BBC and ITV looking for psychologists to boost duty of care for TV contributors

BBC and ITV have teamed up to improve duty of care to TV guests. (Getty)
BBC and ITV have teamed up to improve duty of care to TV guests. (Getty)

The BBC and ITV have teamed up in a call out for psychologists to join them in an effort to safeguard the mental health of people taking part in their TV programmes.

Broadcasters have come under scrutiny in recent years for their duty of care to contributors, including preparing them for the public attention of being on TV, supporting them after leaving shows, and making sure they can access any help needed.

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Now, a BBC and ITV partnership scheme is asking for registered psychologists to apply to join them and expand the pool of registered psychologists with experience of working in television.

Those who are chosen to join the broadcasters will be part of a continuing professional development programme which has been accredited by the British Psychological Society.

Love Island 2023 cast
Love Island has revised its duty of care policy. (ITV)

It will see them get an overview of the production and broadcasting industry through a masterclass, as well as on-set visits to introduce them to the processes of television production, and the opportunity for three days of applied professional practice supporting a production, under the supervision of a consultant clinical psychologist.

They will be added to both broadcasters' pool of psychologists available to support TV shows.

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The BBC's director of safety, security and resilience Simon Adair said: "As a responsible broadcaster, ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of the contributors to our programmes is of the utmost importance. I’m confident this partnership will strengthen our whole industry by increasing the pool of expert psychologists available to us, ultimately enhancing our ability to protect and support those taking part in productions."

Katie Waissel took part in the 2010 series of 'The X Factor' and the show's 2011 live tour. (Getty)
Former X Factor contestant Katie Waissel has spoken out about treatment of singers on the show. (Getty)

David Osborn, chief people officer at ITV, added: "Whether it’s those behind the screen or in front of it, people are at the core of ITV and making sure that our people are properly looked after is something we’re committed to doing. The demand for media psychologists is growing, so we’ve put together this development scheme to meet those production needs. Working together with the BBC is a big step for our industry, we’re coming together to provide the best care for the people who help us make great television."

ITV2's Love Island updated its duty of care measures ahead of the current series, with new guidelines instructing contestants to pause their social media accounts while they are in the villa.

As well as comprehensive psychological support, contestants will get guidance and training around mutually respectful behaviour, training on social media and training on financial management.

Psychologists are encouraged to apply to the BBC and ITV scheme via LinkedIn, with applications closing on 10 February.