The Digital Production Partnership (DPP) has dropped plans to offer a Kitemark-style accreditation for post facilities as part of its wider aim to become a fee-paying membership organisation.

The DPP-compliant accreditation was one of ten benefits listed in a membership pack that was circulated among a selection of facilities at the end of last week.

The membership pack also included a pricing structure for annual membership of the DPP of £4,000 per year for facilities with a turnover in excess of £1m per year. Post firms with a turnover of less than £1m will be expected to pay £2,000 per year to join the organisation, which has led the UK broadcast industry’s efforts to shift to the file-based delivery of programmes.

Other benefits listed in the pack included access to the DPP’s compliance programme that seeks to ensure manufacturers meet the DPP’s AS-11 file standard, free attendance at interoperability days, the opportunity to contribute to the DPP’s roadmap and free access to the full versions of DPP publications.

DPP chair and business lead for the BBC’s End to End Digital Programme Mark Harrison told Broadcast the document was part of a “market sounding exercise” and that it was under review.

Harrison said: “[The market sounding exercise] has confirmed there is industry pressure for the DPP to extend its work and a widespread acceptance that some contribution to costs should now be borne by the wider community.

“The DPP is currently looking at how a contributory model might work and that exercise has included conversations with post production facilities.

“Interest has been expressed in whether the DPP might take a greater role in establishing best practice workflows - although it is acknowledged that post houses are also dealing with inherently complex issues, and quality must not be compromised by overly simplistic solutions.

“Initially it was thought a DPP ‘Kitemark’ for workflows might be of interest.

“However in conversation with colleagues in the post production community the preference being expressed is for post-production members to work with the DPP to develop more elegant, recommended work flows to the benefit of all.”

Kitemark confusion

Post production companies have already hit out at the prospect of paying to be members of DPP and facilities trade body UK Screen reacted strongly to some of the points in the membership pack.

In a letter sent to Harrison on Friday that was also circulated to UK Screen members, UK Screen chief executive Sarah Mackey said production companies could be confused by the significance of the Kitemark.

She said: “I understand that upwards of forty post production companies have already been ‘onboarded’ with one or more broadcasters – meaning that they have gone through a process of providing test files and associated QC reports that meet all the requirements.

“We are unclear, therefore, as to whether the Kitemark is simply a paid-for stamp of approval, a prerequisite to delivery of AS-11 files to broadcasters and/or a formal quality programme requiring a higher level of quality than currently mandated checks and tests”.

The DPP is expected to continue gathering feedback from the post sector over the next two weeks before making a public statement about its new model, which it wants to put in place from 1 April.