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ScreenSkills launches HR Toolkit and Skills Checklists for screen industries


ScreenSkills, the only dedicated skills body for the UK’s screen industries, has created an HR Toolkit and range of Skills Checklists as part of its commitment to make the sector a fairer, more inclusive and compliant place to work.

Both the HR Toolkit and the Skills Checklists have been developed in collaboration with the industry to ensure that they provide a comprehensive and valuable resource, enabling the screen industries to be a fairer, more inclusive sector in terms of recruitment.

The HR Toolkit, funded by ScreenSkills’ Unscripted TV Skills Fund, provides employers across the screen industries with a range of resources for the entire employee lifecycle – from attraction, recruitment and onboarding to retention, development and offboarding. The toolkit offers a set of resources that could be used by production companies to strengthen and standardise their HR practices, enabling them to offer more inclusive recruitment practices, especially if they don’t have the support of an in-house HR team.

The creation of the toolkit was in direct response to requests from the unscripted TV community and was developed in collaboration with film and TV specialist HR consultant Lisa Balderson (Assoc. CIPD).

“The HR Toolkit has been shaped in consultation with industry,” said Sarah Joyce, ScreenSkills’ head of unscripted and children’s TV. “It will support production companies looking to implement more formal recruitment processes and best practice, as well as those looking for advice in making the screen industries a fairer and more inclusive place to work.”

The toolkit contains guidelines, downloadable templates and links to supporting information and further resources – including the Skills Checklists.

The industry-approved checklists include lists of skills and responsibilities for 44 roles in nine departments across scripted film and television. Work on the Skills Checklists was started in 2020, initially funded by ScreenSkills’ High End TV Skills Fund from contributions from high-end television productions.

Between 2022 and 2023, with support from the BFI awarding National Lottery funding, the checklists were further developed, along with additional guidance for employers on how they could be used when creating job descriptions or planning professional development.

Currently, checklists are available in the following fields:

  • Camera – camera trainee; second assistant camera technician/clapper loader; first assistant camera technician/focus puller; camera operator and director of photography.
  • Location – location assistant; unit manager; location co-ordinator; assistant location manager; location manager; supervising location manager/head of location department/location manager.
  • Assistant directors – base runner/base PA; floor runner/set PA; third assistant director; Crowd second assistant director; (Key) second assistant director; First assistant director.
  • Production – production assistant/runner; production secretary; assistant production co-ordinator; production co-ordinator; production manager; line producer.
  • Production sound – Sound trainee; second assistant; first assistant; production sound mixer.
  • Script supervisors – script supervisor trainee; assistant script supervisor; script supervisor.
  • Hair, make-up and prosthetics – hair and make-up trainee; hair and make-up junior; hair and make-up artist; hair and make-up crowd supervisor; hair and make-up supervisor.
  • Costume – costume trainee; standby costume assistant; crowd costume supervisor; costume supervisor; assistant costume designer; costume designer
  • Post-Production – post-production assistant; post-production co-ordinator; post-production supervisor; post-production producer.

Nicky Ball, head of high-end television mid-career progression, ScreenSkills, said: “The checklists provide people either interested in a career in film or television, or wanting to progress their existing career, with a roadmap that clearly shows not only the specific roles in nine departments, but also the skills and responsibilities for each role. The checklists are industry-approved and by providing greater transparency will both support employers in terms of more inclusive recruitment for these roles as well as help crew to plan their career development and progression.”

Sara Whybrew, head of National Lottery Skills Programmes, added: “We are looking forward to seeing the sector embrace the use of job descriptions to aid greater transparency in recruitment and in time hope their use will become commonplace. We believe this is an important step in helping to open up work opportunities to a diversity of talent.”

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