Appendix 1 - Codes of Practice Checklist

This appendix is for guidance only and does not form part of the Community Radio Codes of Practice 2008.

Background

As community broadcasters it is our responsibility to abide by a number of legislative requirements in programming content and station operations.

The Broadcasting Services Act 1992 outlines a number of licence conditions and program standards that are applicable to all our stations. A licensee is also bound by the conditions upon which their licence was issued or last renewed.

In addition, we are required to observe the Community Radio Codes of Practice 2008 (the Codes) that guide all areas of station activity. As such we will have in place written corporate governance policies and procedures that support management, financial and technical operations to meet all legal requirements.

The Australian Communication and Media Authority’s role is to determine whether stations have implemented the processes outlined in the Codes, and are therefore upholding the standards applicable to all community broadcasters. It is the role of ACMA to assess whether stations comply with the Codes and to determine if a breach of the Codes has occurred.

In cases where compliance is an issue, ACMA may also take enforcement action to improve licensees’ performance.

Purpose

The following checklist will help determine if your station has developed the appropriate policies and procedures to make sure it is complying with the requirements of the Codes.

Section One: Corporate Governance

Corporate governance policies and procedures that support management, financial, and technical operations to meet all legal requirements.

Governance: Does Your Station... Yes No
have easily-accessible hard and electronic copies of its constitution?    
hold regular board and committee meetings?    
keep minutes of these meetings and hold them in an accessible place?    
hold Annual General Meetings which include election of board and committee members in accordance with your constitution and requirements of relevant legislation (eg: Incorporated Associations Act)?    
have documents that outline the roles and responsibilities of board and committee members?    
Financial Management: Does Your Station... Yes No
maintain accurate and up to date financial records?    
have a designated treasurer or book keeper?    
regularly present records of its accounts to the board?    
present end of financial year reports to the members?    
Technical Management: Does Your Station... Yes No
have easily-accessible hard and electronic copies of its broadcasting services licence and apparatus licence specifications?    
have mechanisms in place for ensuring ongoing compliance with its licence specifications?    
have mechanisms in place for ensuring ongoing compliance with EMR / RF hazard standards?    
ensure appropriate safety and quality of studio and production facilities?    

Section Two: Policies and Proceedures

Does your station have clear procedures for boards, committees, staff and volunteers dealing with the following: Yes No
Programming    
Access and equity    
Anti-discrimination    
Grievance and complaints    
Music - Australian content    
Sponsorship    
How does your station management publicise/promote these policies and procedures? Yes No
Newsletters    
Noticeboards    
Station Handbooks    
Induction or training sessions    
Other    

Section Three: Participation

Under the Codes community radio stations are required to ensure that people in their community who are not adequately served by other media are encouraged and assisted to participate in providing our service.

Stations are required to have in place policies and procedures to support this commitment as well as to document evidence of their efforts to encourage community participation.

How does your station encourage and assist the active participation of community members (including broadcasters at your station and members of the community) in:

Activity Action taken to encourage participation Evidence documented of this activity
 On-air shifts    
 Fundraising    
 Administration    
 Board Of Directors    
 Committees    
 Programming Decisions    
 Other    
 Other    
 Other    

Section Four: Programming

Does Your Station: Yes No
monitor its Australian music content to ensure it meets the minimum quota?    
management approve and monitor all sponsorship on air (this includes in-kind sponsorship)?    
Does your station have a set of programming guidelines for broadcasters relating to on-air standards concerning broadcasts about or including: Yes No
Violence and brutality    
Simulated news or events    
Drug, alcohol and tobacco use    
Stereotyping and vilification    
Protecting children from ‘harmful’ content    
Privacy    
News and Current Affairs    
Indigenous programming    
Australian music content    
Sponsorship    
Balancing censorship and freedom of expression    

Section Five: Volunteers

Does your station have written policy documents in place that outline: Yes No
the principles of financial membership,    
the rights and responsibilities of financial members within the organisation,    
the rights and responsibilities of the organisation to financial members.    
How does your station inform volunteers of their rights and responsibilities? Yes No
Noticeboard    
Newsletters    
Meetings    
Volunteer Induction Kit    
Website    
Email    
Other    
Does your station... Yes No
have induction procedures for all new volunteers?    
have a complaints procedure for volunteers/staff concerning internal disputes?    
inform volunteers about the station’s internal complaints procedure?    
have a policy and procedure in place regarding disciplinary action and dismissal of volunteers    

Section Six: Listener Complaints

Does your station... Yes No
have a procedure for recording and dealing with listener complaints?    
Does this procedure... Yes No
ensure there is a designated, responsible person who has been nominated to deal with listener complaints and who is available during office hours?    
include providing information to listeners about their rights if they are dissatisfied with your station’s response to their complaint?    
ensure your station will respond substantively to complaints, in writing, within 60 days of receiving the complaint?    
How does your station inform volunteers and staff of the procedure for taking a complaint from a listener? Yes No
Newsletters    
Noticeboard    
Meetings    
Volunteer Induction Kit    

Other

Does your station... Yes No
broadcast at least one on-air announcement each week that contains information about the Codes and where listeners can get a copy    

What to do if you find your station is not meeting the requirements of the Codes:

  1. If your station does not have a policy or procedure which has been mentioned in the checklist, please look through the further appendices with the Codes for examples. We suggest you change these to suit your needs before adoption by the Board.
  2. You can also visit the CBAA website where you will find information on developing policies and procedures.
  3. After the Board of Directors has collected all the policies and procedures and approved them, it is advisable that they should be widely circulated within the station.
  4. It is also important to develop ways in which these policies will continue to be publicised efficiently to new broadcasters and others. This could be done at program evaluation time, station meetings, in training sessions, as reminders in newsletters and any other way you can think of getting the message across.
Posted Wed, 13/01/2010 - 11:16am by cbaa_admin