Who we are and how we commission

BBC Radio senior management team

For a full list of BBC senior management including biographical and salary information see the Inside the BBC website.

The commissioning process and commitments

BBC Radio is the home of the nine national radio stations, four Performing Groups, the BBC Proms as well as classical and pop music production across radio, television and online.

5 Live is now part of BBC North and its HQ is in Media City, Salford Quays. However it will continue to work closely with BBC Radio in terms of planning the BBC’s audio offering.

Although some programmes are commissioned on an ad hoc basis, the principal commissioning process for radio is run by each Network through one or more commissioning rounds per year. This year’s commissioning round schedule is here. Each network publishes guidelines for the commissioning round, setting out the brief for each genre of programme it wants to commission, as well as any subjects or areas (e.g. an important anniversary) in which it is specifically interested, guide prices, important dates in the process and other useful information.

Should an Independent Producer wish to pitch an idea to the Network for that round they must first register on the BBC Radio Independent Producer Company database. The production company will be assigned a Proteus login and can then submit programme proposals in Proteus by the published deadline. These should include proposed talent and production staff, a detailed description of the programme together with an estimated programme price. The Commissioning Editor will read all the proposals and at this point some ideas will be rejected or an Independent Producer asked to refine or expand their initial proposal.

The Commissioning Editor, Network Finance Partner and Business Affairs representatives will then meet to consider budget, potential rights and compliance issues for each proposal which the Network has chosen to commission. Results will be published in Proteus so that Independent Producers can see whether or not their programme(s) have been successfully conditionally commissioned (i.e. subject to contractual agreement).

Each conditional commission will be made with a fixed price offer that has been judged as value for money by the Commissioning, Finance and Business Affairs teams. If our price is accepted by you in writing there will be no need to submit a detailed budget.  If, however, you wish to challenge the offer made then a detailed budget in Proteus will be requested and scrutinised by our Finance and Business Affairs team with the aim of reaching agreement.  Conditional acceptances may be withdrawn if agreement on price is not reached within a reasonable period.

 

How we want to work with suppliers

We want BBC Radio to be a place where Independent Producers want to bring their best ideas. If we don’t always live up to that please let the Network Controller, which can be found on the station page or the Head of Editorial Standards and Independents Executive know so we can improve how we work.

We also ask for feedback through an annual survey.  

 

Other opportunities

In addition to the formal commissioning rounds there are also commissioning opportunities through:

Local Programmes: Local services in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the English regions are commissioned locally and ideas should be submitted directly to them. Find contacts in Local Radio.  

 

Development agreement

Where the Network thinks a strong idea would benefit from some additional development funding, this will be subject to negotiation between the Independent Producer and the BBC and set out in a development contract.

Download a template Standard Development Agreement.

 

Confidentiality

The BBC will treat all proposals as confidential. We have signed up to the updated Alliance for the Protection of Copyright (APC) Code of Practice providing guidance around submission and handling of proposals for all types of broadcast and online content. This code forms part of our e-Commissioning Terms and Conditions and you should read this information before registering for the system.

 

Quotas

The Independent Production Quota

This relates to levels of programming made by qualifying independent producers only.

BBC Radio has a voluntary quota that at least 10% of qualifying programmes broadcast across its Radio services are allocated to independent productions. The BBC is committed to treating the 10% as a floor and not a ceiling.

 

In-house Production Guarantee

BBC in-house production in radio has no formal production  guarantees but some output is allocated to nations and regions to ensure that the BBC sustains production bases to deliver its public service commitments.

 

The Window of Creative Competition 

The WoCC is the window of creative competition, where both in-house and independent producers can compete to win BBC commissions to ensure that the best creative ideas reach our listeners.

BBC Radio guarantees 10% of eligible hours will be produced by independents.

Following the BBC Trust’s 2010 report, the 10% WoCC (Window of Creative Competition) has been operational across Radio since 2012/13.

 

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