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The International Playwork Census – a new global research project to find out who is involved in playwork and what that means.

In the 2011 UK census, some 53,000 people declared their job role as ‘playworker’. However, the UK playwork field has lacked any sustained central or membership body since its inception just after the Second World War, and there is still no centralised register of those involved in the playwork profession. Very little is therefore known about the UK playwork workforce in terms of demographic data, and there has been no investigation into what constitutes the playwork field. Furthermore, playwork is now used in many different countries around the world, and there is no comprehensive data available as to where playwork is being used and to what extent there is an international playwork workforce. This study aims to collect extensive data about playwork from playworkers and people who use a playwork approach in their work anywhere in the world.

Our Survey

Dr Pete King (Swansea University) and Dr Shelly Newstead (Common Threads Publications Ltd) are currently undertaking this research, which has been approved by the Research Ethics Committee, College of Human and Health Science at Swansea University. The survey has now closed – thank you to everybody who has taken part! We are now in the processing of analysing the data from 15 countries. We will post occasional updates on the blog here.

If you want to discuss any aspects of the research, you can email Pete at or telephone +44 1792 602314.