BBC Code of Conduct

Hi all,

As an example of another organisation’s code of conduct, here’s the BBC’s, which was recently published: (includes a link to the PDF)

Comparing this structurally with the W3C CEPC is instructive:

  *   It is mission- and value-led, and therefore adapted to be specific to the BBC; there’s some sort of traceability from “what the BBC is for” and “what is important to the BBC” to behaviour.
  *   There’s a specific call-out to commitments of people in leadership roles, and everyone.
  *   The primary focus on people is about respecting each other, i.e. a positive intent first.
  *   There’s an escalation path for when something doesn’t look right.
  *   There’s a distinction between what everyone does as an individual and what the organisation does.
  *   Treating everyone equally is dealt with separately from Saying the right thing.
  *   Conduct and Relationships are in two separate sections.
  *   The environment, ethics and spending choices are included.
  *   There are onward journeys defined for raising concerns, staying safe, training etc.
  *   The text describing expectations and good/bad behaviour is brief and concise, and puts the onus on individuals to understand what is and isn’t appropriate. It’s so short I can reproduce it here:

We have a duty to reflect the whole of society. The richer our mix of people, the richer our content. That’s one of the reasons why we value difference and diversity so much. It’s also why we make sure everyone has the same chance to succeed.

• Treat everyone fairly, equally and with respect
• Respect other people’s cultures and beliefs
• Understand what is and isn’t appropriate, to make sure we don’t discriminate against anyone (even accidentally)
• Don’t do anything that could be offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting to anyone else. Never humiliate or hurt people, or spread gossip about them
• Report bullying, harassment or violence if we think we’ve seen it. If someone tells us they’re suffering, we'll help investigate and get to the truth
• Read and follow our policies, as well as any laws and regulations that apply to us.

• We’ll do everything we can to make sure all our people treat each other with respect
• Whenever we’re hiring or promoting, we’ll be treated equally and fairly. So decisions will only ever be based on talent, merits and how well someone suits the job – never on who they know or where they’re from
• We’ll be given training to help us grow and develop. We’ll have open conversations about how we’re doing
• Bullying, discrimination, harassment or violence of any kind, whether it’s by or against someone at the BBC, won't be allowed. That includes offensive messages, derogatory remarks and inappropriate comments. Disciplinary action will be taken against anyone who crosses the line, including dismissal for gross misconduct, if it’s serious
• Everyone is encouraged to have a healthy work-life balance. So we might be able to work flexible hours or change our workspace (as long as we can do that).

I’m not trying to suggest this is perfect, or even that it is what W3C should do; I’m sharing it as an interesting comparative example of a large public service-focused organisation specifying a code of conduct written in a different way, and with a broader scope.

To avoid any sense of bias or conflict, I won’t be proposing any changes to W3C’s CEPC based on this, but others could, of course, if they think it’s merited.

Kind regards,


Received on Friday, 5 July 2019 11:39:35 UTC