Like all UK Broadcasters, we have to ensure that our programmes comply with the Ofcom Broadcasting Code and the UK law. In addition, as we are part-owned by BBC Worldwide, we also need to abide by the BBC's Editorial Guidelines.
At UKTV the Compliance team prides itself on having positive working relationships with all production companies and in finding mutually satisfactory solutions to any Ofcom or BBC Editorial issues that may arise.
Every commission will be assigned a key contact from the Compliance team who will be on hand throughout production to discuss any issues or queries that you might have and to flag up any potential problems, ultimately ensuring that the programme is compliant when it goes to air.
Although your Compliance contact will liaise with you throughout the production period to discuss any queries or issues that you might have, there are several key touch points during production:
If your idea is put into paid development, you will be asked for some detail around compliance as part of the deliverables. This is to ensure that, should the idea be commissioned, it can be made compliantly. The precise deliverables will vary according to the nature of the idea and will be detailed in your development contract. The team will be available to discuss them if you have any questions.
If your idea is commissioned, all the compliance requirements will be detailed in your commissioning contract. Your Compliance contact and Commissioning Editor will also have a separate discussion with you prior to pre-production. At that meeting we'll talk through the compliance processes necessary and then send you a summary of the conversation. Depending on the type of programme, we may also need to discuss with you relevant UKTV policies such as those regarding working with children.
When offline versions of each episode are available, your Compliance contact will watch them and provide feedback where necessary.
Can I film with children?
We ask that all production crew who will be working with children read and comply with our Working with Children policy. We also ask that you send us a copy of your own Working with Children policy for our records, and that you undertake the BBC Working with Children online course. Details of this can be provided as and when required.
Can we carry out secret filming?
We have to have specific reasons to carry out secret filming, so it is imperative that if you are hoping to use secret filming you let us know as soon as possible in what context you wish to carry this out. We can then advise accordingly.
What makes something unduly prominent?
The general rule is that a brand name or commercial reference can have one visual and one verbal OR two visuals OR two verbal and these have to be editorially justified and not overly promotional. There may be grounds where a brand mention has to be used more than the general rules allow, but these must be matter-of-fact or strictly editorial mentions. We can advise accordingly should you need to.
What if a contributor or a location asks for a 'with thanks' in the credits?
If a company or service provider has provided services for a reduced rate or free of charge, or has helped out in any way that was significant to the production then, as long as the company name/brand does not appear in the main body of the show, they can have a 'with thanks to'. If the company or brand was mentioned or seen in the main body of the programme then we are unable to offer a 'with thanks to' in the end credits. Please note this is known as Prop Placement and is different to Product Placement.
Can we include pushes to social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook in the body of the programme?
If you wish to include the above in the main body of the programme please let us know as soon as possible. There are editorial and compliance reasons that surround the inclusion of hashtags and handles, so the sooner we know what you wish to do we can advise accordingly.