Trade Secrets Guide

The Trade Secrets guide and certification process were envisioned by sex industry workers who are invested in the concept of self-governance. This process is intended to ensure that sex industry workers are aware of best practices to operate and industry standards. We believe that standards should come from within the industry and not outside of it.

Sex industry workers have the knowledge, skills and capacity to shape the sex industry into one that prioritizes the health, safety and wellness of those who work within it ,as well as dispelling myths and educating others.

To this end, adult sex industry workers who cover a range of adult services from adult film to escorts, hustlers to exotic dancers, aim to create working environments and working cultures that adhere to human rights legislation, common law and labour standards. They aim to take control of the industry they work in.

The City of Vancouver By-laws governing work in the Health Enhancement Sector require “certification” demonstrating knowledge of massage and therapeutic touch techniques. The certification and training rarely contain practical information about health and safety for sex workers. The massage certificates received by workers are often very expensive ranging from $800 to $1500 dollars.

Trade Secrets Training is designed to fill that City of Vancouver requirement and provide those health enhancement workers who engage in sex work with the tools make safe decisions about their work and to ensure community based, affordable, low barrier training and certification is available. 

An open book exam could be used in conjunction with the “Trade Secrets Guide” – occupational health and safety information – and a 2 hour training session with an experienced sex worker – to ensure sex industry workers are aware of their rights, have practical information about their work and know how to find help or supports should they need them.

The City of Vancouver have agreed to recognize this training and certification as meeting the By-law requirement for certification.

UPDATE!!! The City of Vancouver no longer require certification of individual workers. Business Owners are still expected to meet the requirement however and these ideas have evolved. In order to work to create a foundation for a complaints process to address working conditions, this work to create certification for business owners and increase access to OHS information for workers will continue.

Susan Davis 604-671-2345

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