Milk Management Ltd is a member of the BFMA and actively contributes to the management of the Association.
Who We Are
The British Fashion Model Agents Association (previously the AMA) is the trade association of the UK fashion model industry. Founded in the 1970s, it includes the major UK fashion modelling agencies among its members. In 2017 the BFMA was officially affiliated with the British Fashion Council.
BFMA members are employment agents and, as such, are regulated by The Conduct of Employment Agencies & Employment Businesses Regulations 2003, under the aegis of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, with whom the Association consults. In addition to the legal framework, all BFMA members adhere to a strict set of criteria which governs their business activities, this includes the BFMA Code of Conduct, the Terms & Conditions of Booking and the Best Practice Guide for both model agencies and industry, drawn up by the British Fashion Council, in consultation with the BFMA.
Full details of the BFMA can be found on the website at www.bfma.fashion
What We Do
The BFMA aims to create a unified voice for the UK model industry. Its activities are informed by the main objective of its members which is to discover, develop and represent fashion models so as to enable them to enjoy profitable, safe and fulfilling careers. Members meet at regular intervals and maintain an on-going dialogue with clients from all sectors and with other relevant stakeholders. These include NGOs, government and regulatory bodies such as HMRC, the Home Office / UK Border, and other trade associations. These dialogues are conducted with the view to enhancing the working conditions & welfare of the models which the BFMA’s members represent and the regulatory framework within which the industry operates.
The aims of BFMA are to:
1. Promote the interests of fashion model agencies which in turn have a duty to manage the careers of their models to maximum benefit
2. To safeguard the health and wellbeing of models
3. Provide member agencies with the requisite information to best ensure they comply with all relevant legislation & best practice
4. Operating under the aegis of the British Fashion Council, to set the highest standards of model care & welfare to be maintained across the fashion industry
5. To maintain the ethical standards of the modelling industry
6. To provide a voice to Government, NGOs and the media
7. To work towards the elimination of rogue agents
8. Public point of contact for enquiries
9. To provide a clear route for models to report, in confidence, any incidents of harassment and abuse
10. To ensure that member agencies subscribe to the Aims and the Code of Conduct and to have the remit to investigate/suspend or strike off a member.
British Fashion Council
Role of the BFC in the BFMA
Establish independent oversight council which will also take on the role as an independent whistle-blower
Continue to manage funds to ensure they are used to promote the interests of models
Encourage dialogue between models, agencies and other industry parties
Establish a code of best practice adhered to by both agencies and industry in the interests of models
Host a secretariat for BFMA
Code of Best Practice for both Agencies and Industry
The British Fashion Council calls on patrons and industry partners to sign-up to a Code of Best Practice which aims to set an agreed industry standard to be used as a benchmark for both models and any party employing models or those employing casting directors to employ models on their behalf.
Responsibility of Clients
The BFC together with the BFMA has expectations of any client as an organisation that employs or hires models:
To agree to act ethically, reasonably and with the same due care and respect afforded to any organisational employee. This includes but is not limited to:
Being mindful and ensuring where possible the health and well-being of the employed model (whatever the fee) during the employed task
To ensure that there are no injurious practices in relation to a model’s health e.g. excessive exposure (including frequency) to flash photography, over long or late days etc
Ensuring that no illegal are unethical practices are undertaken during the working day
That each casting and employed engagement provides a clear route for models to report, in confidence, any incidents of harassment or abuse
That any models under the age of 16 are required a chaperone
That in the case of minors (under the age of 18), all work and working conditions are age appropriate
No models under the age of 16 are employed to promote age inappropriate clothing (including, but not limited to catwalks, advertising, look books, ecommerce)
Any drastic change of image is pre-agreed by the agency, ensuring authority and clear consent
Any nudity is pre-agreed by the agency, ensuing authority and clear consent
Suitable working conditions e.g. appropriate changing facilities, temperature control, meal breaks with nutritious food and drink, appropriate accommodation and transport provision where necessary
That no-one in the employment of the organisation, whether full time or freelance will exert any abuse of power or perceived power
To provide appropriate levels of insurance when the model is working under the auspices of the client either directly or through any subcontractor such as a studio, production company or photographer
BFMA Best Practice Guide
BFMA members are committed to providing the highest level of management, care and guidance for our models.
