ScreenSkills launches new in-depth Covid-19 training for HoDs and Covid supervisors

Two new levels of in-depth Covid-19 training are launched by ScreenSkills today, building on the huge success of the basic awareness online learning passed by 44,000 people to date.

The new free remote training courses, funded by the ScreenSkills Film Skills Fund, will reflect the evolving guidance and science including changes in testing, isolation, test and trace and the advent of vaccines.

Intermediate training will prepare heads of department to take responsibility for safety measures on a production, with information tailored to different departments. Advanced training will enable highly experienced 2nd assistant directors and above to operate in the role of Covid supervisor, including producing protocols and risk assessments.

There are 225 places available in total.

The courses will build on lessons from the last eight months and the intelligence gathered from industry since ScreenSkills introduced the free coronavirus basic awareness on production online training in June.

Both sets of training have been developed by industry health and safety experts First Option for ScreenSkills after a tendering process. First Option had already partnered with the UK skills body on the basic training.

Seetha Kumar, CEO, ScreenSkills, said: “We have listened closely to what industry has said it needs over and above the basic training we launched in the summer. We think these two targeted interventions will provide important additional support to those with greater responsibility for ensuring safety on set and location, helping the recovery and continued growth of the UK screen sector.”

Paul Greeves, managing director of First Option, said: ‘We’re delighted to have been selected to deliver this important training to the production sector on behalf of ScreenSkills.  Notwithstanding the excellent news about vaccines, the need to continue to apply rigorous infection controls and procedures to prevent the spread of Covid and interruption to productions is going to be with us for some months to come, and we hope this training will contribute to effective and consistent application of everything we have learnt so far to keep the sector working until we can get back to normal.”

The additional training for productions facing the challenge of working safely in the context of the pandemic has been supported by the ScreenSkills Film Skills Fund with contributions from productions shooting in the UK. ScreenSkills thanks all those who play their part in training the industry by contributing in this way.

The training will initially run from January to mid-March to reflect expectations that Covid restrictions will remain in place throughout the winter months.

For press inquiries, please contact Louise Jury, director of communications and marketing, on or 020 7713 9883/07841 496636

Note to editors:

ScreenSkills is the industry-led skills body for the UK's screen industries - animation, film, games, television including children's TV and high-end drama, and VFX. We work across the whole of the country to ensure that UK screen has access now, and in the future, to the skills and talent needed for continued success. 

First Option are a specialist media and entertainment safety consultancy providing support, advice, training and equipment to help clients achieve their creative goals, safe in the knowledge they are protected from risks at work. First Option have been closely involved in the development of Covid-19 production protocols with the BFC, broadcasters, BECTU, production management organisation and clients across the sector and are actively working with clients now to restart production.

Further details on the training:

Coronavirus intermediate awareness on production for heads of department. Full details can be found here.

Half-day remote learning with test at the end.

The training will be run for the following departments separately:

  • Locations (unit manager, location manager etc)
  • Art/construction/props
  • Production/assistant directors/creatives
  • Hair/make-up/wardrobe
  • Technical departments (camera, lighting, sound, electrical etc.)

To attend this course, you must have completed the free coronavirus basic awareness on production online learning module and be an HoD or be nominated to attend on behalf of your department head.

Coronavirus advanced awareness on production for Covid supervisors. Full details can be found here.

One day remote learning with test at the end and a post-course risk assessment assignment.

To attend this course, you must have completed the coronavirus basic awareness on production online learning module and be a highly experienced location manager, 2nd AD, 1st AD, production manager or line producer.

The free coronavirus basic awareness on production online learning module​ was developed with support from the ScreenSkills High-end TV Skills Fund and the BFI, awarding National Lottery funds.

It provides crucial information on how to reduce the risk of the spread of the virus on production and concludes with a short test. On successful completion, candidates receive a certificate that can be easily validated on the ScreenSkills website. Certificates are normally valid for six months which means those who took the training at launch will need to re-take the learning and test shortly.

All ScreenSkills’ Covid training was developed to complement the Working Safely During Covid-19 guidance developed by the British Film Commission (BFC) for film and high-end television and is also expected to help unscripted television work safely in the context of Covid-19.

A separate programme of discussions designed to support industry in implementing the guidance and working safely took place over recent months. Some sessions are available to view on the ScreenSkills website.

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