High-end TV Skills Fund: First assistant director training (Northern Ireland)

ScreenSkills invites training providers or industry professionals to tender for new training designed to address skills shortages and gaps and to help build a more inclusive workforce in high-end TV.

Training for the UK high-end TV industry is supported by the ScreenSkills High-end TV Skills Fund (with contributions from production companies, broadcasters and SVoDs in the UK).

The High-end TV Skills Fund is looking for an organisation or individual/s who can design and run a First assistant director training programme for five high-end TV professionals working and/or living in Northern Ireland.

Who can apply?

ScreenSkills welcomes applications from individuals, partnerships or organisations that have a proven track record of delivering successful industry-standard training projects.

We particularly welcome applications from providers based in the UK nations and regions, including partnerships between organisations and/or in partnership with freelancers who have worked as a 1st AD in HETV.

The successful applicant will need to demonstrate their understanding of HETV training requirements, including the diversity challenges facing the industry and must clearly demonstrate that they have the resources to track the career progression of participants beyond the life of the programme.

If applicants are already delivering similar training and can expand their offer to include the scope outlined below, they are also welcomed to apply.

Applicants must:

  • demonstrate evidence of appropriate, recent engagement with the industry in the design and delivery of the programme
  • meet critical diversity targets as outlined in this tender, including:
    • making reasonable adjustments to the training (whether face-to-face, content or online and including during the application process) to make it accessible to a diverse audience – we will ask for evidence of your approach and implementation.
    • having an equality policy in place as an employer
    • having a monitoring system in place to track the diversity of the delegates, see this guide
    • providing diversity and inclusivity training to facilitators – (see free ACAS online training).
  • gather long-term destination data from the delegates to prove impact of training utilising the ScreenSkills monitoring questionnaire.
  • develop a clear structure for the training, ensuring that it is outcome focused.
  • discuss and agree with those taking part in the programme that they will provide feedback on the training if requested which would include providing ScreenSkills with a quote on their experience on the training.  

Key requirements

The applicant must design, manage, market, recruit and deliver a First assistant director training programme for five high-end TV professionals working and/or living in Northern Ireland.

The intensive training should focus on all aspects of progressing towards the role of 1st AD and should include:

  • an in depth understanding of the role and responsibilities of a 1st AD
  • understanding how to break down a script
  • detailed understanding of scheduling
  • detailed understanding of budgeting and management requirements
  • learning how to manage and run a large busy set
  • understanding the paperwork and reports expected of a 1st AD
  • managing professional relationships in production

The HETV Skills Fund is interested in hearing interpretations of how this programme can be delivered and encourage applicants to recommend further topic areas to enhance this training. The ScreenSkills’ Skills Checklists may be helpful.

Following the training, the training provider will produce an alumni booklet of the five candidates to help the ScreenSkills HETV team find funded placements for 5 of the participants on high end television productions in Northern Ireland. Placement costs will be a contribution of £1500 x 17 weeks per person.

The training provider will be expected to create a padlet of resources and information at the end of the course for all participants.

Participant aims

The training should be for a minimum of five participants based in Northern Ireland and should target 2nd and 3rd ADs working in HETV who have worked on at least three significant high-end TV productions and are ready to move into the role of 1st AD.

The following are the minimum diversity targets for this programme:

  • 100% of beneficiaries living and/or working in Northern Ireland
  • 20% minority ethnic groups (ethnicity aim)
  • 50% women (gender aim)
  • 10% disability (disability aim)
  • 10% LGBT (sexual orientation and gender identity aim)

ScreenSkills aims to go beyond legal diversity requirements and considers additional measures of inclusivity, including:

  • employment status
  • whether a person is returning to work following leave
  • geographical location (including representation of nations and regions)
  • socio-economic background.

Providing access to diverse crew and talent is key to our delivery objectives. All trainers and companies delivering programmes that are funded by the High-end TV Skills Fund must meet the identified diversity requirements. If they fail to do so, they must show robust evidence of why a target has not been met. If diversity targets are not met, the project could be at risk of losing funding.

We require all Skills Fund-funded programme participants to set up a ScreenSkills profile via our website and to provide diversity data at this point. Participants must complete their profile and diversity data before the training begins.

How to apply

At this stage we are requesting an expression of interest. Please complete this brief document outlining the key aspects of the proposed programme, how the key requirements of the training sessions will be met, information about the company and the provider’s capacity to deliver training.

If you have access requirements and would like an alternative way to submit your application, or would like any support in completing the expression of interest form, please email Mairead.kelly@screenskills.com and we will be happy to help.


How much can you apply for?

We are looking for bids of up to £15,000 for the resource creation, training and management of this programme.

Bids that can demonstrate funding match to maximise the budget will be welcome.

All our funds are treated as grants and therefore are not applicable for VAT.



Please save your completed form with this naming convention: ‘EOI – NI HETV 1st AD Training – [Trainer/Training Company]’.

Then submit the form via the register interest butoon below by Monday 15 July 2024

If you are successful in being shortlisted, you will be required to submit an online application form and a budget.

Other useful information

If you progress to full application, we will expect you to detail your plans for ensuring the programme and application process are accessible including, but not limited to, alternative application formats, marketing and the delivery of training.

At the end of the training, ScreenSkills HETV Skills team will endeavour to source fully funded placements for the five participants on HETV productions in Northern Ireland.

As part of accessibility, we expect your budget to include a reasonable bursary allocation for delegates who risk being excluded due to costs including, but not limited to, travel and caring responsibilities.

Please ensure that, where applicable, costs are shown in your budget inclusive of VAT.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of this tender, or your proposal, before submitting your Expression of Interest, please contact Mairead.kelly@screenskills.com