SAG-AFTRA has officially granted accreditation to seven intimacy coordinator training programs as it continues to attempt to standardize the role and set training requirements.
The performer’s union announced on Friday that Centaury Co., Intimacy Coordinators Education Collective, Intimacy Directors & Coordinators, Intimacy Professionals Association and Intimacy Coordinators Canada were all accredited within North America, while Intimacy for Stage and Screen and Intimacy on Set got the green light in the U.K., Australia and New Zealand.
The designation implies that each of these programs fulfilled the accreditation qualification requirements set by the union, including that their curriculums offer at least 75 hours of training, the lead teacher must have worked at least 200 days as an intimacy coordinator on union productions and the program adheres to particular equity and inclusion guidelines. The union emphasizes that the union is not endorsing any of the accredited programs but rather stating those programs have met the minimum requirements; the union says it will conduct a biennial review of each program for it to maintain its accreditation.
“Intimacy coordinators set the bar even higher on protections for our members and help raise consciousness on what’s considered appropriate behavior and being sensitive to the feelings and comfort zone of performers,” SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher said in a statement. “In an industry that for decades turned a blind eye to ‘the casting couch,’ I’d say this is most definitely a step in the right direction!”
This spring, the union intends to publish a registry of intimacy coordinators that fulfill the union’s standards for training and experience in the role as well as a “pre-registry list” of early-career intimacy coordinators.
SAG-AFTRA has been taking steps to regulate the intimacy coordination field since at least 2019, when it first announced it was collaborating with HBO lead intimacy coordinator Alicia Rodis to set guidelines for workers in the role. The union announced its qualifications and protocols for these workers in 2020, with requirements including that intimacy coordinators should submit to federal and state background checks and that they should have shadowing or mentorship experience.