A leading Leeds based acting academy has been recognized for its quality of teaching and graduate success, by being awarded accreditation by a prestigious industry body.

The Yorkshire Academy of Film and Television Acting (YAFTA) is now Spotlight Accredited for its renowned 18 month Acting for Screen Diploma programme, meaning successful graduates will be automatically eligible to be listed on ‘the home of casting’ for professional actors.

The accreditation is being hailed as a game-changing moment, not only for the Academy but for those interested in pursuing an acting career, as the prominent casting organisation acknowledges the alternative routes of training towards becoming a professional actor. Historically Spotlight only accredited full time, three year, drama school training courses. These courses are notorious for being incredibly competitive and expensive as well as requiring a three-year commitment, which is not an option for most people.

Founder and CEO, Charlotte Armitage (pictured) said: “What has been 10 years in the making, a vision to change the way that people can access careers as professional screen actors, an alternative to traditional drama school training, has now been officially recognised and accredited by Spotlight. Historically, only students who graduated from three-year drama school training programmes were eligible for Spotlight. However, Spotlight now recognises the value and efficacy of training programmes like the YAFTA Acting for Screen Diploma course, a course that offers experiential training alongside traditional actor training, to provide a well-rounded educational experience for those who want to pursue careers as professional actors.”

YAFTA, which is based on Kirkstall Road was created by Charlotte as an alternative, quality training and education provision for those based in the north when very little was available outside the M25 and didn’t involve committing to a full-time course with sky-high fees. The YAFTA course was designed for those with education, life and work commitments which would prevent them accessing traditional training, making it an accessible option for people of all ages and backgrounds to train and follow their passion for screen acting without compromising on the quality of training.

Charlotte adds: “Like many in the creative industry and those in the film and television sector, the last few years have been extremely challenging for the business but we adapted our provision to offer online classes, workshops and a specially adapted digital version of the YAFTA Acting for Screen diploma. However, we were absolutely delighted to re-open the Academy a few months ago and welcome our students back into the building again. I am beyond proud of what YAFTA has achieved over the past decade, especially in making the industry more accessible and inclusive. With this industry recognition, we can’t wait to see who will be joining us for our next Diploma cohort in February 2022, as well as all of our future Diploma programmes!”

Applications are now open for YAFTA’s 2022 diploma courses. www.yafta.co.uk