The aim of our Code of Conduct is to guide and promote respect to all, responsible, ethical and positive behaviour within all areas of our business.
It is a written collection of principles, values, standards, expectations and actions that all members must strive to uphold and recognise as being fundamental to our industry and its reputation.
Individual actions shape how the world views the British modelling industry and, by implementing a robust framework of good practice, we aim to inform and protect our models.
BFMA members are committed to the well-being and welfare of all the models we collectively represent and are committed to providing correct, professional advice in all aspects of the profession. We assure our models of the following;
Accountability in all respects to models and the provision of remedies to any complaints
Professional financial transparency
Explanation and guidance in financial protocol within the industry
Advice on registration with HMRC as a self-employed person
Recommendation to a personal chartered accountant if/when required
Help, advice and access to qualified guidance in nutrition and wellbeing including mental health
Promoting a safe working environment free from harassment, bullying, discrimination and racism through Terms & Conditions issued to clients, and in contracts with models.
Promoting a ‘Respect to All’ policy whilst working amongst peers and clients
Providing models the resources to make a direct complaint in the case of a dispute with a modeling agency, a casting director, photographer or a brand employee. (or anyone connected with their job as a model)
Training all agency staff on the BFMA Best Practice Guide and who will be required to sign their understanding and agreement.
Health – Nutrition, wellbeing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle
Advice in these areas should always be sought from a professional. Our preferred route is via the Be Well Collective, a not-for-profit organisation which is financially supported by and affiliated to the BFMA. https://www.bewellcollective.co.uk/. The organisation is run by a qualified nutritionist and all their advisors are qualified in their respective fields. See below:
Members must promote healthy eating and are encouraged to attend Be Well Collective workshops particularly those related to wellbeing, eating disorders and mental health.
Members understand that models are uniquely individual and will not ask their contracted models to reach or maintain measurements that are not realistic or achievable for their shape or frame
If members need physically to measure a model, boy or girl, they agree to do so with privacy, discretion and respect.
We believe it is inappropriate to measure any young person under the age 18 except for their height.
It is unacceptable to take, send or receive body, bikini or lingerie digitals of any young person under the age of 18. Members will actively discourage third parties from submitting similar imagery.
Foreign agencies should consult with models’ UK mother agents before any measurements are taken.
Members commit to provide their models with an updated Model Agreement and provide clear guidance on all terms, specifically anything restrictive such as the Term and Termination. All agreements for any model who is under 18 must be signed by the parent/s or guardian. On attaining the age of 18, all models should re-sign their model agreements on their own behalf.
Members commit to provide;
Clear guidance on their commission structure and breakdown, model statements, recharges (if any) job rates and expenses.
Complete information for each job confirmed, including full usage, rates and how to reclaim expenses if relevant.
Copies of contracts, statements, job confirmation forms or invoices if these are requested.
Clear guidance on how their accounts department will handle and process model payments.
Guidance on VAT thresholds and registration.
Clear guidance on how to apply for a certificate of residence to claim tax relief abroad so models do not get taxed twice on foreign income.
A completely transparent process which is accessible for each model account.
An understanding of the payment requirements under the Employment Agencies Act i.e. an agency client account from which all model payments are made, and then, within 10 working days of receipt of payment from the client.
Models should not be required to sign unnecessary non-disclosure agreements with their agent.
Evidence of a correctly operated client account.
Best endeavours to collect client’ debts in a timely manner.
A Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Consumer Credit Licence, where models are advanced money for any reason and where interest is charged. Any level of APR must be advised, transparently, in advance.
