The BKSTS CTC have created two certifcation schemes – Film and Digital. The original certification scheme was setup in 2009 when the BKSTS and the CEA launched a film projection certification scheme that was designed to provide standards in film projection in the cinema. As well as demonstrating their competence in operational and servicing matters relating to projection equipment, those who achieve certification must show a knowledge of health and safety issues as they affect both the projection equipment and the cinema audience, together with the essential requirements of putting on a good show at the cinema, providing the best possible pictures and sound for the cinema audience.
In 2011 the film projection certification scheme was updated for the digital age, with the digital certification scheme which is designed to sit alongside the film certification. The rapid changeover from film to digital projection has led to the need for the Certification scheme to be extended to those dealing with the newer digital technologies, and the BKSTS Cinema Technology Committee has looked at projection duties and considers that the minimum criteria for a member of staff responsible for Digital Projection to be classified as competent are set out below, with explanatory notes.
Note that these are the minimum requirements, and do not preclude any cinema company adding elements that they feel are necessary. With numerous different types of digital projector installed in cinemas, there may be the need for extra requirements in some cases, but these will be discussed with the cinema chains concerned before assessments take place.
The way in which the two schemes are designed is to sit either as individual certification schemes or can to be combined into one which covers both film and digital.
The Certification process is not a training scheme, but a set of minimum projection standards. The BKSTS CTC Projection Handbook contains all the basic information required for projectionists to teach themselves to satisfy the requirements for certification, in conjunction with the regular on-the-job training that the cinema companies provide. Anyone aiming for certification are assessed, generally in their own cinema environment, by an assessment team of highly-experienced professionals, who, as volunteers, will also offer a degree of advice and mentoring to those undertaking the assessment tests for certification.
On completion of the assessment, which generally takes a couple of hours, the candidate satisfying the requirements is issued with a certificate provided by the BKSTS and the CEA. Some major exhibitors arrange to have a senior member of staff at each site approved to carry out the assessment, and once the trainee has completed all the criteria to the satisfaction of the assessor, the documentation will be sent to the company Head Office
To date 100 certificates have been issused to individuals who have been assessed in either film, digital or both schemes.
The tasks to be carried out and the basic knowledge required are detailed in `Requirements for Certification’ documents which were drawn up after intensive consultation with industry experts, and which projection people are encouraged to study beforehand. Once a projectionist or team feels that they might be ready to be tested, one or more qualified and experienced volunteers from the BKSTS Cinema Technical Committee visit the site and watch and ask questions as the projectionist demonstrates competence in carrying out the different tasks.
The scheme is open to any one who wishes to be assessed, and the specific details for assessment are set out below:
The candidate is expected to explain the different parts of the projection equipment chain and to know and understand about a range of topics including:
· Read and understand H & S policy
· Participate in H & S activities
· Lighting and Evacuation and procedures.
· Necessary actions if equipment fails
· Identify projection equipment
· Powering up equipment.
· Focus, ratio and sound levels
· Auditorium sound checks
· Understand the construction of a playlist
· Timesheets and programming
· Emergency contacts
· Receipt and dispatch of film
· KDMs
· Alternative Content
  • Knowledge of Maintenance
  • Carrying out routine tasks
  • Knowledge of parts location
  • Safe change and line-up of Xenon
  • Record change of lamp.
The necessary documentation available for the scheme is set out below:
Criteria for Film x3
Criteria for Digital x3
The BKSTS CTC certification scheme is an excellent way of ensuring that all those involved with digital projection can cope with anything that they are likely to come across in their cinemas, increasing the chances of a high quality presentation every time, and helping to minimise the chances of the unwanted `blank screen’ that all cinemas strive to avoid.
To get involved is very straightforward a good starting point is to buy the BKSTS CTC Digital Projection Handbook (£10 including postage from peter.knight@madcornishprojectionist.co.uk) and read the documentation here. You can then obtain the Projectionists’ Notes and the more detailed Assessors’ Guidance notes (there is nothing secret about this system and we are keen that everyone should know what the assessors will be looking for) from the links above.
We will then get in touch with you and discuss when to come and visit your cinema. Costs are kept to an absolute minimum as our experienced assessors give their time free of charge, and we will only be looking for travel expenses.


Digital Cinema Certification