The Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority to go live next year

The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, British talent, the film, music, theatre sectors and all UK broadcasters commit to the creation of the Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority, CIISA, to help prevent and tackle bullying and harassment, ready to take cases in 2024

The Secretary of State for DCMS, British talent, the film, music, theatre sectors and all UK broadcasters commit to the creation of the Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority, CIISA, to help prevent and tackle bullying and harassment, ready to take cases in 2024

Friday 29 September 2023, London: The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, The Rt Hon Lucy Frazer MP, British talent, including Dame Heather Rabbatts, Barbara Broccoli, Rebecca Ferguson, Stephen Graham, Keira Knightley, Lord Puttnam, Sule Rimi, Varada Sethu and Ruth Wilson, together with all UK broadcasters, have now joined the music and theatre sectors committing to the creation of the Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority, CIISA, to help prevent and tackle bullying and harassment, ready to take cases in 2024.

TIME’S UP UK, which has campaigned to improve standards of behaviour across film and TV over these last five years, called for the creation of an independent standards authority back in 2021. Since then TIME’S UP UK has spearheaded this initiative supported by the creative industries round table set up by Creative UK and the then Secretary of State, in the wake of yet further media stories about abuse in the industry. The proposed CIISA will initially cover film, television, music and theatre. To date all of the key stakeholders within these sectors have and are continuing to support this crucial intervention.

Ruth Wilson says, “I can’t tell you how many times in the last 20 years of my career in this industry that I would have loved to have an objective outside body that I could go to for advice, that I could go to for mediation and I could go to, in the very extreme circumstances, that you might need some outside body to hold people accountable for the bad behaviour or bad practices that sometimes happen on our sets. I think it’s the next step. Please support it. We need it and it will be invaluable, and I know it will become the blueprint across the globe for creative industries throughout the world, because there is no such thing at the moment like CIISA.”

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, The Rt Hon Lucy Frazer MP, says, “We want to maximise the potential of our creative industries to create growth and jobs across the country. Everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy a creative career, while feeling safe and working in a professional environment. It’s important that industry comes together to tackle bullying, harassment and discrimination, so Britain’s creative sectors remain some of the best in the world to be a part of.”

Jen Smith, interim CEO, CIISA, says, “CIISA has one clear purpose, to make the creative industries a safer working environment for our talented colleagues who make the film, TV, music and theatre that we all love and enjoy. Leading organisations and industry figures are demonstrating their visible commitment to a safer working environment too, by supporting CIISA and championing us by name. There is overwhelming evidence for the need for CIISA and bringing collective accountability to our sector, and the more quickly others join us, the more quickly we will have an independent body in place to support the whole ecosystem of the creative industries. We look forward to this final phase of development being ably supported by PA Consulting, who are the leading global experts in establishing new organisations of this nature.”


Tim Davie, Director General, BBC, says, “CIISA will be a force for good across the entire industry. We all need to do everything we can to create an industry where everyone feels totally safe to do their best work. That’s why the BBC is actively working with others to support its development.”

Alex Mahon, Chief Executive, Channel 4, says, “We believe that CIISA could play a really significant role in leading cultural change in the media industries. Channel 4 has a zero-tolerance approach to bullying, harassment and unacceptable behaviour, and we want everyone who experiences or witnesses it to feel empowered to call it out, so we can stamp it out. Together with our robust Code of Conduct for staff and suppliers, and Speak Up facility, we welcome the ongoing development of this initiative as it builds towards launch, to ensure that the creative industries have safe, inclusive and professional working environments in which careers can flourish.”

Carolyn McCall, Chief Executive, ITV, says, “ITV is committed to ensuring that everyone we work with has a safe and positive experience. The creation of CIISA will help ensure that the expected conduct and standard of behaviour across the creative industry is clear, consistent and applied rigorously. ITV will support this in every way possible.”