Happiness – Harassment, Bullying, Discrimination and Racism
Members understand and discourage micro-aggressions, whether intentional or unintentional, from clients or within the agency. Members commit to a Duty of care. Members are committed to the following:
Prioritise the safety and wellbeing of their models at all times.
Ensure their models have full, comprehensive information regarding any and all aspects of a booking either in the UK or if they are travelling abroad.This includes safe transportation to and from set, flights, accommodation, drivers, and visas/work permits/insurance.
Ensure their models are provided food and drink on set and that they have adequate provision for the length of the booking, which may include a per diem to cover the entire booking, including any travel days. (In the UK or abroad).
Require that photographers sign a test release/personal statement of good conduct.
Protect their models from being coerced or forced to shoot or do something with which they are not comfortable.
Agree and communicate controversial or unusual styling or set ups with their models prior to arrival on set. For example: nudity/sheer/fur/lingerie/working with animals etc.
Except where the photographer is well known, avoid sending models alone to houses for tests or go-sees. It is recommended that models attend in pairs. Under 18s must be chaperoned.
Meet all new photographers at the agency or at their studio and conduct due diligence before introducing them to any models.
Avoid bringing international models under 18 for bookings or on stay and not without a chaperone.
Ensure all legal requirements for under age modelling are followed.
Members will conduct due diligence on hosts wherever practical.
Model / Agency relationships
Members will always:
recognise that Model/Agency relationships must be based on mutual trust and we must take steps to reassure and minimise anxiety by encouraging closer relationships, improved personal communication and regular meetings where models have the opportunity to share any concerns. The reciprocal is expected from models.
provide a personal induction to help new models feel secure by learning about the agency, its history and its values. If a model is under 18 parents/guardians must also be invited.
provide regular workshops with new models in a group space so that any questions and/or concerns can be voiced in an open environment and discussed without judgement.
provide a Model Handbook to newly signed models which gives greater depth to the welfare and care process and states how grievances can be dealt with. This explains in clear, simple language the expectations of being a model, and what the model can expect from their Agency. It also explains what the Agency expects from their models and what clients expect from them.
models under 18 are required to share this information with parents/guardians.
exercise care and sensitivity when managing career expectations and releasing models from agreements
ensure, when booking models of colour or those with particular skin or hair types, that all those who are booked on a job (e.g. hair and make-up artists included in the call sheet) are knowledgeable, adept and skilled in working with all grades related hair/skin products. Make sure such models are not made to feel discriminated against nor isolated or belittled
allow any staff and models to adopt pronouns for communications, documentation, or emails. e.g. she/her/their
direct contact with any model under 18 can only be done with parental consent. Complaint management
Members are encouraged to provide Diversity and Inclusion training for their staff.Members are required to ensure all relevant personnel have current DBS certification where any supervised teaching, training or instruction of under 18 models is concerned.
Members commit to giving their Models a voice and regularly invite them to feedback anything to the Agency which may have affected them, positively or negatively, and which can be given anonymously. The Agency commits to adapting policy or behaviour if it is deemed necessary or useful.
Agencies must have an internal policy for listening and managing model complaints about clients and any issues when raised at the agency. There is a procedure as how and when complaints are escalated to a relevant body. e.g. the Police or the British Fashion Council.
Unacceptable behaviours and their consequences must be understood and appropriate processes in place.
Members will use appropriate language within the agency relating to models, clients and other agencies
Make sure that models do not fear that their careers are at risk, in any way, or that there will be repercussions, should they make any kind of complaint.
The Best Practice Guide will be sent to all clients referred to herein e.g., hair and make-up artists, commercial clients, photographers etc.
A standard model handbook will be provided by all members.
Appropriate agency management training will be held with all staff to cover:
The implications of the BFMA Best Practice Guide
The Be Well Guide to wellbeing and eating/mental health disorders
Use of language and key word guide of usage and/or avoidance.
Basics of financial management to highlight main elements in the model agreement to ensure models are fully aware of them e.g., commission structure, payment procedures, contract termination.