The Alfie Squires BECTU Educational Bursary

Alfie Squires was a larger-than-life and much-loved NATTKE and BETA activist, who died at a tragically early age in July 1990. He worked tirelessly for the creation of BECTU through the amalgamation of ACTT and BETA, which was completed six months after his death. Alfie was posthumously made the first Honorary Member of BECTU.

In his memory the Sector Executive Committee of BECTU makes available each year the sum of £5,000 for bursaries towards trade union-related education for BECTU members, particularly those in difficult circumstances.

  • The maximum award per applicant is £1,000, which will be awarded on an annual basis.
  • Awards are intended as a contribution towards books and other resources, and towards course fees if applicable.
  • Applicants seeking a sum of money which leaves further assistance available to other members may receiv—e preference.
  • Note that successful candidates will be required to provide proof that they have successfully completed their course. if the course is not successfully completed, awarded monies may be clawed back by BECTU / Prospect.
  • Note that assistance is not available for vocational training.
  • Awards are made at the discretion of the Training Committee and of the BECTU SEC.
  • The deadline for completed applications is Friday 19 February 2021.
  • Applicants may only be in receipt of the bursary once.

To request an application form please email with the subject heading ‘Alfie Squires BECTU Educational Bursary‘.

Train the Trainer – Get ready to work with Trainees

In this two sessions online course, Kate Antoniou, will give an introduction on how to work with and train Trainees during productions.

This course is aimed towards 1st and 2nd ACs, Focus Pullers and other members of camera departments who deal, directly manage and supervise Trainees on film, TV and commercial production sets. The program is split into two sessions over the course of one day.

Maximum participants: 10
Zoom account details will be sent after successful registration directly to the email address provided by the person who wishes to attend.

Date: Saturday, October 10th, 2020
Time: First session 10 am – midday, second session 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Email to register. It is first come, first served and you will be sent a zoom link to participate.

Management Training for Freelancers

Screenskills is currently running a free online course on ‘Leadership and Management Essentials for High-End Television Freelancers’ & we recommend DoPs, Operators & 1st ACs  – or anyone who manages crew as part of their job – consider taking it. It’s 5 x 1.5-hour sessions & the next available dates are 24-28 August – details here.

Camera Diplomas

A Working Group of branch members has been set up to cover the diplomas – if you’d like to help, please contact us

You can read our proposed new standards for level 2 and level 3 Diplomas in camera assisting.

BECTU Training

BECTU also offers a range of courses in career development, safety at work, first aid and IT skills.

During the lockdown, Bite size vocational training is available online

Vocational Qualifications


Dear Camera Department,

Industry training body, ScreenSkills has been developing some National Occupational Standards (NOS) for screen industries.

It has recently come to our attention that an online consultation seeking comment on draft standards went live in mid December. We were unaware of this until now and the deadline is right around the corner: 9am, 27th January 2020.

We ask all camera personnel in all sectors to kindly contribute your expertise to the survey.

You may think that none of this affects you, as there is currently no training standard or recognized qualification, but this is the first step in creating one. A qualification can work to better our industry – but that will take time, and will need to be of a high standard. These standards will potentially cover all production sectors and all roles in the Camera Department and also include Grips & Lighting.

This branch created new Camera Assistant qualifications for a proposed update to the Diploma scheme that was run in the past. Unfortunately, the academy that was expected to accredit this scheme is moving very slowly (and are now possibly waiting to see the NOS standards). Revisions to the Diploma qualifications is complete and we believe them to be of high quality (level 2 & level 3). For reference, the branch suggests reading them prior to commenting on ScreenSkills’ proposals, though the the NOS standards are much wider than just camera assisting.

Branch Guidance:

When you access ScreenSkills’ introduction page it will give you two options –

  • Camera Standards
  • Lighting for Film and TV Standards

Choose the one relevant to you but be aware there is some overlap with grip and lighting departments.

You will need to enter –
Your title: Trainee, Loader, Focus, Operator, Camera Technician, Wrangler etc.
Company: We would suggest writing Freelance or Self Employed.
Located in: We would suggest TICKING EVERY BOX as we move around locations a lot.

Your name and email address is optional, but if you want to receive follow up info we suggest including your details here.

You will next be confronted with A LOT of information, so let us try to assist with what you are seeing first.

The pages cover a very wide array of camera knowledge. They cross over into lighting and grip departments and of course not all of us work in the same sector of the wider Film & Television industry. The advice given by Screenskills is as follows –

“We appreciate that there are several Standards for this area, but please just comment on the parts that are of interest to you.”

The branch advises is that you take the time to go through the survey thoroughly and you will find each section has options to click at the top of the page:

  • This document is not relevant to me
  • I’m happy with this document
  • I would like to leave an overall comment

The advice of the branch is to click either “I’m happy with this document” or “I would like to leave an overall comment”. Our reasoning is that the standards are either fine as they are, or should be added to (rather than in any way NOT relevant, which may result in removal from future documents and affect crew in other sectors). More education is better than less!

We believe that the proposed NOS standards are broadly in line with our own proposed standards, but we need you to examine what is there and consider if there is anything missing. Think about how you do your work, the steps and skills involved. Is everything captured in the draft standard? If you think of something, add it in the comments box.

We hope this is clear and we greatly appreciate you taking the time to go through the survey: Help us improve the National Occupational Standards for screen industry roles – ScreenSkills


The Camera Branch

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