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Update on working with BBC Online

Jane McCloskey

Jane McCloskey Head of Supplier Management, BBC Commissioning 


In November 2010 we explained that we were making changes to the way BBC Online would work with external suppliers, to make our processes simpler and more transparent.  Today, I am pleased to give an update on our progress towards this goal.

At a BBC Online industry briefing in June this year I announced a new operational model for external supply.  Based on consultation and feedback with industry, this model now groups projects according to their technical or editorial requirements, and defines an appropriate procurement process based on the expected value of each project – see explanatory diagram below.

The new processNew Online Process

BBC Online Rosters for specific technical projects of £50k+ now in place 

We’ve introduced a set of new rosters to help us work more efficiently with a range of suitably-qualified suppliers on large-scale, technical projects with a value of £50k and above.  

Today, I’d like to congratulate the 31 suppliers that have successfully made it through the procurement selection process for the rosters; each of them now has a two-year framework contract with the BBC.  We are tying up a few loose ends with one final supplier which should be finalised in the next couple of days. The rosters are based on five different categories of work:

Mobile Application

Full end-to-end delivery of mobile applications, including design, development and testing for Android, Apple iOS, RIM Blackberry OS, Symbian OS, Windows Mobile.

Design and Development 

Full end-to-end delivery of web, mobile web, interactive and IPTV services, including design, development and testing.


Design and delivery of web, mobile web, interactive and IPTV services;


Development and delivery of web, mobile web, interactive and IPTV services, including testing;


Quality assurance testing, including acceptance, automated, regression, and exploratory testing.

The successful suppliers within each category are detailed on this Successful suppliers list, also available in the downloads section top right of this page.

When a technology or design project for BBC Online has a value of £50k or above and falls within one of these categories, we will conduct a mini competition between the relevant suppliers to appoint one on more based on the specific criteria for each project.

Outside of the BBC Online rosters

We’ve moved towards a more integrated commissioning model for all other projects.  BBC Online is now structured around ten products each with clear lines of governance.  It should now be clear who to pitch to for each product.

For projects falling outside of the BBC Online roster categories with a value of £50k or above we will openly publish the brief.

For projects with a value of between £20k and £50k we will invite the three most relevant suppliers across industry to participate in a closed tender process.

For projects with a value of £20k or under we will in most cases approach a supplier direct and ask for a quotation.

I should also make clear that TV-related programme commissions (i.e. ideas for interactive features that are based on a TV programme idea) will continue to be commissioned as a multiplatform project, with the TV independent which has the programme commission also having the first right to deliver the associated multiplatform elements, as per the agreed TV Terms of Trade.

Next steps

Now the new process is in place we will be reviewing how this model works in practice at regular intervals.  We will continue to look for ways to improve and streamline how we work with the industry to enable the best ideas to be delivered to our online audiences, and always welcome feedback.

Jane McCloskey is Head of Supplier Management, BBC Commissioning


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