Do musicians need DBS checks?
If you’re a musician, you may be considering getting a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
DBS checks allow employers to make safer recruitment decisions. They’re designed to prevent people from working with children and vulnerable adults if they’re not suitable to do so.
When should musicians have DBS checks?
Musicians who work with children or vulnerable adults in a teaching capacity may require a DBS check, depending on the establishment they’re working in.
It’s up to employers whether they ask for a DBS check. This may include schools, arts organisations or music services.
It’s illegal for an employer to appoint an employee for a role which involves working with vulnerable groups if they’ve been barred from doing so.
If you’re self-employed but regularly work with vulnerable groups – for example, if you work in schools – it’s advisable to get a DBS check. You must meet the government’s eligibility criteria to be able to do so.
Whilst it’s not a legal requirement for self-employed musicians to have DBS checks, it’s a criminal offence to seek work with children or vulnerable adults if you’ve been barred from doing so.
Having a DBS check will give parents and potential clients or customers a greater degree of confidence in you, and may put you ahead of competitors without DBS checks.
How can musicians get DBS checks?
If you’re employed by an organisation in a role which involves working with vulnerable groups, it’s the responsibility of the organisation to arrange your DBS check (as long as you’re eligible, based on the Government’s criteria mentioned above).
You will be required to provide your employer with some personal details as well as documents to prove your identity. Your employer will then apply for the DBS check on your behalf.
This is usually the case for permanent employees. Temporary staff and freelancers may be expected to produce their own DBS certificates. If you don’t have one, the organisation you’re working for may be able to arrange one on your behalf.
Individuals are not able to apply for DBS checks, but if you’re self-employed there are other routes you can take.
The Musicians’ Union is able to process DBS applications on behalf of its members, and recommends that all teaching members have a DBS check.
The Incorporated Society of Musicians also offers DBS checks to its members.
What are the different levels of check?
A DBS check reveals information held by the police and government departments. There are three different levels of DBS check:
A standard DBS check will reveal any spent and unspent convictions, cautions or reprimands the applicant has.
An enhanced DBS check will reveal the same information as a standard check, as well as any relevant information held by local police.
An enhanced with barred lists check will show the same information as an enhanced check, and will also show whether the applicant has been barred from working with children or vulnerable adults.
The level of check you require will depend on the role you’re undertaking. Again, the government’s guide to eligibility will explain this in more detail.
Do musicians need DBS checks? A summary
If you’re a musician and you regularly work with children or vulnerable adults, it’s advisable to get a DBS check using the methods mentioned above.
If you’re an organisation that employs musicians and would like more information about the DBS checking process, please get in touch with us today – we’d be happy to help.