Statements of Programme Policy
Further programming commitments
The BBC is committed to subtitling 100% of programmes on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBeebies, the CBBC Channel and Further Commitments in 2009/2010, and to signing 5% of programmes on those channels. In addition, subtitles will be provided on at least 810 hours of BBC Parliament across the year and on the majority of programmes on BBC HD. The BBC is also committed to audio-describing 10% of programmes on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBeebies and the CBBC Channel in 2009/2010.
Under the Agreement, the BBC is bound by Ofcom's code relating to provision for deaf and visually impaired people. The BBC has agreed policies and produced a Production Handbook which lays down expectations for programme makers, and has issued Guidelines for Visually Impaired Television Audiences. Policies on web accessibility are published online at bbc.co.uk/guidelines/futuremedia.
Further BBC commitments
The BBC's commitment to audiences extends beyond the policy for individual services, also including significant commitments which apply across services.
The BBC aims to reflect the reality of diversity within the UK in its output and through its television, radio and other services to offer something for everyone in the UK.
All newly submitted programme proposals have a diversity statement attached highlighting how, where appropriate, the programme will fulfil the BBC's commitment to reflecting the diversity of the licence fee paying public, both on and off screen. The BBC will continue to assess the impact of this commitment and will continue to develop additional mechanisms for improving diversity in both output and employment. The BBC has helped to develop and has signed up to the Cultural Diversity Network (CDN) Diversity Pledge, which aims to encourage consideration of broad diversity by independent production companies within the industry.
The BBC is a founder member of the Broadcasting and Creative Industries Disability Network (BCIDN), and is committed to:
- increasing the presence of disabled people on air and on screen
- increasing the number of disabled people in all areas of the workforce
- increasing access to services, on and off air
- ensuring access to its buildings
2 Universal availability of BBC services
The BBC will continue to ensure that all services remain universally available and free to air, and that licence fee payers are able to access them through new media as relevant technologies develop. Digital services are available on Freeview, satellite and cable in the manner and to the extent that each platform allows.
The BBC will continue to invest in training and development for all its staff in order to support the delivery of the UK public services or programmes for inclusion in any of those services. It will also continue to play a strategic role in the preparation, maintenance and competitiveness of a highly skilled media workforce across the audiovisual industry. As part of that contribution, the BBC will run specific schemes designed to attract and develop diverse talent to the broadcasting industry.
The BBC, as an open and transparent organisation which is trusted by the public it serves, seeks to engage its audiences in dialogue, to learn from them and to respond honestly to what they have to say.
The BBC information service is available to audiences 24 hours every day of the year, handling around 1.5 million contacts over the year by telephone, email and letter. These include general enquiries, helplines, ticketing services and comments or complaints about programme content. The quality of responses to audience contacts is closely monitored and subject to an independent customer satisfaction survey. In addition new automated online help supported around 10 million user sessions by people using BBC iPlayer and other services.
The BBC has a complaints handling process which makes it easy for the public to make a formal complaint and obtain a speedy response. There is a two-stage appeal process for anyone unhappy with the initial response they receive. The BBC Trust's Editorial Standards Committee is the third and final stage of the process inside the BBC. (See bbc.co.uk/complaints.)
The BBC organises regular public consultations and carries out extensive audience research to listen to the views of diverse licence fee payers. This includes ad hoc studies into the interests and needs of particular sections of the audience and the use and value of particular services, as well as an ongoing monthly survey which tracks audience perceptions of the organisation and its output. In addition, a network of voluntary independent Audience Councils in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland provides direct feedback on BBC services via the BBC Trust.
The BBC Trust will report on the BBC's performance against the commitments contained in these Statements in the BBC Annual Report and Accounts 2009/2010, scheduled for publication in July 2010.