers and creative industry experts who share their insights and advice.

Each participant will be matched with a mentor at the end of the programme. You will also be provided with resources to enhance your learning experience. Throughout the programme, participants will be supported by the Craft Scotland team who will steer you through the process and answer any questions you might have.  

See previous year's programmes and participants:

Application Pack & Guidance

Full information about the programme, maker profile, eligibility and fees is available in the Application Pack & Guidance. We recommend reading through the information provided before applying. 

>>> Download the Application Pack & Guidance (Opens PDF)

Alternative formats: Application Pack & Guidance 

Who should apply​?

We are looking for professional, practicing makers who have been in business between one and five years.

You may be:

  • A self-taught maker or one who has come to the profession via informal educational routes (community education, online learning, evening classes etc.) 
  • A recent graduate (of any subject/discipline) newly entering the craft sector
  • A maker moving into a craft profession later in life, or as a second career
  • A maker who is now looking for ways to develop a new or relatively new craft business

We are looking for makers who:

  • Produce works of contemporary craft
  • Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of materials, excellence in making (process and skill), and an artistic vision
  • Work within the materials/disciplines that Craft Scotland supports.

Visit the Craft Scotland website for craft disciplines we support.

​Makers using digital technologies and modern materials within their work are expected to demonstrate that hand skill and craft knowledge are the lead components in both the concept and finished object.

We are particularly interested in makers who would like to take their business to the next level and can demonstrate they have the potential, drive and ambition to do so. 

While we encourage makers to consider applying for a profile on the Craft Scotland Maker Directory, please note this is not a criterion of application for this opportunity. 


Dedicated places for under-represented makers

We have dedicated places on COMPASS: Emerging Maker Programme 2023 for makers with lived experience of being Black, Asian, Mixed Heritage and/or a Person of Colour, Refugee, D/deaf, Neurodivergent, Disabled, and/or LGBTQIA+. 

These dedicated COMPASS places have been created because we know that specific groups of makers are systematically under-supported in the craft sector. Through the COMPASS programme we will support under-represented groups to achieve their creative and business ambitions, through providing access to networks, mentoring, training, and learning and development opportunities.  

This strand of work is part of Craft Scotland’s updated Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion Policy and Roadmap, and we will guarantee an interview for any applicant who fits the lived experience above and meets the maker criteria. 

For these dedicated places we can offer a number of fully subsidised places. 


How to apply

Applicants should apply through the Craft Scotland online application form.

Before starting your application, please be aware that you will need to submit:

  • A maker statement
  • Your CV
  • Images of five pieces of work– these should be representative of the type of work you are currently making
  • An image of yourself. Preferably this would be a photograph of you at work, with your work, in your studio or delivering a workshop
  • Answers to specific questions about your business
  • Reasons why you are interested in this opportunity and how you think your business will benefit

We recommend you prepare your answers on a separate document before beginning your application form, to make sure you have a back-up of your responses. Make the most of your application with the helpful tips in our Application Pack (opens PDF).



Successful applicants will be expected to pay a £350 participation fee (this contribution is towards the cost of administering the programme, including staff costs, accommodation for the residential parts of the programme and speaker/mentor fees).

COMPASS is generously supported by the William Grant Foundation and Creative Scotland. Places on the programme are subsidised by Craft Scotland allowing you to access high-quality, affordable training in Scotland. 

The participation fee contributes to the cost of administering the programme; including staff costs, accommodation for the residential parts of the programme and speaker/mentor fees.

You may also, by prior agreement, pay the participation fee in three instalments.


Support with your application

If you are interested in this opportunity but feel there are some barriers to participation, please do get in touch. Including but not limited to:

  • Caring responsibilities
  • Financial
  • Accessibility
  • Travel
  • Slow internet/devices

We would be happy to discuss this with you and see what support is available.

If you think you might be a good fit for the programme and would like to find out more, in advance of applying, then please do get in touch. You can contact Jo Scott, Head of Programmes, Craft Scotland, via email at jo@craftscotland.org


Deadline for application is 5pm, Monday 10 October 2022

Interviews will take place via Zoom on Tuesday 25, Wednesday 26, and Thursday 27 October 2022.

Participation fee due for payment (unless paying by instalments) by 5pm, Friday 13 January 2023. 

The programme is due to start in January 2023



COMPASS is Craft Scotland’s learning and development programme created specifically for makers. Each strand of the programme is designed to support makers at key stages of their business and creative practice. 

The COMPASS: Emerging Maker Programme is aimed at professional practicing makers in the early stages of their craft career, who have been in business between one and four years. 

We have worked closely with Chartered Occupational Psychologist, Elaine Furnivall, Founder and MD of Aviour, who has over 20 years in personal and organisational behaviour and executive coaching, to design the programme. 


Online and across Scotland

Closing Date & Time:
10 Oct 2022 12:00am
Key Contact:
Craft Scotland [javascript protected email address]
COMPASS Emerging Maker 2023 - Application Pack - Simplified COMPASS Emerging Maker 2023 - Application Pack - Large Print COMPASS Emerging Maker 2023 - Application Pack - PDF Apply now

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