Annual Review 2007/2008

Reports on compliance and regulatory matters


Training and development

Training and development remains a key priority for BBC World Service. During 2007/08 over £2 million was allocated to staff development inside and outside the UK. In the year there was an additional and urgent requirement to deliver tailored training and development for staff recruited for the launch of Arabic television.

In the latter part of the year all individuals involved in developing programme content (approximately 1,500 people in BBC World Service) were required to attend a pan-BBC Workshop 'Safeguarding Trust'. The sessions focused on audiences and trust and were delivered locally, combining an overview of general BBC issues with those of special concern to BBC World Service in particular.

The very successful 18-month programme for Service Heads was formally completed, although self-directed alumni events will continue. This key group of BBC World Service leaders and managers attended seminars, learning events and benefited from coaching and mentoring activities.

In the coming year the Service Heads programme is being replaced by attendance either on the BBC-wide Leadership Essentials programme or a tailored BBC World Service Management Development Programme.

Occupational risk management

The management of occupational risk has continued to be a high priority for BBC World Service in the past year and a number of improvements have been made. These include providing risk management and health and safety training for all senior managers.

Health and safety risks have been managed as an integral part of the overall risk management strategy and processes at BBC World Service. With an increasing number of staff working internationally, ensuring their safety and security continues to be a key area of work. A rolling programme to review risk management in international offices has continued and additional health and safety training is being provided for staff during these visits.

Advising, training and equipping staff deployed to hostile environments, including war zones and areas affected by natural disasters, remains a vital area of work and BBC World Service continues to be supported by the BBC's specialist High Risk Team.

Work has also taken place in a variety of areas to ensure compliance with new or changing legislation, including construction management, noise management, and environmental management with all activities contained within a detailed divisional action plan.

Internal communication

All BBC World Service managers are expected to hold a face-to-face team meeting with their staff at least once a month. These meetings are part of a two-way internal communications cycle of information and feedback where issues of importance to the team are regularly discussed.

Regular formal and informal discussions are held with the recognised trade unions: BECTU (Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union) and the NUJ (National Union of Journalists).

The second BBC World Service Awards were held in February 2008. Presented by the actor and writer Michael Palin CBE, the awards are designed to recognise excellence and celebrate achievement. Outstanding Contribution Awards were made to Alan Johnston, the BBC news journalist kidnapped in Gaza, and Lesley Granger, the former Director of Human Resources at BBC World Service who has recently retired from the BBC.


Proportion of ethnic minorities

The composition of the workforce of BBC World Service reflects the multilingual nature of its broadcasting and therefore exceeds the BBC's targets including the BBC target for senior managers.

  At 31 March 2007
At 31 March 2008
BBC Group target %
Staff working in the United Kingdom 40.9 43.6 12.5
Senior managers working in the United Kingdom 10.0 9.7 7.0

Gender representation
BBC World Service closely monitors gender representation within the workforce. At the end of March 2008, women represented 39.5% of the workforce.

People with disabilities
BBC World Service employs 3% of people who declare themselves as having a disability, an increase of 1% on the previous year's figure of 2% largely due to a review of self-reporting undertaken by the BBC. This continues to remain a priority for BBC World Service and steps are being taken to increase this even further towards the BBC target of 4%.