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Working With Children At A Summer Camp: Who Needs A DBS Check?


When working with children, safeguarding is always of paramount importance.

At summer camps, it’s no different – so if you’re planning on running a camp this summer you’ll no doubt want to make sure your employees or volunteers have had the appropriate background checks.

In this blog, we’ll explain what sort of DBS Checks are appropriate for people working with children at a summer camp.

What sort of DBS Checks are available?

First of all, let’s look at the different types of DBS Check available.

There are three different levels of DBS Check: Basic, Standard and Enhanced.

  • A Basic DBS Check will show any unspent convictions or cautions the applicant has.
  • A Standard DBS Check will show any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings the applicant has.
  • An Enhanced DBS Check will show the same information as a Standard Check, as well as any relevant information held by the applicant’s local police force. It may also include a check of the children’s and/or adults’ barred list, which will show whether the applicant has been banned from working with children and/or adults.

As you can see, an Enhanced Check is the highest level of DBS Check, and is often required for jobs that involve working with children.

However, employees and volunteers must meet specific criteria to be eligible for an Enhanced Check, and it’s important to make sure a role meets the requirements before applying for a check.

Which roles are eligible for an Enhanced Check?

All roles at a summer camp are likely to involve contact with children on some level, but that doesn’t automatically qualify them for an Enhanced DBS Check.

To be eligible for an Enhanced Check with a check of the children’s barred list, a summer camp employee or volunteer must engage in regulated activity with children as part of their role.

What is regulated activity with children?

‘Regulated activity with children’ refers to a specific list of roles, professions and activities that someone who has been barred from working with children must not do.

The following activities are considered regulated activity if they’re done regularly. In this case, ‘regularly’ means three or more times in any 30-day period:

  • