How to Work with us as a Permit Holder

The New Permit Request form is now working.

Please note: we are currently fixing the two self-assessment forms and will have them working again soon.

At Local 828, we like to think of non-members who work along side us as future members rather than “permits”…

If you are interested in becoming a future member with Local 828, it’s as simple as submitting the forms and a processing fee.  No one is refused.  Once you begin working, there is a permit system in place to help you gain experience and to help us appraise your abilities. The permit system is designed to bring in new members over time. If you successfully complete all the levels in the permit system, you may then apply for membership. If you do not successfully complete all the levels, you will be removed from the permit list.

Please read carefully through this page.  All the information you need is included.

There will be a quiz on this information before you can successfully get your permit. The quiz is a new addition which we found necessary because of the large number of permits who, after signing the understanding, still misunderstand the process.

Four Easy Steps to becoming a Permit Holder with Local 828:

  • Fee:  A $20 fee is required before your name is added to our list.  You may e-transfer your fee to our bookkeeper at:  Be sure to include your name and the purpose of the e-transfer in your email at the time of transfer.  If you prefer, you may mail a cheque to:

IATSE Local 828
PO Box 80059
510 Concession St
Hamilton, ON
L9A 1C0

  • Self-Assessment:  Fill out and submit an online self-assessment form.  You may fill out the Scenic Art form, the Props form, or both! Instructions for the self-assessment forms are below.  Keep reading!
  • Form:  Fill out and submit the the online New Permit Request form.  It may seem redundant, but it really does help us keep track of your information.
  • Quiz:  Take this online quiz.  You must pass with 100% in order to be added to the list.
    • The link for the quiz is at the bottom of this page.  Read and understand everything before you take it.

Great!  You’re on the list! 

What Next?

  • Email:  We will use email to communicate with you.  Please make sure we have your correct email address, and update us when it changes.  Most importantly, please check, read, and respond to your email regularly.
  • Availability:  Once you are on the future member list, you must submit your availability using the on line form in order to be called for any work that may come up.  To keep your availability current, you may submit the availability form any time from Monday through Sunday for the current week or for the following week.  Available people will be called for jobs in the order in which their forms are submitted, so it will be best to submit your availability as early in the week as you can.  Submit your availability here.
  • Work Permits:  Once you have been added to the permit list and your availability is submitted, you may be considered for work calls. At the time you are called for your first work call with us, you will be issued a Level 1 Work Permit. This permit will allow you to work in our contract shops for 200 hours. After that time your performance will be assessed, and you may request that your Work Permit be renewed for another 200 hours. The renewal of your permit is not automatic and is at the discretion of the local’s executive board and membership committee. Your permit may be renewed twice in three years, allowing you to complete a total of 600 hours as a Future Member. The work permits will indicate Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3 respectively, as your hours increase.
    If you fail to renew your work permit after the accrual of 200 hours per level, any hours that you work before another permit is issued will not accrue toward your membership.  Additionally, it is possible that you may removed from work until a permit is issued.  Depending on the amount of hours you worked without a permit, a $50 fine, suspension, or removal from the permit list are all possibilities.
  • Required Tools & PPE:  Tool lists are provided here so you’ll know what to bring with you to work.  Steel toed shoes and safety glasses are required.  Please note that these lists are just basic.  It is your responsibility to check with the call steward about whether you need other tools for your specific call.
  • Keep track of your hours using the form which will be emailed to you along with your permit.  Ask your Head of Department or immediate supervisor to sign off on the weekly hours you work as well as your categories.  The category list and requirements can be downloaded herePLEASE NOTE that it is possible that you won’t get credit for ALL the hours you work.  Your Department Head has the discretion to decide how many hours to sign off on.  Don’t be disappointed if you don’t have 100% of your hours accepted.  It only means you need more time. You will receive constructive feedback.
    • When you are ready to have your permit renewed you must submit a Request for Work Permit Renewal form where you can enter the number of hours you’ve completed in each category.  As a permit, only you are responsible for tracking your hours AND for keeping the Call Steward informed of your progress.  Your employer will not track your hours, and the Union has no way of tracking your hours.  We rely on you and your Department Head.  If you inadvertently work beyond the number of hours allowed by your permit level, the hours over and above the permitted number will not be counted toward your total.  A fine or suspension may also apply.
  • Permit dues will be deducted from your pay in the amount of 4% of your pay. When you become a member, this amount decreases to 2%.
  • Membership?  You will not be a Permit forever.  We are not allowed to keep you on our Permit List for more than three years. If you qualify for membership after being on the Future Member list for three years, you must apply for membership. If you choose not to apply, or if you apply and are not accepted, you will be removed from the list.  Additionally, if after three years you have not worked a minimum of 600 hours, you will be removed from the list.  Membership application information can be found here.

Please bear in mind that while you hold a work permit you are being assessed for your your skill level, work ethic, and overall suitability for the job.  Your permit may be revoked at any time if you are deemed by your employer to be unsuitable either by your conduct or your skill level.  If at any time your work permit is revoked, or if, after expiry, a renewal is not granted, you will be removed from the permit list. 

Self-Assessment Forms

Please consider the options carefully when filling out your self-assessment form:

No experience at all in a particular area?  Please leave it blank.  You will have an opportunity on the form to indicate areas you are interested in, even if you have no experience. The Scenic Art form will default to “Apprentice”. The Props form will default to “No experience/No interest”.

Apprentice Level:  You have some experience with the skill in question, even if it’s just classroom or student experience, or perhaps very little work experience. Even if you have no experience at all in an area, so long as you are interested in it, you are still “apprentice” level.

Intermediate Level:  You have some professional work experience with the skill in question, 2 – 5 years.  You may be asked about your work experience.

Advanced Level:  You have more than 5 years work experience with the skill in question.  Your resume will reflect your experience, and you have references to back this up.  You may be required to complete a practical test, interview, and/or we may ask for a portfolio review.  Most importantly, when you are placed in a job based on your self-assessment, it’s because the employer requires a particular skill to be performed at a particular level.

Don’t be discouraged if you feel that you do not have a great deal of experience. Local 828 has entry level positions which will allow future members with less training to have the opportunity to learn the basics of our crafts.  If you do have extensive training or experience, the procedure is the same to begin working with us as a future member, but the membership application procedure is slightly different.


Government of Ontario Health & Safety Awareness training and WHMIS 2015 are mandatory. If you don’t have them already, you may use these links to get them:  OHSA and WHMIS 2015

Workplace Violence and Harassment Training is also expected in most shops and required in some.  It is available here.

Working at Heights training is also recommended.  Occasionally there are calls that require it.

When you’ve completed training, please use the Training Tracker form to let us know.

Fine Print

Please note that submitting a self-assessment form or a permit request form does not constitute application for membership to the Union. Being on the Permit List is the first step to becoming a member of the Union and does not mean you are member of the Union.

NOTE for anyone working in a student position:  The procedures outlined on this page may not apply to training positions.  If you are working as an intern, co-op, trainee, etc., please read the page on training positions here.


Take the Permit Quiz.