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Types of special professionals

Guidance notes on the four categories of special professionals.

Last updated 26 May 2021

There are four categories of special professionals:

Author or inventor

The expression 'author' is a technical term from copyright law. In general, the 'author' of a musical work is its composer and the 'author' of an artistic work is the artist, sculptor or photographer who created it.

Performing artist

You are a special professional if you use intellectual, artistic, musical, physical or other personal skills in the presence of an audience, or you perform or appear in a film, on a tape or disc, or in a television or radio broadcast.

Production associate

You are a special professional if you use artistic rather than technical skills in the production. The people who qualify as production associates are specified in the definition of artistic support to be:

  • an art director
  • a choreographer
  • a costume designer
  • a director
  • a director of photography
  • a film editor
  • a lighting designer
  • a musical director
  • a producer
  • a production designer
  • a set designer
  • any person who makes an artistic contribution similar to that made by any of these people.


You are a special professional if you compete in sporting activities where you primarily use physical prowess, physical strength or physical stamina. A navigator in car rallying, a coxswain in rowing or a similar competitor is also a special professional.

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