Compliance for television and online
Complete and up to date information for shortform (clip) and linear TV content including forms and contacts.
Independent production companies should refer all compliance queries to the BBC Executive.
There are two formal compliance transactions for Television content:
- A compliance conversation with the BBC Executive Producer at the outset .
- Completion of a TV Compliance form at the end of production so that the BBC can check the programme complies with the guidelines and is suitable for the proposed slot.
There must be a formal compliance conversation between the BBC Executive Producer and the independent Executive Producer at the moment of commission for all projects. This 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. The managed risk programme list will be discussed at this stage. Below is a checklist of areas that may be covered. However, not all of them will apply to all programmes.
Who is responsible?
Identify and name the independent Executive Producer and the BBC Executive Producer for the project. These individuals shouldn’t be changed by either side without notification and agreement.
What are the risks?
- Legal, fair trading, bribery act and health and safety risks.
- Taste and standards issues. Agree parameters of tone and content for channel and slot. If a programme is moving channel consider any implications.
- If there are children involved (please see the Working with children page for more information. Courses are available from the BBC Academy, please speak to your Business Affairs contact for access).
- Unusual consent or access issues.
- Secret filming.
- Conflicts of interest including on-screen talent commercial links.
- Any other significant Editorial Policy issues identified by either side.
- Any risks produced by co-production or distribution arrangements.
What are the rules?
Identify relevant sections of BBC Editorial Guidelines and any other codes (eg interactivity, secret filming, fair portrayal). Ensure key production staff have read the relevant guidelines.
Managed risk programme list
The BBC Executive Producer is responsible for putting programmes on the list. The independent’s Executive Producer has an ongoing responsibility to keep the BBC Executive Producer informed of any reason to include the programme on the list. If things change The independent’s Executive Producer has a commitment to let us know of any new risks or changes in status of a project, including on multiplatform output or external promotion and advertising.
Competitions votes and awards
Discuss any competitions, votes or awards in the programme and the sign-off process to TX with specific reference to the relevant forms, codes and guidelines.
Editorial policy and legal referrals
Referrals to Editorial Policy and BBC Programme legal advice should be made, at least in the first instance, through the BBC Executive Producer. When a programme has legal risk the independent is responsible for seeking appropriate legal advice themselves - consultation with BBC PLA gives them no protection. Contacts made directly between an independent and BBC PLA in the first instance also forfeit legal privilege.
Marketing, promotions and press
Run through responsibilities for marketing, promotional and off-air materials. Sign off for these materials remains with the BBC Executive Producer, although the independent’s Executive Producer is responsible for ensuring compliance in all press and promotional material submitted to BBC MC&A. Discuss any book, newspaper serialisation or any spin off associated with the commission. Clearly establish the rights position and discuss publicity/promotion arrangements.
Discuss multiplatform output connected to the production and any issues raised. Establish clear lines of responsibility and sign off for any non-linear output.
Learning campaigns, open university and third-party funding
Discuss any editorial or financial input and any issues this raises. Establish clear lines of responsibility and sign off for all connected output.
Talent owned/managed indies
Identify whether this is the case, discuss any potential conflicts of interest raised and steps to mitigate these risks. In exceptional cases where it is agreed that an on-screen talent can also be an executive producer, agree and name second executive producer responsible for compliance. Identify whether the talent’s agent is being proposed as executive producer and if necessary agree steps, as with talent execs, to mitigate conflicts of interest and safeguard compliance.
The compliance form should be submitted on the programme delivery date.
- Independent production companies should email a completed Microsoft Word template to the appropriate BBC delivery team.
- Independent production companies commissioned via the nations should check requirements with their Commissioning Executive.
- In-house programme makers should complete the form online through the Compliance Manager site on Gateway.
For independent production companies the compliance form must be signed by both the independent Executive Producer and the BBC Executive Producer and should only be completed and signed by them after viewing the final edit. It is mandatory that the independent Executive Producer is responsible for signing the compliance form after the final viewing and is named in the Editorial specification.
