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Back To Work: COVID-Style

This three-hour online seminar, co-presented by AFTRS and SPA, addressed basic principles of COVID-Safe Guidelines for screen production, and then explored the practical application of the guidelines.

The recording of the seminar is available for a limited time, by enrolling (below). Once you’ve enrolled you’ll receive a link to the video.

First session (60 minutes)

A panel discussion with some of the architects of the COVID-Safe Guidelines. The panel will explored the steps necessary to ensure a safe workplace, identifying and managing risk, staff roles and responsibilities, incident management and liability. Included in this part of the seminar:

  • Why is a WHS framework necessary? – An outline of the reasons for putting the guidelines in that context.
  • Duties under the framework? Who is responsible? – Company directors, producers, department heads.
  • Risk management process – What does this mean? How do you identify risks. What is the role of safety officers?
  • Adapting the guidelines to each production – risk assessment template, policy for each production
  • Mandatory control measures – Govt regulations. Role of CMO. How do you check what is current? Will there be health inspections? What about testing?
  • Record keeping – what are the obligations? Contact register for tracing purposes
  • Liability – litigation possibilities, criminal charges. How best to ensure everything that can be done is done.


Lyn Norfor – AFTRS’ Head of Producing (Chair)
Michael Tooma – Clyde & Co,
Zoe Angus – SPA
Kelly Wood & Andrew Crowley – MEAA
Dr. Catherine Kelaher – Principal Medical Adviser, Office of Health Protection

Second session (1 hour and 40 minutes)

A deeper dive into the COVID-Safe Guidelines and their application in the workplace. The panel will discussed how mandatory and specific control measures can be applied on set and location, the experience some productions have had, and incident management and response.


  • Adapting the guidelines to each production – risk assessment template, policy for each production
  • Risk Assessment process – approaches to fiction and non-fiction shoots, script assessments, personnel involved
  • Staff responsible – Who takes charge of COVID issues on a production and makes sure things are done? Can COVID-Safe officers be trained? What is involved? What are their responsibilities?
  • Mandatory control measures – How you do this on set. Ensuring it’s up to date
  • Impact on shooting and budgets – schedules, deep cleans, budget issues
  • Specific control measures – an examination of each department in detail. Determining who is responsible
  • Pre-production planning – what you need to plan for
  • How does a pod system work?
  • Incident management and response – What could go wrong? How do you deal with it?


Owen Johnston – SPA (Chair)
Andy Walker – Producer, Five Bedrooms
Zoe Angus – SPA
Anna Molyneaux – Line Producer
Andrew Crowley – MEAA
Angela Conte – hair and makeup, The Children of the Corn
Bob Walker – Deloitte Risk Advisory
Amy Noble – Fremantle Media

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Is the Back To Work: COVID-Style right for you?

If you are working in the screen industries in Australia today this seminar will contain vital information about dealing with a return to production during the pandemic that you can’t afford to miss.


This seminar is part of the Short, Sharp and Immediately Useful series of professional development seminars at AFTRS. Check out the other seminars in the series, in particular Creating Healthy Workplaces which explores how to look after the mental health of our workforce during the pandemic.

What you will need

This seminar is delivered live, 100% online through Zoom video, via our Online Learning platform Moodle. You will need access to a desktop or laptop computer with camera, sound and good internet connection, as well as a quiet place to participate. Headphones are recommended.

Once enrolled we will send you further instructions and a link to the Zoom sessions.


SPA members receive a special seminar price. Please use the promo code supplied by SPA when you enrol to receive this price.

If you aren’t an SPA member, a 20% discount is available for bookings of three of more people on the one enrolment order. To arrange a discount, contact us at shortcourses@aftrs.edu.au.

To find out about future offerings of this course, register your interest. For more information email info@aftrs.edu.au or call 1300 223 877.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: AFTRS reserves the right to cancel any course for any reason at any time. In the event of a course being cancelled a full refund of course fees will be provided. If you are planning to travel to attend a course, please confirm with us via email that the course will be proceeding before you make your travel bookings. AFTRS is not liable for any travel costs incurred due to course postponement, cancellation, or any other circumstance.

If an attendee wishes to withdraw from a course, they may do so up to 15 days before the course commences and get a full refund. Cancellations 14 days or less before course commencement will incur a fee.

Find out more information about discounts and refunds here.

For more information email shortcourses@aftrs.edu.au or call 1300 223 877.