Public value test

BBC Trust page on mechanism of PVT

The Public Value Test (PVT) is used by the BBC Trust to evaluate the viability both new services and significant changes to existing services. We're interested in its operation because it may be a useful tool to evaluate the extension of copyright term for sound recordings.

  • Background: PVT is a means to apply full and public scrutiny to UK public services

Public Value Test

  • "A mechanism for weighing public value against market impact."
  • 2 preliminary questions then 1. What is the value to the public of a new service? 2. What will be the impact on the wider market?
  • If there is a greater positive value to the public than negative impact on the market, the PVT is passed and service is blessed.

How the PVT Works

Public Value Assessment

  • Its value to licence fee payers as individuals
  • Its value to society as a whole through its contribution to the BBC's Public Purposes
  • Its value for money and cost

Market Value Assessment

Provided by Ofcom, overseen by a joint steering group on which BBC Trust and Ofcom are equally represented. JSG sets the terms of reference and agrees the methodology for each assessment, taking account of the scale and scope of the proposed change. As part of the assessment, Ofcom seeks representations on the market impact aspects of the proposal.


  • 6 months timetable, including 2 opportunities for public input