Independent training experts have been called into the BBC’s Birmingham headquarters to quiz staff over allegations of bullying and intimidation at the flagship Midlands Today programme.
It is understood that Leek-based Developing People has now launched information-gathering inquiries into claims that staff at the Mailbox were subject to systematic harassment over many months.
The investigation by the previously unnamed Staffordshire firm is likely to centre on the management styles of head of regional programmes Cath Hearne and acting editor Mark Hayman.
No confidence votes have already been taken against the two at a recent emergency meeting attended by officials from the National Union of Journalists.
A BBC spokeswoman said the corporation did not comment on staffing issues. Dozens of staff at the Mailbox will be asked to raise their concerns over the bullying allegations at voluntary personal interviews beginning this week.
It is understood that Mailbox staff were addressed in Birmingham earlier this week by BBC English Regions controller David Holdsworth, who had been told of concerns over bullying as long ago as March.
Insiders had previously said they were disappointed with an alleged lack of response from Mr Holdsworth, a former head of regional and local programmes for BBC West Midlands.
The Birmingham Post revealed claims last month of a “drip, drip, drip” regime of bullying at Midlands Today and allegations of a “vindictive” atmosphere at the Mailbox, with some senior reporters and producers being moved aside to make way for less experienced staff.