USF Step up to development producer training programme

A cartoon figure holding a telescope and tablet.
A cartoon figure holding a telescope and tablet.
Career stages
Experienced, Expert
Unscripted TV
ScreenSkills funded

Calling all development APs!

Are you an experienced development AP?

Are you ready to make the step up to development producer?

Would you like to enhance your creative, professional and commercial skills?

If you answered yes, then Step Up to Development Producer is the course for you.

Stepping up to a producer role can be daunting. As a development producer, your approach and thinking needs to develop as you begin to lead a team and take on significant extra responsibility for winning commissions and keeping the production pipeline flowing.

Led by expert development consultant, Sophie Morgan, with guest speaker sessions from a range of exciting industry experts, this training course is designed to:

  • equip you with innovative tools and knowledge to develop commission-winning ideas.
  • offer practical and actionable leadership and management strategies to build a vibrant and motivated and resilient creative team.
  • build your confidence in taking on a new challenge and thriving in a development producer role.

Following the training, each participant will be matched with an industry expert mentor for a six-month mentoring relationship (approximately 1 hour per month).

This programme is supported by the ScreenSkills Unscripted TV Skills Fund which invests in training for the unscripted workforce thanks to contributions from BBC, Channel 4, Sky, A+E Networks UK, Discovery UK, Channel 5, Netflix, ITV, Amazon, UKTV and S4C matched by production companies.

Who it's for

This course is open to participants in the UK who regularly work in development and have:

  • 2+ years’ experience in an unscripted development AP role, OR
  • Have less than 6 months experience as a development producer
  • Are looking to return to work following a career break who have equivalent development experience

The course is open to a total of 30 people and will run twice with two cohorts of 15 people. On applying, you will be asked to confirm your availability for the fixed dates and you are expected to be available for the duration of your chosen set.

There is a fee to individuals to attend this training programme of £250 + VAT (£300 inclusive of VAT) which is payable on acceptance to the course. This course is heavily subsidised by ScreenSkills and we have worked hard to keep the costs as low as possible. 

There are a number of bursary places available which are aimed at supporting freelancers who are self-funding the training and those not currently on contract with a production company. If you would like to apply for a bursary please check the bursary box on the application form. 

Please note this training is in a hybrid format, with approximately 50% delivered live online and 50% live in-person in Birmingham. The training will take place during office hours, so it is expected that you have the support of your current company to attend. 

Participants (or their company) will be responsible for paying the course fees and arranging any travel / accommodation costs incurred attending the training. In order to make this course accessible to the widest possible audience, there is limited support available to contribute to travel and accommodation costs on top of bursary support for course fees. Evidence of hardship will be required. 

We always welcome applications from under-represented groups, including, but not limited to: those from Minority Ethnic Groups; people with a disability; people from the LGBTQ+ community and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

We offer inclusive training. If you have any needs which we can accommodate during the recruitment process and beyond, please let us know and we will be happy to work with you to meet them.


What it covers

The full course outline is currently being finalised. Please check back for further details, including confirmation of our extensive list of guest speakers!

Sessions include:

  • Knowing Yourself and Building your Creative Identity
  • Knowing Your Buyer: Channels, SVoDs and How to Crack Them
  • Reading the commissioning landscape
  • Ideation and Upscaling Your Creative Processes
  • Using AI as a creative tool for development
  • Access, Assets and Selling Yourself
  • Getting the Best from You and Your Team

Following the training, each participant will receive mentoring 1 hour monthly from an industry mentor. This process will happen for six months.

Mission Accomplished have extensive a networks of production companies and expert developers across the country and will support in matching each participant up with one person who will be able to support them.

Participants may recommend their own mentor, if they already have somebody who is willing to support them. We recommend that these mentors do not work within your current organisation, to encourage more objective support.

By the end of the training course, participants will:

  • Understand the role and responsibilities of a Development Producer
  • Have the skills and knowledge to take on a role at Development Producer level
  • Know themselves and their creative identity
  • Know their buyers (channels / SVODs) and how to crack them
  • Understand the need to look at ideas afresh and be continually challenging their thinking
  • Have developed Leadership and Management skills needed for the role
  • Have developed their brainstorming and ideation skills and upscaled their creative processes
  • Understand access, talent, their assets and how to sell them
  • Have strategies and tactics for managing a development team and a slate


Sophie Morgan is a BAFTA nominated and RTS award-winning film and TV producer and commissioning editor. As Head of Development for production companies like September Films, Cineflix and World of Wonder she has developed, pitched, won and exec produced hundreds of hours of TV content for all major broadcasters across all genres with credits that include series Star Lives (ITV Saturday night Entertainment), European Nightmare (BBC Daytime), Pete Burns Unspun (Channel 4 Popular Docs), Haunted Homes (ITV2 Entertainment), Clubbing On The Frontline (Channel 4 Current Affairs) as well as originating and exec producing Channel 4’s first digital content This is a Knife. She also set up and ran September Films’ LA Development Department and ran LA-based indie World of Wonder’s (Ru Paul’s Drag Race) UK division. As Commissioning Editor for Living TV, she commissioned and Exec Produced the channel’s two highest rating series of Britain’s Next Top Model and Jade: With Love following Jade Goody’s battle with cancer.

Sophie is a vocal champion of neurodiverse talent in the industry and a ScreenSkills mentor for neurodiverse talent.

Alison Grade founded and runs Mission Accomplished. The company regularly delivers training courses for ScreenSkills. Alison is an experienced Line Producer and Production Manager as well as a Nesta Accredited Creative Enterprise Trainer. She regularly delivers training that enables creatives to take their careers to the next level. Alison is the author of Penguin published book, The Freelance Bible and offer many workshops and training programmes to support freelancers

How to apply

Click the 'Apply now' button above. You’ll be redirected to the Mission Accomplished listing.

On applying, you will be asked to confirm your availability for the fixed dates and you are expected to be available for the duration of your chosen set.

Cohort 1:

  • Tuesday 24th October 2023; 12-4pm (Zoom)
  • Friday 10th November 2023; 12-4pm (Zoom)
  • Monday 13th November 2023; 10.30am-7pm (In-person, Birmingham)
  • Tuesday 14th November 2023; 9am-4pm (In-person, Birmingham)
  • Friday 24th November 2023; 12-4pm (Zoom)
  • Friday 1st December 2023; 12-4pm (Zoom)

Cohort 2:

  • Friday 12th January 2024; 12-4pm (Zoom)
  • Friday 19th January 2024; 12-4pm (Zoom)
  • Monday 22nd January 2024; 10.30am-7pm (In-person, Birmingham)
  • Tuesday 23rd January 2024; 9am-4pm (In-person, Birmingham)
  • Friday 2nd February 2024; 12-4pm (Zoom)
  • Friday 9th February 2024; 12-4pm (Zoom)

Judging information

Key dates:

Cohort 1

  • Deadline for applications extended to 19th October 2023 - a few spaces left.
  • Applicants will be notified by 13th October 2023

Cohort 2

  • Final closing date for applications is 13th December 2023
  • Applicants will be notified by 20th December 2023
Mission Accomplished

Mission Accomplished

Mission Accomplished is a private training provider based in the West Midlands. We focus on training across the full breadth of the screen and creative industries. Mission Accomplished is led by Alison Grade, author of The Freelance Bible and much of the training we offer is focussed on employability and career development including leadership and management

More from Mission Accomplished