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ETCP FAQs
December 01, 2006
What will this certification do for me? ETCP helps qualified riggers and electricians distinguish themselves by giving them a credential ETCP Certified that unmistakably says, "I know what I am doing." ETCP Certification helps employers immediately identify riggers and electricians with proven capabilities.

The listing of ETCP Certified Riggers is available on the ETCP website, and in late 2006 the ETCP Certified Entertainment Electricians list will be posted. Employers have already begun using the website when seeking qualified personnel.

Also, many major employers and unions have devoted many hours and dollars to this program with the intention to integrate this certification into job bids, contracts, etc. Service contracts are already requesting, and in some cases demanding, ETCP personnel.

When is the next examination and how do I apply? The electrical examination will be available beginning on February 15, 2007 at over 150 computer centers in the U.S. and Canada on most business days. The both rigging examinations are available at these sites now. Interested applicants must submit their application, along with supporting materials and fee, to ETCP. Also, all three examinations will be offered at the USITT Conference and Stage Expo on March 17, 2007 - application deadline is February 1, 2007.

Who are the examinations geared for? The electrical certifications are designed for highly experienced electricians (including leads, supervisors, and managers of entertainment electrical work). The rigging certifications are designed for highly experienced riggers (rigging supervisors, high steel riggers, fly-persons, etc).

What if I fail? If you are not successful at your exam attempt, you can retake the examination quickly and anonymously. The retake fees are now $150 (members) and $200 (non-members). When you are ready to retake the examination, submit a letter of intent along with the retake fee to the ETCP Office. You can schedule examination as soon as four business days after your fee is processed.

What is on the Entertainment Electrician examination? The intent of this Certified Entertainment Electrician Examination is to evaluate the competency of the upper third of electricians working in the entertainment industry. These positions typically involve liability issues, the health and safety of workers and audiences, and compliance with the electrical and other laws of the local area, including laws requiring performance by Qualified Personnel. They are the leads, supervisors, and managers of entertainment electrical work.

This person may perform work in locations such as (but not limited to): theatres, film/TV studios and on location, arenas/stadiums/sporting events, carnivals/fairs/festivals, circuses, cruise ships, industrial/corporate events, religious events/houses of worship, theme parks, touring concerts/theatre, and other places of public assembly throughout the United States and Canada.

This certification encompasses the installation, interconnection, safe use, and repair of all portable distribution; utilization of entertainment-industry-related electrical equipment; and the safe use of all venue electrical equipment. Additionally, this certification encompasses the design, layout, and interconnection of portable electrical distribution equipment, including generation if necessary, as well as the safe connection of portable distribution feeders to fixed power sources. Applicants will be expected to know electrical theory and the safe installation and use of entertainment industry electrical equipment.

For a complete content outline overview, please see pages 14-17 of the electrical candidate handbook or the ETCP website at http://www.etcp.esta.org/candidateinfo/electricalexams/ElectricalContentOutline.htm.

Will this electrical certification prove me to be a "qualified person" as defined by OSHA and NEC? The goal of ETCP is for technicians to use ETCP Certification as a support in claiming oneself "qualified personnel." The ETCP Council is in the beginning stages making this objective (authorities having jurisdiction use this certification) a reality.

Will being certified expose me to lawsuits, even if I'm not the crew chief? "Certification under the ETCP Certification Program establishes that a certified person possesses a certain level of knowledge and skill in the industry. It does not, however, increase liability for persons who are certified under the Program and there is simply no legal basis on which to make that claim." -David M. Saltiel at Bell, Boyd & Lloyd LLC

What is the different between the two rigging examinations? There are currently two divisions of the main ETCP Certified Rigger credential: "ETCP Certified Rigger Arena" and "ETCP Certified Rigger Theatre." The Arena certification encompasses rigging that employs chain hoists and truss systems to temporarily suspend objects from overhead structures in any environment.

ETCP recognizes that these methods and hardware are used throughout the entertainment industry in arenas, convention and trade show spaces and in theatrical venues. However the principles, practices, and components are consistent and similar in all applications and are different from those used in traditional theatrical spaces.