Maria Kyriacou, President, Broadcast & Studios for International Markets at Paramount, says, “We are focused on ensuring that our Channel 5 productions are safe and welcoming for all those who work on them, where bullying and harassment is not tolerated. We have already put in place significant measures over recent years to address this issue, and we are pleased to now be working alongside the wider creative industries to support the formation of the Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority.”

Stephen van Rooyen, Chief Executive Officer, UK & Ireland, and Group Chief Commercial Officer, Sky, says,“Making sure our talented creative workforce are kept safe is a top priority. Alongside our existing robust processes at Sky, we know that this new, world-first, independent authority will drive positive change.” 

Rebecca Ferguson, singer/songwriter, says, “There is an opportunity to change the way creatives are treated in our country; by supporting this you are making history. CIISA is a monumental step: they will support future creatives, which could include your children, grandchildren or family members. By supporting CIISA you are making our industry safer and impacting people’s lives in a very positive way.”

Stephen Graham, actor (Matilda the Musical, Peaky Blinders, Boiling Point), says, “Everyone can be susceptible to it, from directors to writers, actors, crew members and most importantly runners. There is kind of a pyramid structure within our industry, and I think it needs addressing. We need to try and take as much action as we can. And I think it’s about time that times really change. I think we need to eradicate bullying from our industry. And I for one, am a strong advocate and follower of that. So please, let’s all pull together and eradicate this from our industry because without any piece of the jigsaw, it doesn’t work. So, you know, let’s all go to work with a smile on our faces and let’s all love being there. Thank you very much.” 

Naomie Harris, actor (Moonlight, No Time to Die, Skyfall), says, As freelancers we are a borderless community, so a single point of accountability is essential. No-one should go to work fearful of harassment, bullying and abuse. For anyone to have their voice and reach their full potential, where we work must be safe and respectful. I believe CIISA is an important step in helping to achieve this.”

Sule Remi, actor (Andor, The English, Manhunt), says, “It’s really horrible witnessing bullying on set, but unfortunately it does happen on all levels of our industry; people behave appallingly and that can have devastating effects, not just on the person that it’s targeted towards, but also on the people around them. Basically, creative spaces should be safe, for all of us. That’s not too much to ask, is it?”

Varada Sethu, actor (Jurassic World Dominion, Andor, Now You See Me 2), says, “I think our industry has a lot of power imbalances, which exacerbates the problems, and it can be very confusing, and scary, and very difficult to know who to look to for advice, who to report to even, on certain jobs. CIISA being a singular and centralised entity would also mean that it’s easy for us to monitor repeat offenders or patterns of behaviour over multiple productions, which I think is a real issue. Everybody deserves a safe workplace. Everybody deserves to go to work and not have to live in fear.”

Lord Puttnam, film director and Chair, Atticus Education, says: “Everyone deserves a workplace in which they can feel safe and thrive. The proposal for a Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority is a significant and essential intervention to help us achieve that… CIISA is a great example of a UK innovation that should become a model to inspire global change for the betterment of all of us.”



The two short CIISA films have been made with thanks to Ridley Scott Associates

Editor Steph McAuley


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Notes to editors


Comments from CIISA’s founders

Barbara Broccoli, Director and Founder, TIME’S UP UK and Dame Heather Rabbatts, Chair and Founder, TIME’S UP UK, say, “We believe that the establishment of an independent body to uphold and improve behaviour across the creative industries, a Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority (CIISA), is an essential next step in creating safe working environments that will benefit the whole production community.”

Caroline Norbury OBE, Chief Executive, Creative UK, says, “It is over two years since I was asked by the then Culture Secretary to convene and chair a roundtable on tackling bullying and harassment in the creative industries. I am incredibly proud of the steps that have been taken by partners across the sector since, and believe the next stage in the establishment of CIISA is an important milestone on this journey. However, there is still much to be done. The still all-too-frequent allegations of behaviour that is inappropriate or worse from individuals in the creative industries merely highlights the urgent need to embed systems and processes that protect our talented creative workforce. We must ensure that all creatives have the ability to speak out against bullying and harassment, and it is incumbent upon those organisations and individuals who wield the greatest power and influence in our sector to support this mission. I truly believe that CIISA will provide a much-needed framework for change across the UK creative landscape, and am grateful to all those who have already committed to support its development.”

