The Professional Artist scheme under jobseekers allowance is an initiative of the all-of-Government Creative Ireland Programme, introduced while I had Ministerial responsibility for the Arts. The scheme was initially introduced as a pilot scheme and was available to professional writers and visual artists.
In September 2019 the Professional Artist Scheme was introduced as a permanent scheme in its own right, and has been extended to other professional art forms following a review carried out in consultation with the then Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The independent and objective validation process of professional certification was developed as part of the review process in consultation with the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Arts Council and representative bodies.
My Department will continue to work with the Department for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and relevant bodies in relation to the development of this scheme, including any proposal to extend the professional certification process.
I trust that this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.