In the rare cases where on-screen talent or their agents are the Executive Producer for a programme in which they appear another Executive Producer must be responsible for compliance and signing the compliance form at delivery.
All questions on the Compliance form reflect key aspects of the Editorial Guidelines. These incorporate the relevant areas of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code with which the BBC must comply. Please note that all audience interactivity questions must be completed before the form can be submitted.
Independent production companies have access to Editorial Policy teams 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.
After submission the form will be valid for one month after first transmission. It will cover all transmissions within that period unless a new version is created or needed for any reason, in which case a new compliance form may be required
The BBC Executive Producer will be contacted before any repeat to establish whether the programme can still be transmitted as first aired. In some cases the Independent Executive Producer may also be contacted, especially where there are legal or other important concerns.
Download the Word version of the Television compliance form for Windows users from the paperwork section of the delivery timeline
Download the Excel version of the Television compliance form for Mac users from paperwork section of the delivery timeline
In the event that the following security details and other settings can't be changed users should contact their IT department.
- Right click Word file to download.
- On Menu go to 'Save target as'
- Save to computer.
For Word 2007 and later
- Open the document and find the Word options by going to ‘File’ and selecting ‘Options’.
- Click ‘Trust centre’ then click ‘Trust centre settings’
- In Macro settings (immediately visible) choose ‘Disable all macros with notification’. This is the default setting and a user can choose when to enable macros on a case by case basis.
- Press ‘OK’, close the document and then reopen it.
- Users should now see ‘Click enable content’ highlighted at the top of the page.
- A pop up dialogue box may then appear prompting users to choose to ‘Make this a trusted document’ – chose ‘yes’. Users will then avoid having to enable content each time it is opened.
For Word 2002/2003
If the Microsoft Word security settings for Macros are set to ‘High’ on a computer the form is locked and can't be filled in. To remedy this:
- Open Word and go to the ‘Tools’ menu.
- Select ‘Macro’ and then 'Security’.
- On the next screen select 'Medium' and then select 'Enable macros' in the pop up box.
The form should then be unlocked.
Minimum of programme title, programme UID and the ‘commissioned for pre/post-watershed' questions.
See the technical requirements page for information about programme UIDs.
A short summary (not a full synopsis) indicating the programme genre.
Usually filled in after transmission if a major complaint has been made which may affect the compliance status if repeated.
If no complaint is existing do not enter information in this field ie do not enter N/A or similar.
For independents productions it is the BBC Executive Producer’s responsibility to complete an updated compliance form whenever a serious complaint is being entertained which may affect the programme's future compliance status. If the programme is subject to a Red Flag complaint, give the BBC complaints reference number. Once the complaint has been resolved a further updated compliance form must be completed to record the finding.
Compliance questions section
You must give a YES/NO answer to all questions, completing notes where necessary. Any detail you can supply - including time-codes - will save time and effort.
1. Legal issues
NO: if you have sought legal advice but there are no outstanding issues that TV should be aware of.
YES: where there are continuing issues. In the notes indicate the subject of the legal issue (eg contempt, privacy etc) but do not detail the advice given.
Editorial Guidelines: Section 18: The Law
2. – 3. Strong language/gestures
The use of strong language must be editorially justified and appropriately signposted to ensure it meets audience expectations wherever it appears. Attention should be given to musical lyrics as well as spoken language and gestures.
Editorial Guidelines: Section 5 Harm and Offence: Language
2. Strong, most offensive
YES: if there is language that shouldn’t be transmitted before 9pm. Detail in notes the precise words used with time-code references.
Indicate if strong language/gestures occur near the start of the programme.
Strong language/gestures are allowed only in consultation with the BBC Executive Producer. Use of the most offensive words or phrases e.g. fuck, motherfucker, 'Jesus fucking Christ' and cunt require the advance approval of Channel Controllers and/or the Director of BBC Television.
3. Any other which may offend
YES: if there is any other offensive language (eg bloody, shit, arse, bollocks, bugger, wank etc).
