Emerald Fennell, Carey Mulligan join call for industry bodies to fund UK standards authority CIISA

The UK’s Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority (CIISA) – the independent body for tackling bullying and harassment in the creative industries – has published an open letter signed by 25 prominent creative industry figures urging the industry to make final financial commitments to guarantee the organisation’s operation for its first two years.

Emerald Fennell, Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, Ruth Wilson, Naomie Harris, Ophelia Lovibond and casting director Kharmel Cochrane have all signed the letter to back the authority’s calls for the additional financial support on which CIISA’s launch by the end of 2024 is dependent.

”So many of us in this industry would have loved to have an objective outside body that we could go to for advice, for mediation and in the very extreme circumstances, that we might need some outside body to hold people accountable,” said the letter.

CIISA has been in the works since 2022, under interim CEO Jen Smith, and was formed as a government supported, cross-industry backed authority for addressing poor workplace behaviour across the UK creative industries. It has already received financial support from Time’s Up UK, BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky.

Its aims include setting and embedding an industry-endorsed standards framework of best practice in workplace behaviour applicable across all of the creative industries; ensuring creative industry professionals have an independent, confidential place to report concerns or issues and get tailored advice, help and support; providing an independent, impartial set of services aimed at addressing and resolving concerns; and offering training and educational services.

While the body is seeking industry buy-in, CIISA has adopted a two-company funding model, in line with the Advertising Standards Authority, to maintain its independence and impartiality. CIISA’s board of finance will collect and distribute CIISA’s funding, with a separate governance structure to CIISA.

Maureen Kerr, senior partner at management consultant Arthur D Little, was recently appointed as chair of the board of finance.

CIISA is not a membership service or professional body, and will not offer exclusive services in return for funding. The body’s services will be available to all creative industry workers.

The standards authority’s funding model is based on organisations and individuals paying an ongoing annual contribution. No organisation will be expected to contribute more than 0.1% of annual UK turnover.