Ofcom’s role for BBC online material is set out in the BBC Charter and Agreement. We have a new responsibility to consider and give an opinion on whether the BBC has observed the relevant editorial guidelines in its online material.
Unlike our role regulating the standards of BBC broadcasting and on-demand programme services, Ofcom has no enforcement powers for BBC online material.
Ofcom and the BBC have entered into an Online Arrangement (PDF, 528.8 KB) for how this new responsibility will be carried out.
Under the Online Arrangement, complaints about online material must follow the ‘BBC First’ approach, where they are made to the BBC in the first instance. If a complainant is not satisfied with the BBC’s final response to a complaint about online standards, they may refer the complaint to Ofcom for its opinion. Ofcom has published procedures for how it will handle complaints about BBC online material (PDF, 187.7 KB).
Online material means content on the BBC website and apps. This includes written text, images, video and sound content. It does not extend to social media, Bitesize, BBC material on third party websites and World Service content, among other things. Further information is provided in our complaints handling procedures.