If intended for pre-watershed transmission, detail in notes the precise words used with time-code references.
There are a range of words (eg mong, spastic) which may be offensive to particular groups of viewers. Racist abuse is offensive to all sections of the audience (eg nigger, paki, chinkie). Detail in notes the precise words used and the context with time-code references.
4. – 5. Sex
4. Sexual content
YES: if there is any kind of sexual activity depicted. Give enough detail in notes for scheduling judgements. Some disturbing scenes, eg of sexual violence should also be flagged in the Violence section, and should be used only after consultation with the BBC Executive Producer.
Editorial Guidelines: Section 5 Harm and Offence: Sex
5. Sexual innuendo/reference
Detail in notes whether verbal or visual. It may not be necessary to give precise details if the innuendo is relatively mild.
YES: if nudity is featured, whether in a sexual or non-sexual context. Nudity before the watershed must be justified by context. Indicate the context in notes.
Editorial Guidelines: Section 5 Harm and Offence: Nudity
7. – 10. Violence
All scenes containing violence must be noted.
Provide time-code references if possible but it is essential to indicate whether scenes occur near the start of the programme.
This section has relevance not just to Factual and Drama programmes, but may also apply to other genres like entertainment (e.g. spoof violence may be especially offensive when real life violence is in the news e.g. terrorist beheading).
Please note that this should include significant violence involving animals as well as people.
Editorial Guidelines: Section 5 Harm and Offence: Violence
7. Real life
This section may apply to genres other than Factual like Entertainment (eg spoof violence may be especially offensive when real life violence is in the news, for example terrorist acts such as bombings or beheadings). It does not apply purely to fictitious characters.
11. – 14. Imitative behaviour
The possibility of audiences, especially children, imitating anti-social, life-threatening or criminal behaviour. They may have already been referred to in the previous section, if so, tick YES, but do not repeat detail in notes.
11. Drug/solvent abuse
Editorial Guidelines: Section 5 Harm and Offence: Alcohol, Smoking, Solvent Abuse and Illegal Drugs
12. Suicide, eating disorders, self-harm, hanging
Editorial Guidelines: Section 5 Harm and Offence: Suicide, Attempted Suicide, Self-Harm and Eating Disorders
13. Other potentially dangerous behaviour
This could include dangers around the house such as a child getting into a fridge or the use of domestic objects in violent acts.
Editorial Guidelines: Section 5 Harm and Offence: Imitative Behaviour
14. Use of alcohol/smoking
YES: if the activity is particularly prominent eg a contributor smoking or the context is unusual eg in children's programming.
NO: if the programme is for a general audience where the activity is not prominent and is justified by context eg scenes set in pubs or restaurants.
Editorial Guidelines: Section 5 Harm and Offence: Alcohol, Smoking, Solvent Abuse and Illegal Drugs
15. – 16. Portrayal
Offensive or stereotypical assumptions must be avoided and people should only be described in terms of their disability, age, sexual orientation etc when clearly editorially justified. This can be a complex area where Producers should take advice.
Editorial Guidelines: Section 5 Harm and Offence: Portrayal
15. Disabilities, religious, minorities
YES: if there are significant and potentially controversial references to people of a particular faith, race, nationality or a minority including ethnic, gay and lesbian or people with disabilities. The fact that people from such groups are featured is hardly remarkable in itself and should only be flagged if there are issues which might give rise to offence.
16. Cultural sensitivities
YES: if there are scenes or subject-matter which may be generally acceptable to domestic audiences but which could be an issue to specific ethnic or religious groups, particularly if transmitted outside the UK ie. a scene associating a person perceived to be a Muslim with tobacco or alcohol.
17. – 19. Disturbing content
Scenes which are inherently disturbing to sections of the audience or which could be relatively innocuous but take on impact at a particular time or within a particular context ,ie. after a train or air crash.
A soundtrack can enhance the sense of menace or terror and should be noted. Repeating factual material involving emotional trauma and death may cause particular distress. Given the wide-ranging nature of this section, it is particularly important to provide full details in notes.
