Children's television standards review | ACMA

Children's television standards review

About the Review

In March 2007, the ACMA commenced a review of the Children's Television Standards 2005 (CTS 2005). The ACMA determined the new Children's Television Standards 2009 (CTS 2009) on 24 August 2009. The Final Report of the Review is available below:

Review of the Children's Television Standards 2005 - Final Report of the Review - August 2009

The aim of the Review was to ensure the continued relevance and effectiveness of the CTS.

The new CTS 2009 replaced the CTS 2005 on 1 January 2010.

An electronic copy of the previous CTS 2005, the new CTS 2009, and their respective Explanatory Statements are available below:

On 3 December 2009, the ACMA released the Guide to the Children's Television Standards 2009, which is intended to provide guidance to the public and licensee broadcasters on the way in which the ACMA may interpret new, amended or complex provisions within the CTS 2009. The Guide to the Children's Television Standards 2009 was updated on 25 May 2011 to incorporate the ACMA's reasoning from recent investigations, and is available below:

  • Guide to the Children's Television Standards 2009 - Word or PDF

Next steps

The ACMA undertook to review the block programming option for C programs 12 months after the introduction of the new CTS to determine its impact on C program scheduling, including accessibility of C programs to the child audience. However, the ACMA will not be conducting a review at this stage as no licensee broadcaster adopted the block programming option for C programs in 2010 or 2011.

Industry has introduced initiatives to restrict advertisements to children in children's free-to-air television viewing times to those that promote either healthy or healthier dietary choices. The ACMA undertook to monitor these industry initiatives to gauge their effectiveness over the next 12 months following the review. Links to the industry initiatives are below:

The ACMA has completed its monitoring of the industry initiatives. The links to the monitoring report are below:

  • Monitoring Report on industry self regulation of food and beverage advertising to children - PDF (587 kb) or Word (.docx 236 kb)

Consequential variation to the Australian Content Standard

As a result of the changes to the CTS, the ACMA has also varied the Australian Content Standard (ACS) to ensure that references to the CTS within the ACS are correct. An electronic copy of the ACS (previous version), variations to the ACS and its Explanatory Statement are available below:

ACMA invited comment on the proposed variation by 31 October 2008. No submissions were received.

The ACS, incorporating recent variations is available.

The CTS review process

The Terms of Reference for the CTS Review was released on 2 March 2007. An Issues Paper was released on 26 June 2007, providing a comprehensive discussion of key CTS provisions and identifying areas for further public comment. The submission period closed on 31 August 2007. The ACMA received 76 submissions from interested parties as well as 20,521 postcards signed by individual members of the public as part of the Cancer Council's "Pull the Plug Campaign".

The ACMA released the draft Children's Television Standards 2008 (PDF, 75 kb) on 27 August 2008 and invited submissions from interested parties. The ACMA also released the Report of the Review 2008 (PDF, 252 kb) to accompany the proposed draft standards. The Report explained the ACMA's preliminary views, as reflected in the proposed draft Standards. The submissions period closed on 31 October 2008. The ACMA received 53 submissions.

The CTS 2009 were developed with consideration for two rounds of stakeholder submissions to the review, issues of concern to broadcasters and the community, and a significant body of research.

The Final Report of the Review (PDF, 252 kb) refers to a body of research that is available below:

Further information on the history of the CTS is available on the ACMA's History of children's television standards webpage.

Last updated: 09 May 2017