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Issued by the Board of UK Press Card Authority Ltd, September 2015


1.1 “The Scheme” is this document and the rules it records for the issuing of Press Cards and the conduct of the Authority, Gatekeepers, Newsgatherers, the Card Provider, and the Hotline Provider.

1.2. “Gatekeeper Organisations” refers to any one of the constituent Organisations of the UK Press Card Authority Ltd.

1.3. “The Authority” refers to the UK Press Card Authority Ltd.

1.4. “The Board” refers to the Board of Directors of the UK Press Card Authority Ltd.

1.5 “Director” refers to a member of the Board of Directors appointed by the Gatekeeper Organisation

1.6 “Gatekeeper” is the appointed representative at any meeting of the Gatekeeper organisation (This can be a director or another person in his absence).

1.7 “The Press Card” is the form of identity issued by a Gatekeeper under the powers of the Authority.

1.8 “Eligible Newsgatherer” refers to a person who meets the following criteria.

“The Criteria”
* – they are working professionally as a media worker in the UK.
* – their employment (or self-employment) is wholly or significantly concerned with the gathering, transport or processing of information or images for publication in broadcast electronic or written media including TV, radio, internet-based services, newspaper and periodicals; and
* – they need in the course of those duties to identify themselves in public or otherwise to official services.

1.9 The issuing of a press card will be at the discretion of the UK Press Card Authority Committee.

1.10. “The Card Provider” is the contractor employed by the Authority and Gatekeeper organisations to hold the database of card holders and manufacture the Press Card.

1.11 “Verification” is the process of matching the card number with a personal PIN known to the holder.  This is done via the Hotline (see below).

1.12 “The Verification Hotline Provider” is the organisation which provides the near-24 hour telephone response service – the “Hotline” which underpins the Verification system.  The Hotline Provider is a contractor to the Authority. 


2.1 The purposes of this Scheme are:

2.1.1 To provide a standard, verifiable photo card to anyone who is working professionally as a media worker and who needs to identify themselves in public and who meet the criteria (an eligible newsgatherer).

2.1.2 To seek and maintain accreditation for the card.

2.1.3 To provide verification of the card holders’ identity to inquirers.


3.1 The scheme recognises that the definition of an eligible newsgatherer should rest only in the hands of the industry. Eligibility does not depend upon membership or non-membership of any organisation; nor does it depend upon the views of any State or private organisation.

3.2 The Authority for the card rests with the UK Press Card Authority Ltd, and its shareholders, the Gatekeeper Organisations.

3.3. The Authority owns the copyright design of the card.


4.1. This is an electronically imaged plastic card with security features.

4.2. The front will display:

4.2.1 The word PRESS in bold black letters on a yellow background, a photograph of the holder, the holder’s name, job title, card number, logo of the holder’s employer or issuing Gatekeeper and the expiry date of the card.

4.3. The reverse will carry the following wording:

4.3.1. “The National Police Chiefs’ Council recognise the holder of this card as a bona fide newsgatherer.”

“To check, ring our verification hot line 0870 8376477” 

“If found, please hand this card in at the nearest Police Station. This card is not transferable.”

“Card design copyright of The UK Press Card Authority Ltd.”


5.1. Custom Card – IBS, The Lennox, Lennox Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG22 4AP, have been selected by a broad range of media organisations to produce the card and they will be the ONLY producer appointed by the Authority.


6.1 The Authority’s Board of Directors’ comprise a person nominated as such by each of the Gatekeeper Organisations.

6.2. Each Gatekeeper may nominate one director. The Board may appoint non-Gatekeeper directors to fill the posts of Chair and Secretary and any others it sees fit to a limit of five.

6.3 Every Gatekeeper shall be entitled to appoint one director to a seat on the Board of the Authority.

6.4 The Board will hold the necessary meetings as is required of it under the Companies Act and those meetings will normally coincide with the Gatekeepers’ Committee meetings.

