The role of an Assistant director include tracking daily progress against the filming production schedule, arranging logistics, preparing daily call sheets, checking cast and crew, maintaining order on the set. They also have to take care of health and safety of the crew. Historically the role of an assistant to the director (not the same as an Assistant director) was a stepping stone to directing work; Alfred Hitchcock was an AD, as was James McTeigue. This transition into film directing is no longer common in feature films, but remains an avenue for television work, particularly in Australia and Britain. It is more common now for ADs to transition to production management and producer roles than to directing.
An "assistant director" can also take on many different roles. Responsibilities of an assistant director in theatre may include taking notes to actually staging parts of the play. Many aspiring theatre directors begin their careers assistant directing, although the responsibilities in theatre are usually completely different to the requirements of filmmaking and should not be confused.