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Equipping professionals working at the heart of post-lockdown recovery

With support for career progression taking the highest priority in today’s UK film and HETV production workplace, The Production Guild of Great Britain (PGGB) has responded by quadrupling the number of training courses it offers in the past year alone.

Under its official partnership with the British Film Commission, 230 trainees have been supported since 2020 in roles identified as ‘priority areas’ by industry, including Line Producers, Covid Supervisors, Location Managers, Production Co-ordinators and Production Secretaries.

PGGB VLE_ (002)

As the volume of training has increased, so has the need for responsivity and flexibility in delivery. In the early months of the pandemic, backed by BFC investment, PGGB set out to devise its new Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), built using the award-winning Moodle software which has been hailed as a gamechanger in education settings and workplaces worldwide.

“The pandemic forced so much of our industry into the virtual space, at a time when new highly specialist roles, like that of the Covid Supervisor, were suddenly a ‘must-have’ for every single production,” explains Lyndsay Duthie, PGGB chief executive.

“We knew we had to bring trainees together remotely to access high calibre training with all the required resources and materials in one place. But we wanted to go further.

“With the VLE we wanted each trainee to become a supported member of a learning community that would continue beyond the life of the course, as they navigated what looked to be pretty unchartered waters ahead.”

Launched in late 2020 with PGGB & BFC’s first High Level Covid Supervisor Training cohort, the VLE quickly became an indispensable tool in the Guild’s efforts to equip professionals working at the heart of post-lockdown recovery.

“After our third cohort of that course, we’d built what was essentially a crack team of around 45 expert UK Covid Supervisors with comprehensive insight into complexities of COVID-19 safety in practice, relating to different types of shoots, under a range of conditions, in the face of contrasting variables.

“Through the VLE they were able to keep pace with the situation and share best practice as we moved through the pandemic. The same has been true for all the trainees in other roles that we’ve supported since.”

The VLE is regularly updated with CPD materials, additional recordings, updates and resources, meaning that information stays current as guidance adapts.

“It’s more important than ever that people are empowered to progress to the next level capably and confidently, especially in leadership roles”

With unique features such as grading of feedback, individual course pages and H5P content like quizzes, questionnaires and presentations, the VLE offers a high level of interactivity, and can be accessed in a far more flexible way.

“What’s clear from trainee feedback is that it can be a genuine struggle to fit traditional training in to work schedules that are busier than ever. Crews are working harder, under pressure, possibly with less, or in some cases no, breaks between shoots.

Professor Lyndsay Duthie

Lyndsay Duthie, CEO, The Production Guild of Great Britain

“People are ‘making hay while the sun shines’ which is completely understandable, and when work is in constant supply, there’s rarely a good time to duck out for a training course.

“At the same time, it’s more important than ever that people are empowered to progress to the next level capably and confidently, especially in leadership roles. If we don’t adapt with new solutions, we run the risk of people stepping up too soon without the knowledge and skills to thrive in more senior roles, which can lead to burnout.

“What the VLE offers is the ability for participants to make the courses suit them, to access resources when they have the time and the headspace to. Crews are supported in their career development, whilst still meeting work commitments that keep productions moving.

“I’m hugely proud that PGGB and BFC have developed such an innovative tool and that now, two years on, we’re able to see the genuine impact it’s having on the careers of our trainees.”

What PGGB trainees say

“The training expanded both my technical knowledge and management capabilities. Additionally, the VLE helped me expand my network further, which in this industry is half the battle.”

“Invaluable advice and guidance from experienced professionals.”

“The VLE is really interesting and easy to use.”

“The course and the VLE is packed with useful information and resources, giving you the confidence to hit the ground running in a busy production office environment.”

For more information about The Production Guild of Great Britain’s training courses and Virtual Learning Environment, contact or visit