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  Referral procedures
  The law and legal risks

Referral procedures

If you are working within the BBC, or a freelance working for the BBC, your first point of referral is your Editor or Commissioning Executive.

If the Editorial Policy department needs to be consulted, the Editor or Executive should make the call.

Editorial Policy must always be consulted on any proposal to step outside the Producer's Guidelines.

Any programme proposals involving the following must be referred to Controller Editorial Policy via your Head of Department or Commissioning Executive:

- interviews with those directly associated with terrorist acts in the UK

- security matters which might compromise the safety of individuals or society

- interviews with serious criminals and people sought by the police

- payment to criminals or former criminals

- payment for an interview with a witness in a current or pending criminal trial

- recording or attending a criminal activity

- granting anonymity to anyone trying to evade the law in the UK

- interviewing a prisoner without permission from the prison authorities

- publishing the name of a released sex offender whose name has not been made public by the Police

- using an unattended recording device on private property ("bugging")

- broadcasting any recording originally made secretly for legal or note taking purposes

- broadcasting a recording made secretly by anyone outside the BBC

- "doorstepping": recording an interview with someone who is not expecting to be approached

- requests from outside the BBC to see or obtain untransmitted material.

You should also consult the Producer's Guidelines for the specific referral processes for the following:

- commissioning opinion polls – to the Chief Political Adviser

- interviews (other than short news interviews) with UK political party leaders – to the Chief Political Adviser

- proposals for programmes about Northern Ireland, and programmes about Scotland, Wales or the Republic of Ireland

- interviews (other than news interviews) with members of the Royal Family

- using a tourist visa to enter a country in order to work for the BBC.

Related links:
vspace=4/ The BBC's Producers' Guidelines
vspace=4/ Our guidelines on Consultation and Referral (PDF file)

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