18. Disasters, accidents, kidnappings, terrorist acts
Editorial Guidelines: Section 5 Harm and Offence: Tragic Events
19. Exorcism, occult, paranormal, horror
Editorial Guidelines : Section 5 Harm and Offence: Hypnotism, Exorcism, the Occult and the Paranormal
20. – 22. Impartiality/diversity of opinion
Editorial Guidelines: Section 4 Impartiality
20. Personal view/authored
Programmes which may be regarded as Personal View programmes about controversial subjects, particularly those that are matters of public policy or political or industrial controversy.
If YES: please indicate the name of author in the notes (if not clear from the programme title), the subject matter and whether the programme is intended as part of a series or is a one-off. Schedule balancing may be needed to ensure a full range of views is heard.
Editorial Guidelines: Section 4 Impartiality: Personal View Content
21. Controversial subjects/issues
If YES: indicate in notes the subject matter and whether there is due impartiality or whether it is part of a series which will carry a full range of views.
Multiple genres may touch on major subjects/issues of public or political controversy. It is particularly important to flag issues in programmes which may be less likely to deal with controversial matters.
Editorial Guidelines: Section 4 Impartiality: Controversial Subjects
22. Does it require additional programming?
If YES: provide details of any additional programming which has been commissioned/scheduled to represent alternative points of view to the programme.
Editorial Guidelines : Section 4 Impartiality: Impartiality in Series and Over Time
Editorial Guidelines : Section 4 Impartiality: Drama, Entertainment and Culture
Editorial Guidelines: Section 3 Accuracy
YES: notes to indicate what the reconstruction is and any issues which may arise with re-use such as the reconstruction mirroring recent real word events. It covers both factual and drama-documentary genres.
Editorial Guidelines : Section 3 Accuracy: Avoiding Misleading Audiences – Reconstructions
Editorial Guidelines : Section 8 Reporting Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour: Reporting Crime – Reconstructions
24. Anonymity issues
YES: if either a source or contributor has been promised anonymity. Please note the level of anonymity agreed ie picture, voice, non-identifiable to the general public, non-identifiable to close friends and family.
Editorial Guidelines: Section 3 Accuracy: Avoiding Misleading Audiences – Sources
Editorial Guidelines: Section 6 Fairness, Contributors and Consent – Anonymity
Editorial Guidelines: Section 8 Reporting Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour – Children and Young People
Editorial Guidelines: Section 8 Reporting Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour – Mandatory Referrals 8.3.9
Fairness and accuracy in Drama: 25. Portrayal of real people in Drama
When a Drama portrays real people or events it is inevitable that some dramatic elements may be fictional. However, the portrayal should be based on a substantial and well-sourced body of evidence whenever practicable and should not unduly distort the known facts, including chronology.
It is important to explain the Drama's factual basis (or use of dramatic licence) with clear signposting Portrayal of living people will often be particularly sensitive . Particular care should be taken to achieve due accuracy. There may also be issues with people who are no longer alive but have living relatives. Note names and issues which may arise with reuse ie relatives to be informed.
Editorial Guidelines : Section 6 Fairness, Contributors and Consent, Contributors and Consent – Portrayal of Real People in Drama
Editorial Guidelines : Section 3 Accuracy – Factually Based Drama
Editorial Guidelines : Section 6 Fairness Contributors and Consent – Mandatory Referrals: 6.3.2
Editorial Guidelines: Accuracy: Factually Based Drama 3.4.19.
Editorial Guidelines: Section 7 Privacy
26. Secret Recordings/webcam/CCTV
All proposals to record secretly must be referred to Editorial Policy prior to approval by the Commissioning Executive. Note use of footage from webcams and CCTV.
Editorial Guidelines: Section 7 Privacy – Mandatory Referrals: 7.3.1 – 7.3.4, 7.3.6 – 7.3.7, 7.3.10 – 7.3.11
For all Mandatory referrals, you MUST give details at the bottom of the page of referral, with dates, and if approval has been given for both recording and transmission. Note that in some circumstances open filming with small digital cameras may be construed as secret recording.
