Acquire content material for editorial use

Business Sectors (Suites): Journalism
Developed by: ScreenSkills
Approved on: 31 Mar 2019


This Standard is about selecting content for publication on any platform, to meet specified criteria. It involves acquiring documents and images, audio, and video from sources including internal and external libraries and archives, press agencies and other organisations, as well as the use of interactive and user generated content (UGC). 
It also involves obtaining permissions for the use of material and then ensuring that it is edited when required, recorded and stored correctly according to organisational archiving procedures.
This Standard is for those involved with acquiring content for editorial use.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

1. select materials to meet the content brief, within time and budget constraints 2. check that the format of material obtained complies with the requirements of the organisation and its distribution platforms 3. identify costs, limitations, copyright, and other legal constraints on the use of the material, and where necessary obtain permission to use it 4. inform decision makers of costs, limitations, and any legal constraints on selected material 5. confirm any licensing agreements in writing in line with accepted procedures 6. prepare accurate supporting paperwork with full details of all material to be transferred 7. credit sources in line with editorial policy 8. liaise with relevant technicians and decision makers to resolve any problems that arise 9. assess the quality of the content provided against editorial requirements 10. edit or revise the material in line with your organisation’s procedures, ensuring the integrity of the content is retained 11. check the content does not infringe current laws and guidelines before use or archiving 12. verify that material is authentic, accurate and suitable for its purpose 13. confirm that releases and permissions have been sought and granted when required 14. record authorisation for use of the material across multiple platforms in line with organisational procedures 15. store the material in line with organisational procedures 16. keep accurate records of the material used, including details about the editing of material, and copyright

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

1. the legal and ethical considerations affecting the use of user generated content (UGC) material on all platforms 2. media regulation, guidelines and codes of conduct and guidelines including those relating to data protection  3. organisational protocols and systems relating to sending and receiving material which may be regarded as controversial or confidential  4. the processes to use when capturing and downloading content from a capturing device 5. commercial rights and types of copyright law relating to material usage, both UK and international, depending on where the rights holder is based  6. procedures for licensing and securing permissions, and what should be covered in the terms and conditions 7. how the use of material from and in different countries may be affected by copyright regulations and privacy laws 8. the editorial policy on crediting sources and payment 9. the importance of having accurate technical and descriptive metadata, including information about to whom the content should be credited 10. your organisation’s systems and procedures for archiving content, with regard to technical metadata, cataloguing and key wording 11. how the archived content will be protected and stored, according to the medium and format, and to the business or organisation’s archival requirements 12. why it is important to classify and record the movement of materials 13. the access and usage levels appropriate to the content stored, including commercial, legal, and government restrictions


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2022





Originating Organisation

Screen Skills (formerly Creative Skillset)

Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Media and Communication, Media Associate Professionals

SOC Code



content, editorial, audio, visual, journalism