A production management assistant, also called an assistant production manager, is not a production assistant or a production runner. Instead, a PMA has much more to do with administration, rather than actual production. They are much closer in function to a production secretary. Indeed, in the early years of BBC Wales Doctor Who, it was common to see the combined credit, "production/script secretary". The job description seen on a 2011 BBC advert seems to indicate that the job of the production/script secretary was being definitively split. According to BBC Vision — the branch of the BBC that ultimately produces Doctor Who — a PMA:
- books travel and accommodation
- does basic purchasing
- processes expenses
- books meetings and resources
According to this 2011 definition, then, there was very little distinction between a production secretary and a PMA.
The term came into use during series 5 and its close relationship to the script/production secretary position is made clearer by the person who actually received the credit. Clare Thomas, who had previously been credited during the RTD era as a script secretary, was suddenly a PMA under Moffat.