Editorial Guidelines: Section 7 Privacy – Secret Recording - Privacy
Editorial Guidelines: Section 7 Privacy – Secret Recording - Approval
Editorial Guidelines: Section 7 Privacy – Secret Recording - News & Factual
Editorial Guidelines: Section 7 Privacy – Secret Recording - Comedy & Entertainment
Editorial Guidelines: Section 7 Privacy – Secret Recording - Outside Sources
Editorial Guidelines: Section 7 Privacy – Secret Recording – Electronic note taking
27. Footage of suffering and distress
This applies to both contemporaneous and archive footage. If YES please detail the nature of the material.
Editorial Guidelines: Section 7 Privacy – Reporting Suffering and Distress
Editorial Guidelines: Section 7 Privacy – Reporting Suffering and Distress - past events
Editorial Guidelines: Section 13 Re-use and Reversioning – Fairness, Consent and Privacy Issues
If YES, details of the referrals with dates must be given at the bottom of the page.
Editorial Guidelines: Section 7 Privacy – Door-stepping - Privacy
Editorial Guidelines: Section 7 Privacy – Mandatory Referrals 7.3.5, 7.3.13, 7.3.14
Crime and anti-social behaviour
29. Interviews with criminals
If YES: detail name and the nature of crime. Attention should be brought to any restrictions on re-use.
Editorial Guidelines: Section 8 Reporting Crime and Anti-social Behaviour – Reporting Crime
Editorial Guidelines: Section 8 Reporting Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour – Dealing with Editorial Guidelines: Criminals and Perpetrators of Anti-social Behaviour
Editorial Guidelines: Section 8 Reporting Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour – Mandatory referrals
30. Demonstration of illegal activity
This applies to both demonstration and witnessing of illegal activity.
Editorial Guidelines: Section 8 Reporting Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour – Reporting Crime
Editorial Guidelines: Section 8 Reporting Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour – Mandatory referrals 8.3.2
Editorial Guidelines: Section 14 Editorial Integrity and Independence from External Interests
Editorial integrity and independence
Editorial Guidelines: Section 14 Editorial Integrity and Independence from External Interests
31. Commercial, sponsor or brand references
Detail commercial references including branded goods, trade names or names of products such as books, CDs, DVDs etc and the nature of references. Also note when covering sponsored events with the name of the sponsor and the type of reference, visual or verbal. Particular care must be taken with BBC products which cannot be promoted within programmes and to any products such as CDs which are being promoted by guests.
Editorial Guidelines: Section 14 Editorial Integrity and Independence from External Interests – Product Prominence
Editorial Guidelines: Section 14 Editorial Integrity and Independence from External Interests – Product Prominence in trails
Editorial Guidelines: Section 14 Editorial Integrity and Independence from External Interests – Product Prominence Undue prominence and contributors
Editorial Guidelines: Section 14 Editorial Integrity and Independence from External Interests – BBC Commercial Channels, Services and Products
32. Branded products featured
List any products featured or visually prominent.
33. Conflicts of interest: Presenters/guests/production team
Any issues or perceived issues which may arise concerning guests, Presenters, Producers and production. Give as much information as you can. Particular attention should be paid to business interests.
Editorial Guidelines: Section 10 Politics, Public Policy and Polls
34. Opinion polls/surveys
Both commissioning and reporting polls or surveys. If YES: please note the subject of the poll or survey and whether it was commissioned by the BBC.
35. Interview/appearance of party leaders
If YES: detail the name and party of leader.
Editorial Guidelines: Section 10 Politics, Public Policy and Polls – Political Interviews and Contributions
36. If yes to 34 or 35, referred to Chief Political Adviser?
It is mandatory to get approval from the Chief Adviser, Politics to commission a survey on any matter or an opinion poll on politics, party political support, voting intentions in the electorate at large or any other matter of public policy.
