The ACMA is required to develop standards for children’s programming. The objectives of these standards is to ensure that children have access to a variety of quality television programs made specifically for them, including Australian drama and non-drama programs, and to provide for the protection of children from possible harmful effects of television.
The Children's Television Standards 2009
The current standards, the Children’s Television Standards 2009 were determined by the ACMA on 24 August 2009 following a review. The Children’s Television Standards were then amended on 22 December 2011 by variation.
The ACMA originally released the Guide to the Children’s Television Standards 2009 (Word or PDF) on 3 December 2009, and was 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 was since updated on 25 May 2011 to incorporate the ACMA’s reasoning from recent investigations. The Guide will be further updated shortly, to reflect the changes made to the Children’s Television Standards 2009 by the Children’s Television Standards Variation 2011 (No. 1).
A list of the published ACMA investigation reports that considered compliance with the Children’s Television Standards, including the outcomes, can be found on the ACMA website.
You can download the CTS 2009 and related documents here:
- Children’s Television Standards 2009
- Guide to the Children’s Television Standards 2009 - Word or PDF
- C & P Period Schedule form (ACMA B83) [Excel - 2.3 mb] and Form Guidance notes [PDF]
2011 Variation to the Children’s Television Standards
In response to issues identified by the ACMA and licensee broadcasters with Part 2 of the CTS 2009 (which sets out the requirements for licensee broadcasters to provide children’s and preschool children’s programs) the ACMA made technical amendments to the CTS 2009. These amendments:
- Change the meaning of 'school holidays' to specifically cater for licensees that broadcast in more than one State or Territory.
- Allow C periods and P periods that have been displaced as a result of expected or unexpected events, to be further displaced as a result of unexpected events.
- Further detail the requirements to broadcast information about when or if a C or P period will be rescheduled as a result of a variation or displacement of a C or P period in the schedule.
- Clarify the obligations that apply to new licensees in their first year of broadcasting.
- Correct minor drafting errors.
The 2011 variation came into effect on 22 December 2011.
Electronic versions of the 2011 variation and its Explanatory Statement are available below:
- Children’s Television Standards Variation 2011 (No. 1)
- Children's Television Standards Variation 2011 (No. 1) - Explanatory Statement
On 7 December 2011, the ACMA released its monitoring report (PDF or Word [.docx]) on industry self-regulation of food and beverage advertising to children on free-to-air commercial television. The ACMA announced it would monitor industry self-regulation of food and beverage advertising to children in the final report of the CTS Review in August 2009.