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DBS Checks In TV And Film: What Checks Do You Need?

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We get lots of queries from production companies about DBS Checks in TV and film.

Like any industry, it’s important that people working in TV and film have appropriate background checks if necessary – but it’s equally important to make sure your employees are eligible before applying for a check.

The following guide explains everything you need to know about DBS Checks in TV and film.


Do employees need a DBS Check if there are children on set?

Enhanced DBS Checks are often required for jobs that involve working with children or vulnerable adults. However, an employee can only have an Enhanced Check if they meet specific eligibility requirements.

On a film set, the majority of employees will not be eligible for an Enhanced Check, even if there are children present.

This is because any children on set will be accompanied by a chaperone. The chaperone will be responsible for safeguarding the child, and other employees will not have unsupervised contact with them.

What about employees who work closely with children?

Some employees may have more significant contact with children on set – for example, makeup artists or directors.

However, this contact is not the main purpose of their role and is considered incidental. And, again, the children would be accompanied by a chaperone, so there would be no eligibility for an Enhanced DBS Check.

Are there any exceptions?

An Enhanced DBS Check would only be appropriate for someone who is employed specifically to carry out a regulated activity on set.

‘Regulated activity’ is a term used by the DBS to describe specific roles and activities that involve contact with children and vulnerable adults. You can see the full definition of regulated activity with children here, and with adults here.

In the case of DBS Checks in TV and film, examples of employees who would be eligible for an Enhanced Check include:

  • A chaperone employed to accompany a child on set
  • Someone who teaches or instructs children unsupervised, like a tutor

Are there any other checks employees can have?

Any employees who aren’t eligible for an Enhanced Check can have a Basic DBS Check. There are no eligibility requirements for a Basic Check, so anyone aged 16 or over can have one.

A Basic DBS Check will reveal any unspent convictions the applicant has. Carrying out Basic Checks on employees is a great way to gain an extra level of confidence in them, and to show that your organisation is committed to safeguarding.

Applying for DBS Checks in TV and film

Be sure to get in touch with us if you have any further questions. You can apply for a number of DBS Checks through our simple online platform – most checks are completed within 48 hours. Get started now.

Our blogs are advisory in nature and reflect uCheck Limited’s current thinking about best and common practice in the subjects discussed.

The information contained in our blogs have been provided for information purposes only. This information does not constitute legal, professional, or commercial advice. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the content is up to date, useful and accurate, uCheck gives no guarantees, undertakings, or warranties in this regard, or, for any loss or damage caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with reliance on the use of such information.

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