the media and entertainment union
a sector of Prospect

The Joint Industry Special Effects Grading Scheme provides a career structure for those involved in physical, pyrotechnic and visual special effects.

There is a BECTU member-only area that contains all of the relevant documentation on the management of this scheme including rules, appeals procedures, codes of practice, rates, job descriptions, etc. Logged in members should use the Resources tab here. (BECTU members yet to set up their login should email our membership dept with their membership number to request set up information which will be sent by email).

Joint Industry Committee (JIGS)

The Joint Industry Committee (made up of representatives from the BBC, ITV, PACT, the major film companies and BECTU) determines the levels of experience, training and responsibility required to hold the various job titles (grades) within the scheme. Visit the JIGS site.

Apply for grading/re-grading

Special effects professionals are encouraged to join the scheme as trainees. As they receive training and their experience grows, they can apply for re-grading as technicians, senior technicians, and eventually, as supervisors. Non-members using the scheme pay £200 for each grading/re-grading application. See statement below.

The structure of the Joint Industry Special Effects Grading Scheme is also used by employers (production companies, producers, etc.) to ensure that they are employing suitably experienced, qualified and responsible individuals.

This system helps to ensure that productions are, or become, low risk ventures, both from the completion and health and safety points of view.

  • View the latest list (February 2019) of accredited special effects operators. This list, which is not restricted to BECTU members, is updated regularly and can also be downloaded from this page.
  • Accredited special effects operators can apply to appear on the list.  All grading/re-grading applications should be submitted in both electronic form (pdf or Word) and hard copy (paper). Hard copy should be sent to Paul Evans, assistant national secretary, BECTU Sector of Prospect, 373-377 Clapham Road, London, SW9 9BT. Non-members should enclose a cheque for £200.

JIGS fee for re-grading

JIGS Ltd exists to uphold health and safety standards in film, television and audio-visual production by validating the competence, experience and appropriate grade for individual practitioners in safety-critical areas including Special Effects (SFX).

The administrative burden of providing this grading service in SFX is undertaken by BECTU staff. BECTU members who apply for grading in the SFX Grading Scheme contribute to the cost of this service through their regular union subscription.

The Board of JIGS Ltd has agreed that, in the interests of equity and fairness, non-members of BECTU who apply for grading in the SFX Grading Scheme should pay a fee of £200 to JIGS Ltd with their first application and a further fee of £200 on each occasion that they seek to be re-graded. Payment will be required before cards are issued. Applicants will be notified when their grading/re-grading has been finalised.

Get involved

For more information about JIGS or the union's Special Effects branch contact Paul Evans, assistant national secretary, or Andy Ryan, branch secretary, on Additional information and documents are available to BECTU members on the Special Effects branch pages; members should log-in to access the area. (Need a new login? Contact our membership department and quote your membership number).


Last page update 2 October 2018.