Channel 4's internal compliance procedures are intended to enable, through best practice and reference-up, the responsible making and broadcast of the boldest and most challenging programmes which can be successfully defended to Ofcom and in the courts where necessary and in which our audience can safely place its trust. To be effective the compliance process must include ALL staff involved in the making and broadcasting of programmes and programme material such as trails, press information and marketing. The process requires knowledge of and adherence to the rules in the Ofcom Broadcasting Code (‘the Ofcom Code'), the Independent Producer Handbook (‘the Handbook'), including the Viewer Trust Guidelines and other internal guidelines. Also essential is close collaboration between commissioning editors (including deputies, editors, assistant editors, programme executives, editorial administrators and assistants) and programme-makers, input from editorial and compliance managers in all channels and platforms and advice from the programme lawyers in the legal & compliance department. The reference-up process, which lies at the heart of effective compliance, involves editorial heads of department, channel heads and ultimately the Director of Television & Content and Chief Executive. Also involved in and key to the process of compliance along with the editorial and legal teams, are staff in new media (especially web sites and VOD), creative services, press, the programme planning and strategy departments, media planning, scheduling and marketing departments.
The following internal procedures apply to all programmes commissioned by, purchased for and broadcast on Channel 4 and all its platforms, including E4, More4 and Film4 (including all ‘+1' catch-up channels) and to material published on the web. The same essential principles will apply to radio, although some procedures and terminology will vary. There are separate procedures for the digital channels and New Media, including VOD (see reference to these below), which should be read in the light of the over-arching principles in this document. These are available from the legal & compliance department.
It is essential that all editorial staff at Channel 4 read and are familiar with the Ofcom Code and the Handbook as well as these procedures.