24 May 2023

ACETA Rolls Out Accreditation

by Julius Grafton

(Lead Pic: Tiny Good and Paul McCarthy)

A new accreditation system from the peak industry association ACETA was unveiled at its conference in Wangaratta on May 7. ACETA V.P. Tiny Good detailed the benefits of accreditation, which gives purchasers and hirers confidence that an organisation is operating ethically, is solvent, and has a physical address in Australia.

Tiny outlined the process for accreditation and discussed the methodology which starts with a simple application, a declaration and then moves to assessing other elements, without lawyers or accountants. The cost of accreditation is around 10% of membership, with each accreditation in force for three years.


The scope for accreditation covers all membership types for any business, as diverse as an importer, a production company, or a specialist service provider. All businesses have uniform requirements and should be potentially eligible for accreditation provided they are properly structured and managed.

Having the word ‘Accredited’ with an icon from ACETA gives buyers confidence in due diligence and affects the attractiveness of the business, particularly to government customers such as councils. It also means buyers can order goods online knowing the origin of the shipment is within Australia, avoiding inadvertently becoming the ‘importer’ when an online purchase is shipped from outside Australia.

Tiny gave the scenario where the online order appeared to be from within Australia, but when delivered the imported items were now potentially un-compliant or not meeting regulations. He singled out staging and rigging products which potentially leave the importer – the purchaser – liable for prosecution if the products fail and injure people.


On that topic Tiny also revealed the draft Temporary Structure Guide, also developed by ACETA which provides a template for venues and production suppliers to be one step ahead of Building Surveyors who audit most outdoor and large shows. Assisted in compiling the guide by Paul McCarthy from PBM Enterprises, Tiny has drawn on decades of rigging, staging, automation and show infrastructure work at his company ShowTech Australia.

The Guide will be available free on the ACETA website.

ACETA Commission the Skills On-Ramp

A forum at the ACETA Convention heard that technical skills shortages in the entertainment, theatre and events industry are at an all- time low. Facilitated by the this author, delegates recounted frustrations finding suitable training providers and trainees. The Australian Vocational Education and Training (V.E.T.) framework was deemed unfit for purpose when it comes to our industry.

Making the point there are just 26 providers of CUA30420- Certificate III in Live Production and Technical Services, I stated that the Victorian Arts Centre is the only industry trainer. Things are more dire at Certificate IV level, with just nine training organisations.

Beyond formal V.E.T. training and Degree Programs run by higher education providers, it was agreed almost all training in technical roles is now ad-hoc, on the job, often using a buddy system. Delegates then reported slow and low uptake with fewer school leavers and potential trainees coming through doors, often due to lack of knowledge of job types and career opportunities.

ACETA then appointed a sub committee comprising Showtech Australia CEO Tiny Good, PBM Enterprises head Paul McCarthy, and myself to draft an ‘on-ramp’ package to assist potential entrants and most importantly their influencers – teachers, mentors and parents – better understand which roles fit which entrant and crucially, where to find trainee opportunities.

The package is anticipated before Spring.


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