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BBC Editorial Policy online learning modules now available to audiences


BBC audiences can now work through some of the BBC’s Editorial Policy Guidelines for themselves.

The BBC Academy has produced 20 online, interactive learning modules – in the form of mini masterclasses, quizzes and interactive training modules – to support the roll-out of the updated Editorial Guidelines (published today) and to provide continuing learning for all suppliers of BBC content, whether internal or external to the BBC.

The modules are available via the BBC Academy website.

The modules vary in length and complexity – they are a mixture of analyses of real output and programmes and hypothetical scenarios, designed to get programme makers and content providers to exercise their skills and judgement on tricky editorial dilemmas.

The modules range from testing people’s decision-making skills on a fast, breaking story in a regional newsroom to deciding how much violence and strong language is editorially justifiable in a nine o’clock drama on BBC One.

People tackling the module that looks at how to avoid making content for children and young people that might endanger them if they were to copy it, will be asked to consider possible storylines for Doctor Who, while those working on news and factual programmes will face impartiality challenges around the subject of climate change.

A fictional pop star, Chianti, gets embroiled in an adoption scam that needs investigating and there’s a mini master class on the accuracy and fairness issues around how we portray real people in drama.

The modules have been designed to test content and programme makers’ judgement and their knowledge of the Editorial Guidelines.

As people run through the exercises they will have constant access to the relevant sections of the Guidelines and associated guidance so that they can read them in the context of real, live programming and content.

They’ve been made with the aim of making them pithy and fun, fully interactive and engaging, while delivering some very serious and critical messages for everyone who makes content for the BBC.

Programme makers and journalists from all over the BBC have contributed their collective wisdom and knowledge to the Academy’s modules, so that they mirror as closely as possible the same dilemmas people working at or for the BBC encounter every day.

The 20 modules cover the main policy chapters covered in the Editorial Guidelines and it is envisaged that more modules will be rolled out over the coming year.


The BBC Executive reviews its Editorial Guidelines every five years. The last edition was published in 2005. The BBC Trust are responsible for commissioning the Guidelines for the first time as stipulated in the Agreement to the BBC’s Royal Charter 2006.

The revised Editorial Guidelines come in to effect at 00.01 on Monday 18 October.

The Editorial Guidelines modules can be accessed at

The BBC Academy, launched in December 2009, is the BBC’s centre for training. It houses the Colleges of Journalism, Production, Leadership and the Centre of Technology. The BBC Academy aims to put training and development at the heart of broadcasting by equipping both BBC staff and the wider industry with the skills they need for a lifetime of employability in an ever-changing media landscape.

The BBC Academy modules have been made by Epic.

BBC Press Office


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