GoodCorporation review of BBC child protection and whistleblowing policies - April 2015

The review concludes that the BBC has strong child protection policies in place and that considerable effort has been made to improve them.
Date: 01.04.2015     Last updated: 07.12.2016 at 12.39
This review contains the conclusions of the GoodCorporation’s review of the BBC’s child protection and whistleblowing policies.

This review contains the conclusions of the GoodCorporation’s review of the BBC’s child protection and whistleblowing policies.

The BBC commissioned Dame Janet Smith to conduct a full review into our policies and processes, including considering whether the BBC’s current child protection and whistleblowing policies are fit for purpose.

The intention was that Dame Janet’s work on the BBC’s child protection and whistleblowing processes would begin once her main report had been delivered.

However, in light of changes in the Review’s timetable and delays to the report’s publication at the request of the Police, the BBC decided in March 2014 to undertake an independent assessment, rather than waiting for the publication of the Dame Janet Smith report. This independent review was specifically set up so we could respond to any gaps it identified, rather than having to wait for the Dame Janet Smith report.

The GoodCorporation conclude that the BBC has strong child protection policies in place and that considerable effort has been made to improve them. Their report states that “there is a clear commitment and recognition of the importance of child protection and safeguarding in the BBC”.

The review was designed to produce detailed and actionable recommendations for the BBC. It looked at a comprehensive list of criteria, including third party codes of practice. Our child protection policies were tested and examined against a total of 49 criteria, while our whistleblowing policies against another 25. The BBC’s whistleblowing policy was also benchmarked and found to rank at number 12 in a list of 40 organisations.

We are pleased to find our whistleblowing policies rank well against other organisations.

The overall conclusions of the GoodCorporation’s review are positive and no serious weaknesses are raised in the report. The GoodCorporation outlines additional steps for the
BBC to take in order to reinforce our current good practice in three key areas:

  • reinforcement of existing policies and essential processes through enhanced communication and tighter documentation;
  • enhancements to the consistency of application of existing policies and processes; and
  • some changes to formal reporting lines and to external reporting.

We have been active on these recommendations and their implementation has already been internally audited and rated positively. We intend to use future Annual Report and Accounts to ensure appropriate reporting of whistleblowing statistics1.

The review recommended that the person in charge of child protection should report in to a production making division, such as Television. We believe child protection is an issue that affects all of our output divisions and so we believe it is more appropriate for the Head of Child Protection to continue to report into our HR team.