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On the skills and certification front, the association is actively leading the development of qualifications across the industry, providing recognition for existing skills, improving levels of safety and defining the benchmark for best practice.
Riggers can take the National Rigging Certificate (NRC) - a qualification that allows riggers to demonstrate they've attained a professional standard within their chosen rigging discipline. The qualification meets rigorous standards and 470 people have achieved NRC Level 2 and 215 NRC Level 3. There are currently 154 currently registered to take the NRC assessment.
The NRC is supported by the industry and endorsed by a range of influential organizations and venues.
More recently PLASA launched the Trainee Rigger Scheme for those seeking a career in the industry and the National Event Lifting Certificate aimed at those working in disciplines other than rigging.
A core part of PLASA's strategy is the development of a strong commercial model, so the association has two industry-focused commercial divisions:
PLASA Events is the exhibition and events arm of PLASA, producing a portfolio of events for the entertainment, events and installation industries, including the internationally respected PLASA Show, which takes place annually at Olympia, London, and a series of regional events under the PLASA Focus banner.
PLASA Media publishes the industry-leading magazines Lighting&Sound International and Lighting&Sound America.
As the worldwide voice for those who supply and service the entertainment, event and installation markets, PLASA will develop, promote, support and grow our industry. We will lead in ethical practices and encourage a sustainable approach to business. We will help our members achieve their goals to the betterment of the industry.
PLASA operates across the live events, entertainment and installation industries representing the leading providers of professional audio, AV, lighting, rigging, staging and related disciplines.
The industry PLASA promotes and supports embraces everything from theatre, live music, film/TV and special events to night venues, architectural installations and construction projects.
As a consequence, it is a highly diverse industry operating at an international level – the connecting thread coming from the creative use of emerging technologies, which are constantly opening up new opportunities and thereby pushing the boundaries ever wider.
The array of businesses operating in the industry is equally diverse and ranges from major corporations to individual specialists, though typically the majority of businesses are small to medium enterprises employing between 10 and 50 people. Many of these operate within the supply chain, offering expertise and services associated with the technologies and project base.
The manufacturers in the sector rank among the most talented in the world, maximizing developments in technology and communications to produce highly innovative and ground-breaking products. The dealer network is strong and products move through the industry in a highly structured way, while the production and professional services companies are the creative teams that bring projects and spaces to life.
Since we operate across the creative and entertainment fields, the industry has a large number of freelancers compared to others, whose technical, creative and production skills help realise the diversity of projects and productions.
The industry also features a wide range of arts, creative and entertainment-focused organizations who between them have delivered world class performances and projects.
Another key trend of the present time is the increase in mergers and acquisitions, particularly among the larger players seeking to leverage the advantages of a portfolio of brands.