By law almost all videos have to be classified and this task fulfils the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). It is the official body responsible for ensuring that all publicly shown films and videos conform to certain standards. Although the BBFC started in 1912, videos have only been classified since 1983 in Great Britain. The exceptional videos that have not to be classified are videos which are educational or are mainly concerned with sport, religion or music. Sometimes those videos carry an \"E\" symbol on their sleeves, which are not required by law.
Here are the classification certificates with following classification that are given to video titles in Great Britain which are required by law to be classified pursuant to the Video Recordings Act 1984:
Uc This means that the film or programme has a universal category and is suitable for
everyone but especially suitable
for very young children. It has
probably been made just for them.
U This stands for Universal and
means that the film or programme
can be seen by people of all ages.
There will be nothing unsuitable for children and the whole family
might will enjoy it.
PG This stands for Parental
Guidance which means that
parents might wish to check upon
the film or programme before
showing it to their younger
children. If it\'s an action film it might have some violence. If it\'s romantic it might have some sexy scenes or very brief nudity. It ight might also have some of the
12 This means that the film or
programme is unsuitable for
anyone younger than 12. There
may be stronger moments of
violence or references to teenage
experiences but nothing
gratuitous. There may also be
swerwords that you wouldn\'t hear
in a PG video.
15 This means that the film or
programme is unsuitable for
anyone younger than 15. There
may be a fairly adult theme or
scenes of sex, violence or drugs
which, while not being particularly
graphic, are unsuitable for
younger teenagers. There may also be some sexual swearwords.
18 This means that the film or programme is unsuitable for anyone younger than 18. There will certainly be an adult theme
and there may also be strong
scenes of sex or violence, which
could be quite graphic. There
may also be very explicit
language which will frequently
mean sexual swearwords.
A new category of classification has been introduced in 1995 called \"R18\" which stands for Restricted 18 that limits videos with that symbol to licensed sex shops and film clubs, because of their highly explicit portrayals of sexual scenes.
( - without picture)
As a result of a video industry voluntary initiative, you sometimes can see additional advice panels which are printed on the video sleeves. This gives you the possibility to get more information about the video. These additional information for some videos are given by the BBFC at the time when those videos are being classified. Since 1997 more video releases are carrying those panel on the packaging.
Another kind of additional help are the short explanatory trailers which have also been appearing on many video releases and start before the programme begins.
Important tips (for preventing children watching unsuitable video material):# Don\'t leave a video you may have seen by the TV when you go out, because you either wouldn\'t leave an open bottle of whiskey or pocket of cigarettes within easy reach of children!
# Watch out for what sort of videos your children are watching with their older brothers or sisters! These videos may be perfectly suitable for the siblings to see, but not suitable at all for younger children that are with them.
# Try to investigate what kind of videos your children are watching, at their friend\'s houses! If you find out or just think that the videos your children watching are unsuitable for them, try to contact the parents of your children\'s friend and talk with them about your problems!