Comments in support of CIISA from our creative industry partners and friends 

BAFTA – Sara Putt, Chair, BAFTA, says, The film and television industries rely heavily on the skills of a large freelance workforce, who need access to a trusted and consistent process for raising concerns about behaviour. BAFTA has been pleased to support CIISA’s development, as we firmly believe the creation of an independent body, with the mandate and infrastructure to investigate such concerns, is an essential step in better safeguarding all those working in these industries.” 

BECTU – Philippa Childs, Head of Bectu, says, “For far too long, many creative workers have suffered in silence, and recent events have highlighted only too well that bullying and harassment remain a serious and ongoing challenge for the creative industries. The need for an independent standards authority is clear and urgent, and we welcome the creation of CIISA as a positive step forward in making the sector a safe, mentally healthy and respectful place to work for everyone, including freelancers and behind-the-scenes workers. In an industry where power imbalances can be particularly extreme, having an independent, trusted body will be critical in giving workers increased confidence to raise concerns, including surrounding historical complaints.”

BFI – Ben Roberts, BFI CEO, says, “We have world-class creative industries, delivering abundant success founded on the talent, creativity and skill of those working in every field across the sector. If we are to ensure that our industries can grow and thrive through becoming more inclusive and representative, we must collectively take meaningful steps to create positive, productive, kind, and safe working environments. We welcome the Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority, which can help address unacceptable behaviour in our industry and enabling accountability. Together with CIISA and industry partners we want to encourage adherence to good work principles across the sector, so we’re not just known for our world-leading content, but also our excellent working conditions.” 

BLACK LIVES IN MUSIC – Dr Charisse Beaumont, Chief Executive, Black Lives in Music, says, “If we are going to successfully tackle bullying and harassment, it is important that we do it together, be intentional about it, have a strategy and collectively implement it. The new Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority is part of that strategy and will be a preventative solution to the issues we are having in the creative industries. Bullying, harassment and discrimination can happen to anyone, it’s endemic and it’s time to double up our efforts against it.”

BPI – Jo Twist, Chief Executive, BPI (British Phonographic Industry), says, “There is no place for harassment and discrimination in our society or in the creative industries. The BPI is pleased to provide funding to support this next stage in the development of CIISA, which can play a valuable role, particularly for the freelance workforce, alongside the many actions that our label members are already taking. We look forward to CIISA involving all parts of the music industry in the coming months.”

CDG – Sophie Hallett, COO, The Casting Directors’ Guild (CDG), says, “The CDG has been working hard to stamp out bullying and harassment within our industry. We want our industry to be a welcoming, inclusive and positive place for everyone; there is no place for bullying and harassment within our communities. We welcome the much-needed formation of the Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority; it is essential for our industry and we look forward to continuing working closely with them over the coming years.”

DIRECTORS UK – Andy Harrower, Directors UK CEO, says, “Directors UK welcomes every effort to make our industry a safer one for everyone who works in it. We have been working closely with the CIISA team ahead of its launch, and fully support its vision to prevent bullying, harassment and discrimination in the creative industries.” 

FILM & TV CHARITY – Marcus Ryder, CEO at the Film & TV Charity, says, “The Film & TV Charity’s Bullying Advice Service has made a vital contribution to the landscape for anyone dealing with instances of bullying and harassment, providing crucial advice to anyone dealing with what remains an insidious problem in the industry. The news that CIISA will shortly be giving individuals and organisations further meaningful recourse is incredibly welcome, and we remain robust supporters of and advocates for the work that the team there is doing.”