Except for brief News interviews, any proposal to interview or profile any of the party leaders in the UK for BBC network and English regional output areas must be referred in advance to Chief Adviser, Politics. In BBC Scotland, BBC Wales or BBC Northern Ireland it should be referred in advance to the respective Head of News and Current Affairs.
Other issues affecting transmission
37. Public figures - as contributors
Contributors and potential contributors must be treated with respect. The BBC must not be unduly intimidating, humiliating, intrusive or aggressive to contributors, either to obtain their consent or during their participation in output.
Editorial Guidelines - Fairness, Contributors & Content, Section 6.4.24
38. Public figures - reference to
YES: if any well-known person in politics, entertainment, sport etc either takes part in the programme or if reference is made to a public figure. Full detail should be provided if possible but if this would be overly burdensome ie if there are multiple references in programmes delivered close to transmission, then tick YES. Please note that this section may be particularly valuable to TV in the event of unexpected events between delivery and transmission ie the death of a public figure.
Editorial Guidelines: Section 5 Harm & Offence Section - Intimidation and Humiliation.
BBC content must respect human dignity.
Intimidation, humiliation, intrusion, aggression and derogatory remarks are all aspects of human behaviour that may be discussed or included in BBC output. Some content can be cruel but unduly intimidatory, humiliating, intrusive, aggressive or derogatory remarks aimed at real people (as opposed to fictional characters or historic figures) must not be celebrated for the purposes of entertainment. Care should be taken that such comments and the tone in which they are delivered are proportionate to their target.
39. Sensitive content issues
Covers a range of potential problems, primarily in the event of a repeat. For example, references to recently dead people, people who are very ill and may subsequently have died, interviews with children etc.
40. Any restriction on re-use?
Refers to any contributor sensitivities or legal reasons which would affect the partial or whole re-use/repeat of the programme. If YES: give full details in the notes section.
41. Flashing lights/strobing effects which have failed TX review
If a pre-recorded programme fails its Technical Review or Automated QC due to flashing lights or strobing and the Producer feels strongly that the sequence must be retained for editorial/artistic reasons, approval must be sought from the relevant Channel Controller via the Genre Commissioning Editor. In the very rare occasions when approval is given in these circumstances, this must be clearly noted in the Video Comments field within the file metadata for file deliveries, the eyeball report and on the TX and Compliance forms within the notes section, giving the name of the Channel Controller, Genre Commissioning Editor and date of approval. The programme must be preceded by a clear continuity warning.
Editorial Guidelines: Section 5 Harm and Offence – Flashing Images, Strobing and Images of Very Brief Duration
42. – 47. Interactivity
Editorial Guidelines: Section 17 Audience Interactivity
47. Interactivity approval form authorisation
If yes to questions 42 - 46 confirm the mandatory Interactivity Approval Form has been authorised by the relevant Controller.
Editorial Guidelines: Section 17 Audience Interactivity
For Indies, please contact the Executive Producer in order to arrange.
For in-house please contact the Television Compliance Managers, Editorial Policy and Programme Legal Advice teams can be consulted on wording for pre-TX content information.
Additional transmission recommendation
Producers may wish to make an additional recommendation here for example regarding suitability for transmission during an election period, scheduling in terms of proximity to the watershed or children's programming etc.
Advice, approvals, referrals (in some cases these are mandatory)
All mandatory referrals are summarised at the start of each section of the BBC Editorial Guidelines.
You must indicate on the form whether there are any issues which require mandatory referral to the BBC Director, Editorial Policy and Standards.
No: if none apply.
Yes: If one or more does apply. Note: any referrals to Director, Editorial Policy and Standards must be through the BBC Executive Producer who will be able to advise in detail on the full referrals process.
If additional advice has been taken or approval sought for aspects of the programme from other departments or individuals at the BBC, ie advisers in Editorial Policy, the Commissioning Department Head or the Channel Controller, briefly summarise the issue in the relevant section. If Programme Legal Advice has been consulted, indicate the subject of the legal issue (eg contempt, privacy etc) but do not detail the advice given.
If there are any doubts on any issue the BBC Executive Producer should be consulted.
