Insights Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority publishes open letter to industry bodies

An open letter, signed by prominent members of the creative industries, has been published calling on industry bodies to provide financial backing to the new Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority (“CIISA”).

We have previously written about the CIISA here. It was founded against the backdrop of serious allegations being raised about behaviour within the creative industries and it aimed to “uphold and improve standards of behaviour across the creative industries and to prevent and tackle all forms of bullying and harassment, including bullying and harassment of a discriminatory nature”.

To achieve its aims, the CIISA’s vision is to create “consistently safe and inclusive workplaces for creative industry professionals through pro-active interventions and advice, providing a single place of accountability where behaviours of concern can be reported and investigated, and building capability to prevent and tackle bullying and harassment and bullying and harassment of a discriminatory nature.”

The CIISA points out that it is not intended to duplicate policies that organisations within the creative industries may already have in place (such as HR functions), but rather it “will address gaps in provision”. For example, it envisages being a single port of call where people can seek mediation and dispute resolution advice, and promises to work with partners to advocate on matters such as the prevention of the misuse of NDAs, better advice and protections for freelancers, and promoting inclusivity such as through wider adoption of the Anti-Racism code.

The letter draws attention to the fact that recent polling conducted on behalf of CIISA revealed that 91% of creative industry professionals from film, TV, music and theatre “are strongly in favour of CIISA”. Alongside this, recently-published research from the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Communications and Theatre Union (Bectu) – which has called on creative industries to support CISSA –  has found that an astonishing 9 in 10 creative workers say that they have been sexually harassed at work.

So far, a number of major organisations within the creative industries have pledged their support to CIISA, but its recently-published prospectus makes clear that its work can only be effective if properly funded. The prospectus sets out its projected costs, as well as an explanation as to how –  borrowing a model adopted by the Advertising Standards Authority – it will remain independent given it seeks to be financially – supported by the creative industries. The prospectus also details the work that is contemplated in the short and longer term, including an ambition in time to expand CIISA’s remit to include fashion, gaming and advertising.

The open letter can be read here, and the prospectus can be downloaded here.