HELP MUSICIANS – Sarah Woods, Chief Executive, Help Musicians and Music Minds Matter, says, “We warmly welcome the formation and launch of CIISA. The insights gained through Help Musicians’ Bullying and Harassment support service show that more needs to be done to help those people working in music who do not have formal HR structures to support them. We look forward to working collaboratively with CIISA to better understand the issues around behavioural standards and how we can take positive, preventative steps forward together.” 

LIVE – Jon Collins, CEO, LIVE, says, “The live music sector in the UK is made up of a diverse range of actors and organisations. At LIVE, and in particular through our LIVE Workforce group, we bring that coalition together to co-operate on initiatives that will allow our industry to be as safe and inclusive as possible. An industry that draws on a huge pool of freelance talent and will routinely work in atypical ways and places. In that spirit, we have welcomed the opportunity to work with CIISA, identify the specific needs of our sector and help shape its future priorities and operations. CIISA has the potential to be both preventative and proactive, while developing consistency across our sector and the wider creative industries. As such, we welcome its work to date and its proposals in principle. LIVE looks forward to working with CIISA going forward, not least in promoting and publicising CIISA and its work.”

MUSICIAN’S UNION – Naomi Pohl, General Secretary, the Musicians’ Union, says, “Workers in the creative industries, and particularly our freelancers, need protection from bullying and harassment. CIISA will act as a deterrent to abusers and step in to investigate complaints that cannot be satisfactorily handled by the industries themselves. It is desperately needed, as we continue to receive regular reports of inappropriate behaviour, and high-profile perpetrators are regularly exposed in the media. We hope an independent body will finally deliver meaningful justice for survivors.”

PACT – Jane Muirhead, Chair, PACT, says, “Pact is committed to eradicating bullying and harassment in the film and TV industry. It is important to Pact that its members and others working in the creative industries have access to a robust independent complaints handling body, and Pact is actively engaged and fully supportive of the next stage of development of CIISA.”

PGGB – Lyndsay Duthie, Chief Executive Officer, The Production Guild (PGGB), says, “We wholeheartedly welcome the introduction of CIISA, which will protect the creative industries and make a fairer, safer workplace for all.”

PMA – Catherine Considine, The Personal Managers’ Association (PMA), says, “Our baseline has to be the expectation that we will receive respect in our working lives; and that we will show respect in return. For too long our industry has accepted less. We have a collective responsibility to understand, and to correct that. The Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority is a necessary stride towards that aim, and a welcome touchstone.”

ROYAL ALBERT HALL – James Ainscough, CEO, The Royal Albert Hall, says, “The Royal Albert Hall hosts events from the full breadth of the creative industries. We believe that the Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority is a vital part of the industry-wide solution to create a working culture free from bullying, harassment and racial discrimination. CIISA’s clear and fair processes will bring visibility and accountability, so that those with concerns can report them with confidence, essential especially for the large number of freelancers who don’t have the same protections or support that employees have. It will have a tangible, positive impact on the reputation of the creative industries and our ability to retain and nurture talent, and that is why the Royal Albert Hall welcomes and supports CIISA.”

SOLT & UKT – Claire Walker, Co-Chief Executive, Society of London Theatre & UK Theatre, says, “It is so encouraging to see CIISA’s development progress from strength to strength, and SOLT/UK Theatre continue to be proud partners of this important initiative, to help eradicate bullying and harassment from across the creative industries. Our long-standing support for CIISA is just one of the ways in which we’re supporting our members create resilient organisations and workforces, fit for the future.”

UK MUSIC – Tom Kiehl, UK Music interim CEO, says, “We want the music industry to be a welcoming and inclusive place for everyone and are determined to stamp out bullying, harassment or discrimination wherever it exists. While there has been some positive work undertaken within the industry to tackle bullying, harassment and discrimination over the past few years, we still have more work to do, and UK Music and our members are committed to ensuring that this happens.

“We thank the BPI for their financial support on behalf of music for the next stage in the development of the Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority, and look forward to working with our sector and across other creative industries to develop CIISA further.”

For a full list of our supporting organisations please go to