Proteus: Running orders

Running order data, or 'RO Items', refers to the non-public-facing content descriptions, contributor, music and rights information on Proteus.

This information is really important for when the BBC wants to repeat or reuse content in the future, as well as keeping track of the copyright items and contributions in your content.

The Proteus team reccommend that as you build your running order it should reflect the structure of your programme or content.

This page is a quick reminder of the key steps. If you need a full step by step guide you can download the step-by-step training guide.

An overview of what a running order is and how you navigate the page


Before you start

Before you start adding running order data, you will need:

  • the title and transmission date of your programme(s)
  • all the names of the contributors, their roles, and their rights agreement type
  • details of any copyright items that were used for the programme (e.g. readings, poetry)
  • all the music details for any tracks used (CD covers or listings) 

Filling in your running order

How to find your programme and search for items

  • Search for your programme using the title and TX date, or the programme number 
  • Click on the running order items link in the listing for your programme

Your programme may be single item or multi-item programme, which will dictate whether you pull in one or many items for your running order.

  • a single item programme is where there is just one continuous narrative thread, so this would include readings, documentaries or drama
  • a multi-item programme would have lots of separate elements, for example a magazine programme

You can find out more in this video.

How to add your production team

  • Add team members by selecting the green plus sign at the right of the 'Production Team' field
  • Type the name you are searching for and select the right person. Repeat for the whole team
  • Click on 'Use selected person' or 'Use selected people' (for more than one person)
  • Select the appropriate roles from the dropdown list. Then select 'Save'

If you find it helpful, you can watch a video of this process.

Adding content items

  • Click 'Edit'. Open the 'New items' area of your right hand panel 
  • Drag the relevant item onto your running order. For pre-recorded items choose 'Pre-Rec' item. Select 'Studio' for live items
  • Where it says 'Empty', double click and type a short description

Please include details of key contributions.

What happened? What was discussed? Were there any key locations used? Anything that would be useful for future research when looking to reuse an item at a later date. 

Do add in approximate durations for each item. 

Adding contributors

  • Select the 'Properties' icon on your running order item
  • On the contributors tab select 'Add', search for contributors, add to the running order and select the role performed (e.g. interviewee) 
  • Tick 'All Rights' if the clip can be reused without payment. Or if this isn't the case, add the rights details in the relevant fields or notes field

Add a duration for anyone paid by the minute (e.g. scriptwriters).

You may find this video of the process helpful.

Adding archive items

  • Drag an archive item from the new item box into your existing running order item
  • Fill in the title, contributors, rights and reference detail on the archive tab of 'Properties'
  • Add in the exact duration of usage

Adding music Items

  • Open contemporary music search in the right hand panel
  • Search for the track, and drag it into your running order. Add the relevant exact duration (to the nearest second)

You may also find the following video guides helpful:

There is more on adding music items in the step by step guide

You can also download the MRU codes to cross-reference.

Important notes 

  • This is for pre-recorded programmes. If your programme is live, your music will most likely be reported via Dira! Do check this with your commissioining network
  • All occurrences of each piece of music must be recorded separately, do not provide a total duration. Every single second of music must be reported
  • Music reporting, whether you have music or not, is a legal requirement so running order paperwork must be completed within 14 days of transmission/publication

Signing off the paperwork as complete

  • When all information has been added, double check for completeness
  • If it is all there then select the 'Paperwork Complete' button 

All paperwork must be completed by two weeks of publication/broadcast.

Sending the music report

You can only click 'Send Music Report' after the programme has been transmitted.

For more information read our quick guide on Sending a music report.

Running order FAQs

Is there an accessible way to complete running orders using a keyboard and screen reader?

Yes – please contact Proteus support who can take you through the process.

How can I update information on a running order if I’ve already clicked Paperwork Complete?

​Pressing 'Paperwork Complete' locks the programme running order.  You will need to contact Proteus support to unlock your running order.

What do I do if the items I added to my running order aren't appearing?

Items which have been embedded into other items may not be visible until you select the 'Expand All' button located at the top right of the running order.

How do I add a new piece of music?

Before adding new music, please make certain that the track is not included in the database already.

The easiest way to add a new track is to search for a similar piece of music and use this as a template. 

How do I delete an item from a running order?

In 'Edit' mode, click anywhere on the item to highlight it yellow.

  • For PC's press the Delete button on your keyboard
  • For Macs, press command and backspace

How do I submit the music report?

Once the programme has transmitted and you’ve finished adding all the music tracks with their correct durations to the running order, click the 'Send Music Report' button located above the running order.

For more information on sending the music report please visit our guide.

What do I do if there is no music in my programme?

You still have to select the 'Send Music Report' button so that the Music Reporting Unit are aware that no music was used in the programme.


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