6.4.1 For those meeting requiring directors to vote, only the directors will vote

6.4.2 For those requiring shareholder to vote, the directors and or the appointed representative of the organisation will vote. 

6.4.3 The company’s year end will be set at the 31st December in each calendar year

6.4.4 One of these meetings will be the Annual General Meeting, which will normally be the first meeting of the calendar year.


7.1. Gatekeepers fulfill the task of issuing the authorised press card, strictly within the schemes criteria, to eligible newsgatherers who need a form of recognised identification in order to carry out their duties.

7.2   Gatekeepers are accountable for the performance of their role to the Board of Directors of the Authority. They will report at each regular meeting on the numbers of cards issued and withdrawn and on issues or problems which bear upon the Scheme as a whole.

7.3   A Gatekeeper will immediately notify all authority members and officers immediately if an issue arises which may affect the Scheme as a whole or which require the attention or vigilance of all Gatekeepers. An example would be an attempt to obtain a card by fraudulent means.

7.4   Adherence to these Rules and regular attendance at meetings are therefore important duties of each Gatekeeper. Breaches of the Rules or continual absence from meetings may lead to suspension under Rules 7.5 and 7.6 (below)  

7.5   Suspension for Rule breaches: A Gatekeeper may be suspended on a resolution passed by a majority of all the Gatekeepers at a duly constituted meeting for which at least seven days notice has been given, if it is found that the Gatekeeper: 

7.5.1 Knowingly, recklessly or negligently issued a card to an applicant who does not comply with the Criteria.

7.5.2 Conducted recruitment or other advertising based in any way on providing a UK Press Card.

7.5.3. Took or allowed any action which has or would bring the Scheme or the Authority into disrepute.

7.6 Suspension for non-attendance: A Gatekeeper will be suspended automatically and immediately if it is not represented by its director or a deputy at three consecutive meetings of the Board or any Committee comprising the full Board.  

7.7 When any suspension has been made under Rule 7.5 or 7.6: 

7.7.1 A suspended Gatekeeper will no longer be allowed to issue new cards or authorise renewals and another Gatekeeper will be nominated by the Board to look after the suspended Gatekeeper’s interests.

7.7.2  A suspended Gatekeeper will not be allowed to vote on any resolution of the Board or Committee.

7.7.3 The quorum for any vote of the Board or Committee will be calculated as if any suspended Gatekeeper was not a member of the Authority.

7.7.4 A suspended Gatekeeper will only be allowed to attend the Board or Committee to argue for the lifting of its suspension.

7.7.5 A Gatekeeper’s suspension may only be lifted on a resolution passed by a majority of all the Gatekeepers, at a duly constituted meeting for which at least seven days’ notice has been given.


8.1. Any organisation wishing to become a Gatekeeper must fulfill the following criteria:

8.1.1 It must be an established media organisation which can demonstrate that; Its principal activity is concerned with Newsgathering, Broadcasting, Publishing or representing individuals or companies involved in this area. It employs newsgatherers or has newsgatherers in membership or that it  represents the employers of newsgatherers   It has not been set up with the sole or major intention of issuing the newsgatherers’ card or other accreditation for individuals.   Its individual members or member companies’ employees (whichever applies) cannot reasonably obtain accreditation from one of the existing Gatekeepers.


9.1 The Board of the Authority has agreed on the following guidelines for a Gatekeepers Committee to ensure the smooth running of the Authority.

9.1.1 Regular meetings:  The Gatekeepers Committee will meet quarterly. The attendees will be the Gatekeepers.

9.1.2 The number to make up a valid quorum of a meeting shall be of half the authority’s members plus one including the Chairman. Meeting attendance can constitute physical presence or be via video conference facilities. 

9.1.3 If more than one person from a Gatekeepers’ Organisation attends this meeting only one vote will be counted for that organisation and only one person shall count toward a quorum. 

9.1.4 A binding decision can be taken by a majority of the Gatekeepers providing there is a quorum, except for those decisions in para 9.1.5 below.