The Theatre certification encompasses rigging that employs the use of counterweighted systems, mechanical systems and hydraulic systems, usually, but not always, permanently installed in facilities for the use of theatre technicians in the execution of their rigging responsibilities. An applicant may seek certification in either or both of these divisions. Each division has its own Handbook separate examination covering the specific knowledge, skills and abilities needed.

For a complete content outline overview, please see pages 14-21 of the rigging candidate handbook or the ETCP website at: http://www.etcp.esta.org/candidateinfo/riggingexams/CandidateHandbook.html.

How should I study for electrical exam? The title of "Entertainment Electrician" suggests a broad-based knowledge of electrical practices. Therefore, when studying the material, candidates may want to review other entertainment electrical traditions. Candidates are encouraged to gain knowledge, skills, and abilities in all areas in the content outline.

ETCP recognizes there is a demand for resource material and training courses to aid in examination preparation. In accordance with national standards, ETCP does not endorse, support, or provide examination preparation materials or courses. However, a list of seminars and bibliography information can be found on The ESTA Foundation website: http://www.estafoundation.org/seminars/resources.htm.

Also, many electricians are forming study groups to prepare for the examination. Investigate if there are any in your area by contacting the union local or your peers.

How should I study for rigging exam? The title of "Certified Rigger Arena" or "Certified Rigger - Theatre" suggests a broad-based knowledge of rigging practices in these two areas. Therefore, when studying the material, candidates are encouraged to gain knowledge, skills, and abilities in all areas in the content outline.

ETCP recognizes there is a demand for resource material and training courses to aid in examination preparation. In accordance with national standards, ETCP does not endorse, support, or provide examination preparation materials or courses. However, a list of seminars and bibliography information can be found on The ESTA Foundation website: http://www.estafoundation.org/seminars/resources.htm.

Also, many riggers are forming study groups to prepare for the examination. Investigate if there are any in your area by contacting the union local or your peers.

Do I have to memorize all of the formulas? For the electrical examination, most complex formulas will be provided in the examination, but basic (Ohms Law, Watts Law, etc.) will not be given. For the rigging examination, many formulas are provided as well. The goal of the examinations is to test knowledge and not memorization skills. Not all of the formulas will be provided within the examination, so candidates are advised to study all relevant formulas.

How do I renew my certification? Do I have to take the test again? There are a variety of ways you can maintain your certification without re-taking the examination, including (but not limited to): work experience, training classes, standards writing, and teaching. For more information regarding certification renewal, please visit the ETCP website at: http://www.etcp.esta.org/cert_renewal/rigging_renewal.htm.

How do I get more information? Candidate information, including eligibility requirements and applications, is available on the ETCP website (http://etcp.esta.org), or if you would like the information mailed to you, please contact Katie Geraghty, ETCP Certification Director, at 212-244-1505 or kgeraghty@esta.org.

What is the cost? There is a complete fee structure with the candidate handbooks outlining the cost of each examination. Examinations cost $600, but members or employees of ETCP Council organizations will receive a $100 discount. Multiple examination discounts for the rigging examination are also available. For more information see page 8 in both of the handbooks.

Many companies and unions are reimbursing examination fees for their employees/members. Please contact your employer or union to see if this option is available.

Why is the examination so expensive? Developing a high-quality legally defensive examination is very costly. From the job analysis, to question writing training, to setting the passing rate, ETCP is following the industry standards set by the National Organization of Competency Assurance (NOCA). ETCP has hired a psychometric firm, AMP, to monitor and guide ETCP through this complicated and detailed process to ensure ETCP is following these standards.

ETCP has relied on major donations starting in 2002 to fund the examination development, and with the help of examination fees, ETCP become a self-sufficient entity within the next two years. ETCP is a program of ESTA, a nonprofit 501(c)6 organization.

What are the eligibility requirements? Individuals must meet eligibility requirements to take the exam. These requirements focus on work experience (3000 hours); training and education can be factors as well. Please visit the ETCP website at etcp.esta.org for a complete outline.

Who is the ETCP Council? The ETCP Council members are key leaders drawn from entertainment business, labor, facilities, associations, and academia representing the diversity of the entertainment industry. Membership includes AMPTP, CITT, ESTA, IAAM, IATSE, InfoComm, The League, Live Nation, PRG, TEA, and USITT.


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