Maintaining trust with our audiences is of vital importance to the BBC. Our key core values are impartiality, accuracy, fairness and editorial integrity and the licence fee payer expects our output to embody those values. Ensuring those values are not ignored or reflected inadequately is, in essence, what compliance is about.
The BBC expects that, under the industry’s standard terms of trade, independent producers deliver output, including promotional material, which is fully compliant. This means specifically that it conforms to BBC guidelines and particularly the recently revised Editorial Guidelines. These are accessible online and available as hard copies to all independent producers.
There are only two formal compliance transactions in the lifetime of a production; a compliance conversation with the BBC Executive Producer at the outset and the completion of a TX compliance form at the end. The compliance conversation is explained below and advice on downloading and completing the compliance form can be found in the Compliance and Policy section of this site.
During production it is the independent producer’s responsibility to work in accordance with Editorial Guidelines and to inform the BBC Executive Producer of any new risks or issues that could affect the reputation of the BBC. Independent producers do have access to Editorial Policy and to the BBC Programme Legal Advice Team but referrals should be made, at least in the first instance, through the BBC Executive Producer. The BBC Executive Producer is the BBC’s editorial safeguard and the final judgement about what is and is not permissible rests with them.
At the moment of commissioning for all independent projects there has to be a formal compliance conversation between the BBC Executive Producer and the independent Executive Producer. These conversations should identify the specific problems and risks, and discuss and draw up a plan for compliance accordingly. A written record must be kept by both parties. There is a full checklist of areas that might need to be covered which you can download from this page, depending on the nature of the project. Two of the areas that will be discussed are the Managed Risk Programme List and Safeguarding Trust.
The Managed Risk Programme List is an early warning list that highlights specific editorial, legal, commercial or reputational risks. If the BBC’s Executive Producer puts a programme on the MRPL it does not mean the project is being managed badly but that extra care might be needed when handling the programme. The independent Executive will be informed if a project is included on the MRPL and should inform the BBC Executive if, in their view, a change in circumstances requires subsequent inclusion.
The BBC has developed a training programme in editorial standards for both inhouse and independent production teams called Safeguarding Trust. Independent producers must make sure that all production personnel complete Safeguarding Trust online training before principle photography. If you are working on a production for Vision you will need to make sure that the production team complete two online modules. The BBC Executive Producer will identify and inform you of the two modules most relevant to your commission
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.