Tick if the programme is suitable for pre-watershed viewing on all linear channels and on Video On Demand services (including broadband and the BBC iPlayer) without content Guidance labelling. (Note Content Guidance labelling refers to additional text information given on EPGs and Programme Websites alerting viewers to stronger programme material). If in doubt, please contact the Television Compliance Managers for advice.
Please note: It is mandatory that the indie Executive Producer is responsible for signing the compliance form after the final viewing and is named in the Editorial Specification.
Referrals to David Jordan, the Director of Editorial Policy and Standards are mandatory for the inclusion of specific content in a TV programme. This includes the broadcast of secretly recorded material, interviewing a criminal or the dramatic portrayal of a real person against the wishes of the individual or their relatives.
Each production is required to submit an I&RP Ofcom compliance form so that the BBC has a formal record of the independent and regional production status of that programme. It must be submitted by email to the Business Affairs Assistant.
For queries please email I&RPOfcomCompliance@bbc.co.uk.
A compliance form must be completed for all online short form videos and audio clips to confirm they comply with the BBC Editorial Guidelines and to ensure that guidance labels are applied where necessary.
The completed form must be submitted to email@example.com with sign off from the independent production company Executive Producer.
The form will then be sent to the BBC Executive Producer for final sign off before the content is published.
The Television Online compliance form is a simplified version of the full Television Compliance form. Further information on completing the full Television Compliance form can be found above.
*In-house only: further information on how to complete a programme compliance form can be found on the BBC intranet Compliance Portal.
A single form can be used for multiple clips when there are no compliance issues that need noting and they relate to the same programme or product.
If a clip is being republished due to technical issue or with minor changes, eg spelling mistakes, a new form does not need to be submitted. A new form must be submitted if there is a significant editorial change to the content.
If, for technical or procedural reasons such as a live programme, it is not going to be possible to submit an Online compliance form before publication of a clip an alternative sign off process should be agreed in advance by the BBC Executive Producer.
The BBC Executive Producer is responsible for the content being compliant. The Executive Producer can designate a member of the production team with appropriate editorial expertise to view the content and sign the form on their behalf if they consider the online content carries a low level of risk. The Executive Producer must record the fact that compliance has been delegated via an email to the designated member of staff. However, overall responsibility for compliance still rests with them. Likewise, the independent Executive Producer can delegate sign off in the same way as the BBC Executive Producer.
It is essential that either the Executive Producer or the designated team member has viewed the video (or listened to the audio) and, if it is derived from a programme, is familiar with the programme's content.
Delegated compliance is not always advisable. Executive Producers should assess the level of risk involved in online content which may include issues such as but not restricted to the following:
Is the programme on the managed risk list? Does it contain controversial or extremely sensitive material? Is there a risk that material taken out of context could lead to legal or Editorial Policy issues? Does a careful assessment need to be made regarding young or vulnerable contributors? Will the embedding of the clip cause problems for the programme or for contributors? Does the clip meet user expectations? Is the clip representative of the TV programme?
The BBC requires consistency in compliance across all BBC platforms.
Channel Compliance Managers can provide guidance on short form content. If the video carries content that requires a mandatory referral, the Executive Producer or designated individual must contact the relevant Controller and obtain authorisation. Find contacts for compliance teams.
Some clips may require a guidance label.
Other content such as text and images do not have be individually complied but the Executive must ensure that they have put in place satisfactory procedures to ensure that content is compliant with the BBC Editorial Guidelines.
This includes a process for the escalation of issues or queries. The Executive should also decide whether it is necessary to re-check ongoing updates based on what content is planned.
Sign off of this content can be done via email confirmation. Save a copy of the paperwork.
The clip will be a permanent record of the programme. It should be representative of the programme and the content should meet the audience expectation of the show.
Compliance on BBC One and BBC Three:
(020) 361 42156
Compliance on BBC Two and BBC Four:
(020) 361 42139
Editorial Policy Duty Advisor:
(0208) 008 1819
In-house compliance site:
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