Set up and organise a costume department

Business Sectors (Suites): Costume for Film, TV and Theatre Productions
Developed by: ScreenSkills
Approved on: 30 Mar 2021


​This standard is about your ability to plan, set up and organise a costume department linked to a production. 

This may involve recruiting department members, liaising with other departments, assessing available workspace and sourcing and setting up equipment 

This standard may be applicable to costume supervisors, costume managers and costume assistants.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. ​confirm the costume requirements, production schedule and budget 
  2. review the costume breakdown and identify resources required to store, distribute and maintain costumes  
  3. identify and assess the space available considering security, confidentially and risk issues 
  4. identify and recruit costume personnel with the required skills within budget  
  5. consult with the designer and production staff and negotiate costume staff terms and conditions 
  6. ensure the costume personnel are fully trained  
  7. identify and source the equipment and tools required within the budget restraints 
  8. identify and source the fabrics and materials required within the budget restraints 
  9. organise the delivery of resources  
  10. assemble, position and install equipment within the chosen area considering 
  11. obstacles, hazards and safety conditions 
  12. create a safe, functional and secure working environment 
  13. identify the departments running and maintenance costs  
  14. create and confirm the costume storage 
  15. create and formalise a return process  
  16. ensure adequate security measures are in place  
  17. ensure the required insurance policies are in place   
  18. communicate clearly with production staff and other relevant departments or individual 
  19. ensure health, safety and environmental legislation and guidelines are in place and followed at all times

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. ​the requirements of the production and schedule  
  2. the production budget and timescales at your disposal 

  3. how to identify the crewing and skills requirements 

  4. how to select and recruit members of the costume department  

  5. how to effectively negotiate terms and conditions 

  6. the roles, responsibilities and tasks required of the costume department 

  7. equipment required to complete tasks  in the costume department, such as tagging guns, scissors, racks and pressing equipment  and how to use them safely  

  8.  facilities required within a costume department  e.g. running water, electricity 

  9. required security measures  

  10. department maintenance and running cost  

  11. the cost implications involved in the loss or damage of items 

  12. adequate insurance arrangements  

  13. efficient costume booking, borrowing and returning processes  

  14. legislative and regulatory requirements applicable to handling and storing hazardous materials 

  15. the communication protocol with production staff and other relevant departments or individual  

  16. statutory responsibilities under health, safety and environmental legislation and regulations


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2025





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Arts, Media and Publishing, Associate Professionals and Technical Occupations, Crafts, Creative Arts and Design, Media and Communication, Media Associate Professionals

SOC Code



costume; wardrobe; department; manage; organise; production