9.1.5. A resolution for the following specific items requires a 2/3rds majority of a valid quorum at a Gatekeepers’ Committee Meeting which has been given 14 days’ notice at a duly constituted meeting. Modification of this scheme, including the criteria for issue of the card.   Admission of a new Gatekeeper.   Removal of a Gatekeeper.   Appointment or removal of the contractor for the production of the press card and maintenance of the associated database.

9.1.6 Any function not included in sub-paragraph 9.1.5 can be delegated to a sub-committee.

9.1.7 Gatekeepers should make every effort to attend regularly to account for the previous quarter’s activity.   

9.1.8 Extraordinary meetings will be arranged when necessary at the request of a Gatekeeper and with the agreement of the Chair.

9.1.9 In an emergency, a meeting can be called at two hours’ notice.

9.1.10 The Chair of the Gatekeepers Committee will be appointed by the Committee at a regular meeting and would normally be the Chair of the Board. The Chair will normally be a non-Gatekeeper who will not exercise a voting right unless there is a stalemate vote on a matter of great urgency.

9.1.11. In the absence of the appointed Chair, the Chair will be taken by the Director or appointed person representing the organisation hosting the meeting who will be entitled to vote but will also have a casting vote if needed

9.1.12 The Secretary and Minute Taker will be elected annually at the Annual General Meeting.


10.1 The Card Provider will attend all Gatekeepers’ Committee and Directors meetings unless notified not to so by the Chair or Secretary.

10.2 The Card Provider will, at each meeting, inform the Gatekeepers’ Committee of the numbers of cards issued and withdrawn.

10.3 The Secretary will notify the Card Provider of those organisations appointed as Gatekeepers. The Card Provider will be supplied with specimen signature(s) of the Gatekeepers’ authorised representative(s) and the Gatekeeper’s official stamp. The Card Provider will only be authorised to issue cards to applicants whose application forms carry both these pieces of information. Gatekeepers will deal direct with Custom Card – IBS with whom they will make their own arrangements for card issues, payment etc.

10.4 No eligible newsgatherer will be authorised to hold more than one card. The card producer will assign a unique number to each card and this system will be designed to detect and prevent duplication. The newsgatherer will provide a PIN or password of alpha or numeric digits of up to 7 characters. They are expected to keep their PIN or password secure.

10.4.1. A card will be withdrawn if the Gatekeeper considers: The holder has become ineligible. The holder has used the card in a way likely to bring the Authority into disrepute through misrepresentation or dishonesty.


11.1 A sub-committee be set up comprising an employer representative, a union representative and a broadcaster representative. This sub-committee will then meet to discuss any appeals and then report back to the main committee. Anyone wishing to apply to the Appeals Committee should submit their request to the Secretary.


12.1 The Card Provider will provide the Verification Hotline Provider with the Press Card numbers and their matching PIN or codes in order that verification can be established:

12.2. No personal data will be released by the Card Provider except to the relevant Gatekeeper if they require it. 

12.3. Any person can use the verification hotline to check the card number against the PIN or code, during the hours of hotline operation.


13.1. Gatekeepers can seek their specific requirements for information on their own application forms, but each form must include the following core information and questions:

13.1.1. Gatekeeper Organisation’s name and address 

13.1.2 Name and address of applicants organisation

13.1.3   Applicant’s       family name

Full given names or forenames

Preferred forename on card

Address of holder


Personal identification number or password

Date of birth

Employed as (reporter, cameraman, engineer etc)

13.1.4   Have you ever held this press card before    yes/no

13.1.5   Have you ever been refused this card before?     yes/no

13.1.6   I certify that the above particulars are correct ……………………………..

                                                                                    (Applicant’s signature)

13.1.7   I certify that the applicant is a responsible member of this organisation who meets the agreed criteria for holding the press card

                                                            Authorising signature: ………………………………….


                                                            Daytime telephone no:……………………………………


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