Obtain archive material for productions

Business Sectors (Suites): Production (FILM and TV)
Developed by: ScreenSkills
Approved on: 31 Mar 2019


This Standard involves selecting archive footage, still pictures and audio material for productions within time and cost limits. 
It is about presenting your recommendations, and arranging for material to be included in productions, both by obtaining permissions and licences, and by arranging for material to be transferred to appropriate formats.

This Standard is for those responsible for obtaining archive material including production co-ordinators.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. assess the need to use archive material, against alternative means of meeting production briefs

  2. identify the kind of archive materials needed to meet the production briefs within the time, format, budget and legal constraints of productions

  3. contact likely sources of materials needed to establish their existence and availability

  4. offer and agree realistic alternatives with decision makers when the kind of material needed is not available 

  5. ensure the format of material being obtained meets the needs of productions

  6. identify costs, limitations, copyright and other legal constraints on the use of materials 

  7. obtain permission to use materials when appropriate

  8. select materials which meet the needs of productions and are within time and budget constraints

  9. give relevant production personnel the opportunity to evaluate selected materials before agree final selection

  10. negotiate and agree costs and other associated charges with suppliers

  11. order final selection of material without delay in the correct technical format and in time to meet production deadlines

  12. confirm any licensing agreements in writing in line with organiational processes

  13. inform appropriate decision makers of costs, limitations and any legal constraints on selected material

  14. keep accurate records in line with organisational processes 

  15. credit sources in line with editorial policy

  16. prepare supporting paperwork with full and accurate details of materials to be transferred

  17. arrange delivery of transferred material to edit suites within agreed deadlines

  18. identify the implications of problems that arise and discuss them with operators and decision makers in order to resolve them

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

1. why it is important to specify requirements clearly and concisely 2. the legal and ethical considerations affecting the use of archive material in productions 3. relevant editorial guidelines, including those concerning taste and decency 4. sources of material available, and how to access them 5. what options there may be when certain material is unavailable  6. various technical formats and how to identify them 7. types of copyright and what sort of materials they apply to 8. how to secure licences and permissions, and what should be covered in terms and conditions 9. how the use of material from and in different countries may affect copyright regulations 10. which forms of agreement to use 11. why it is important to classify and record the movement of materials 12. the editorial policy on crediting sources 13. how and when to inform decision makers of any constraints on archive material 14. possible problems and how to resolve them 15. how to ensure secure transport of materials to post production facilities as required 16. records that need to be kept including those relating to the movement of materials and copyright details


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2022





Originating Organisation

Screen Skills (formerly Creative Skillset)

Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Arts, Media and Publishing, Production Managers, Production Coordinator

SOC Code



Televsion, Film, Archive