Aberdeen Tailors’ Incorporation

Professional Development Award Scheme

Introduction and Background

The Aberdeen Tailors’ Incorporation has always had a strong affiliation and connection with the City of Aberdeen including Church, Town Council, Universities (RGU and Aberdeen) and local Charities. In June 2016, it was agreed that we look to further fostering the relationship we enjoy with RGU through the introduction of a Professional Development Award (PDA) Scheme.

We were aware that the Weaver Incorporation had a long standing award scheme in place with RGU and upon discussion with Ex Deacon Convener Graeme Nicol of the Weaver Incorporation (who is a key member of the review committee of their successful scheme) along with Late Deacon Ian Webster and Deacon Mike Morrice of the Aberdeen Tailors’ Incorporation it became evident that there was a unique opportunity for the Aberdeen Tailors’ Incorporation to introduce an award scheme that would be complimentary to the existing Weavers Scheme.

As a result of these talks, we were then introduced to Josie Steed, Gray’s School of Art, RGU Course Leader for Fashion & Textile Design and, through engagement and collaboration, productive discussions ensued which led to the PDA Scheme being drafted, developed and finally agreed between both parties in December 2016. Below is an outline of the PDA Scheme:-  

Entry Criteria and Conditions

The Aberdeen Tailors’ Incorporation invites applications from 3rd and 4th year students at Gray’s School of Art studying BA(Hons) Fashion & Textile Design which may include the following disciplines:-

  • Fashion design
  • Construction textiles (mixed media & knit)
  • Printed textiles

The Incorporation shall award a certificate and monetary prize to the student deemed to have met the standard required for this award. A runner-up certificate and award may also be presented. All tutors and students will be invited to attend a presentation of the award(s) at Trinity Hall at the end of the “Professional Development Award” scheme programme. The final submissions we receive will have been selected by the Course Leader(s) at Gray’s School of Art. The maximum number of submissions we will consider shall be twelve (12).

Students would work on their submissions in Semester 1 (end September 2017 to mid December 2017), ready for submission by mid January 2018 with the awards event being held in April 2018.

Our assessment of each submission will be judged in two (2) parts:-

Part 1

The first part shall consist of a written submission to a maximum of 500 words, describing the design concept, and what further developments and proposed applications are being considered for the end use of the design.

A brief description of how the award will be used to further enhance the student’s studies through travel for a study trip, attendance at a specialist course or the purchase of fabric / specialist materials or equipment for the development of his or her stitch work / future studies and presentation of his or her portfolio.

The staff of the BA (Hons) Fashion & Textile Design will select up to the best twelve (12) candidates on the basis of the written submissions and portfolios. These twelve (12) candidates will progress to give a presentation (up to 15 min duration) to three (3) members of the Aberdeen Tailors’ Incorporation and the Course Director, Fashion & Textile Design. The candidates may receive some questions.

Copies of the written submissions and the candidate’s portfolios are required which must include the student’s name and year of study. 

Part 2

The written part must be supported by a professionally presented portfolio of work based with a “presentation” board including illustration, specification (technical) drawing and working examples of toile / muslin, stitch work detail and materials used, etc and any appropriate outcomes.

The work presented will be assessed on the level of technical and creative skills achieved in sample construction and for the overall quality of the work presented in the portfolio. All items in the portfolio must show the student’s name and year of study.


The Incorporation shall award a certificate and monetary prize to the student deemed to have met the standard required for this award.

A runner-up certificate and monetary prize may also be presented if deemed appropriate.

Discretionary awards of materials / equipment may also be considered.

Desired Outcome

We are extremely optimistic that the relationship between The Aberdeen Tailors’ Incorporation and RGU will be further enhanced and be mutually beneficial through the introduction of the PDA Scheme.  We are keen to support these young students – build their confidence, recognise and reward their talents and to assist them in their future careers.   

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