The Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) is the first major West Coast convention center to take the lead on requiring all its rigging supervisors hired to be certified under the Entertainment Technician Certification Program (ETCP). In an effort to enhance client and patron safety while meeting the challenges of ever increasing technical demands, LACC has revised the criteria that companies must meet in order to qualify for placement on their list of approved rigging contractors. One of the qualifications is that all rigging supervisors and managers must be ETCP Certified. New vendors must meet these qualifications immediately to be considered for placement, while previously approved vendors have until the end of 2008 to certify their lead riggers.

Thomas Fields, building superintendent of Show Operations at the Los Angeles Convention Center, initiated the revision to the center’s criteria stating, "We consider public safety to be paramount. We take necessary steps to assure we have prudent procedures and safeguards in place to protect the public." Fields further addst, "Proper knowledge of rigging principals, components, equipment, related engineering, and the application thereof is vital to assuring public safety. With the creation of the ETCP credential, we now have a means of measuring the knowledge of riggers in our industry."

There are three ways employees can be tested to receive certification. The exams are available for computer based-testing and a candidate can make arrangements to take the exam at one of 190 testing centers around the US and in Canada. If a company has as few as 10 candidates interested in taking the exam, ETCP can arrange for onsite test administration. The examinations will also be administered in conjunction with the USITT Conference & Stage Expo in March 2008 in Houston, TX. Those interested in taking the exams at USITT must submit their application by February 15, 2008.

If companies are looking to hire a competent rigger or entertainment electrician who is dedicated to safety on the job, the list of Certified Entertainment Technicians on the ETCP website is searchable by name, city, or certification type. Not only did these technicians pass a rigorous assessment, they also signed an agreement to abide by the ETCP Certified Entertainment Technician Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.