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Apprenticeship training course

Costume performance technician (level 3)

To support their organisation to identify costumes for short/long term performance plans and be responsible for the care, maintenance and usage of costumes, ensuring that all costume elements are at the standard of the designer’s specification.

Qualification level
Equivalent to A level.
Typical duration
15 months
Apprenticeship category
Creative and design
Maximum funding
Maximum amount government will fund
for apprenticeship training.
Also known as
  • Costime Running Assistant
  • Performance Support Technician
  • Wadrobe Technician
Skills an apprentice will learn
  • Link their Organisation’s strategy to current and future projects
  • Produce timeline information to support long and short-term scheduling for performances
  • Ensure relevant information is visually available within the wardrobe room.
  • Produce and update staff contacts including emergency contacts
  • Work to the requirements of the Organisation’s Data Protection Policy specifically in respect of confidentiality in relation to artists and the projects
  • Comply with all Health, Safety and Security policies and procedures, including where appropriate selecting, using and wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment
  • Plan for and safely move costumes as required
  • Safely pack up and unpack all costumes and wardrobe equipment
  • Keep all costumes and equipment tidy and secure
  • Undertake and work in accordance with risk assessments appropriate for the environment
  • Safely operate appropriate equipment e.g. sewing machines
  • Work at height when required by the environment
  • Identify performance and scheduling requirements to ensure costumes are available as required
  • Attend rehearsals and meetings to assess all wardrobe requirements
  • Compile dressing plots, costume descriptions and packing lists. These may be paper-based or electronic.
  • Check off costumes against the costume list and set in dressing areas as required/ Setting of costumes correctly and in correct location backstage and in dressing room.
  • Manage costume needs for a range of performers taking into account the needs for different individuals and their potential vulnerability in a fitting situation for example a wearer's body shape, following child protection guidelines, abilities/disabilities, sensitivities, ergonomics and safety requirements. This includes setting up and undertaking costume fittings and preparation; dress and undress performers at the start, during and at the end of events.
  • Identify and communicate costume requirements using appropriate language and tact, to performers e.g. sitting and eating restrictions
  • Ensure all quick costumes changes meet performance and H&S requirements and fitting etiquette.
  • Manage the impact of short notice cast changes e.g. last-minute cast substitutions. This may include costume fittings and changes
  • Identify external suppliers to support successful costume production and maintenance e.g. specialist dry cleaners or makers
  • Identify and liaise with costume hire organisations to provide specialist costumes to meet requirements
  • Receive, store and return costumes on loan ensuring compliance with loan conditions
  • Ensure the correct and consistent appearance of costumes in order to meet production specifications. This will include preparing, maintaining and working to dressing notes and original designs.
  • Undertake alterations and repairs to costumes and shoes, which may include hand/machine sewing, during and after performances
  • Wash, iron and/or prepare costumes for dry cleaning
  • Plan costume refurbishment to maintain original appearance
  • Source broken/ missing items e.g. jewelry, this may include buying items
  • Ensure the correct removal, packing and storage of costumes in accordance with organisation and fabric requirements
  • Be aware of who will use and where the costume will be required next
  • Be discrete and keep artist information confidential
  • Update costume data base – keeping track of costume location, descriptions, running notes and any other relevant production related information. Maintain costume measurement sheets
  • Manage wardrobe stock lists including shoes and accessories using the agreed process.
  • Write and maintain clear running notes of all costumes allocated either on paper or electronically, They should include costume descriptions, costume changes, locations, pre-event notes, accessory lists and daily laundry requirements
  • Provide clear communication with other relevant departments Wigs hair and make-up/ sound department to ensure correct order of process
  • Show confidence, flexibility and tact when communicating with different stakeholders which may include freelance dressers, ensuring an appropriate use of language, terminology and when required, fitting etiquette.
  • Maintain stock of costume and running wardrobe supplies as required.
  • Manage external costume hire including payments
  • Complete paperwork e.g. timesheets on time
  • Follow Organisation’s financial processes for procurement of agreed good and services

Full information on Costume performance technician (level 3) is available from the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education.

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