Implement physical special effects on a production

Business Sectors (Suites): Physical Special Effects
Developed by: ScreenSkills
Approved on: 01 Mar 2017


This Standard is about your ability to implement physical special effects. It assumes you already know how to use the required materials. You will need to brief people on the elements of the design and the safety requirements and ensure that equipment and materials are fit for purpose and managed appropriately. It will involve identifying key heads of department with whom you will need to liaise to produce effects in a safe and legally compliant manner. This Standard should be used alongside any of the standards listed below: PSFX04 Create atmospheric effects PSFX05 Create practical fire effects PSFX06 Create miniature effects PSFX08 Create mechanical effects PSFX09 Create physical special effects props PSFX10 Create explosive and pyrotechnic effects This Standard is for you if you implement physical special effects.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. liaise with appropriate people to ensure that all relevant safety

    information for physical special effects is communicated to all

    relevant cast and crew

    1. ensure that safety guidance is adhered to by all people at all times

    2. supply pictoral and video test reference to production in line with

    production requirements

    1. employ competent crew with relevant skills and experience for

    the job

    1. communicate scene choreography to relevant people to aid their

    understanding and safe practice

    1. instruct cast and crew how effects will be achieved in a manner

    that aids their understanding and promotes safe practice,

    demonstrating elements when appropriate

    1. make sure all members of the special effects crew understand

    their role in the implementation of effects

    1. provide equipment and materials for use in physical special

    effects which are fit for purpose and in appropriate and compliant


    1. respond to any budget or schedule changes in a positive way,

    communicating any differences to all relevant people

    1. liaise with appropriate people to ensure effective vehicle

    management for special effects on set in line with production and

    safety requirements

    1. document all aspects of risk assessment and risk management in

    appropriate formats

    1. use reliable information to evaluate the use of physical special


Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. health and safety regulations and legislation relating to the

    physical special effects with which you are working

    1. how to liaise effectively with appropriate heads of department,

    cast and crew, insurers and enforcing authorities

    1. the means of ensuring that the safety of cast and crew is upheld

    at all times, both in a workshop and on set

    1. the importance of cast and crew not changing or adapting

    equipment to suit a particular purpose without the consent of the

    special effects department

    1. how to interpret scene choreography, script breakdown in line with

    safe practices

    1. what is needed in order to facilitate successful and safe delivery

    of effects

    1. how to test and record results on camera

    2. who to liaise with from production, including the location

    department, about vehicle management on set

    1. the necessary permissions and approvals from relevant

    authorities and organisations which must be sought and how to go

    about doing so

    1. processes for preparing equipment and materials to create effects

    2. how to employ competent individuals or third party specialists to

    work collaboratively within a team

    1. how to respond efficiently and effectively to budget or schedule

    changes and why it is important


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

01 Mar 2020





Originating Organisation

Creative skillset

Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Arts, Media and Publishing, Physical Special Effects Professionals, Special Effects Trainee, Special Effects Technician, Special Effects Senior Technician, Special Effects Supervisor

SOC Code



Physical special effects; Design; Plan; Workshop practice; Atmospheric effect; Practical fire effect; Miniature effect; Prosthetic effect; Explosive effect; Breakdown; Budget