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An independent watchdog for bullying and harassment in film and TV has taken a step closer to hearing cases as it formally launches as the Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority (CIISA).

Formerly known as the Independent Standards Authority, the watchdog outlines its guiding principles, drawn up with Creative UK, Time’s Up UK and law firm Fieldfisher, on its official website.

The authority pledges to investigate “without fear or favour”, stressing that its funders remain unknown to its board, and states that it will have “both a preventative and pro-active role in tackling bullying and harassment”.

Once it starts accepting cases, it will offer tailored advice and assessment, including referrals to partner organisations where appropriate, and will aim to stave off formal investigations by providing early conversations and mediation in disputes.

The CIISA is backed by organisations including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky, Bafta, Bectu, Women in Film and TV, and the Film and TV Charity, and will span the creative sectors including film, TV, music and theatre, aiming to protect in particular reelancers, self-employed and creatves on short-term and informal contracts.  

Individuals including former ITV chair Sir Peter Bazalgette, James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli and former Bafta chair Krishnendu Majumdar, who runs indie Me + You Productions, have also lent their support.

The CIISA’s team comprises interim chief executive Jen Smith (pictured), Time’s Up chair Dame Heather Rabbatts and Creative UK chief executive Caroline Norbury, who have set it up to address what they call a “void”, as the creative industries have not previously had an independent place to report poor behaviour.

It describes itself as a “circuit breaker” that will improve conditions by “sharing best practice and creating capability so our workforce can confidently address these issues and raise cultural norms within our workplaces”.

The authority outlines its vision thus: “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.”

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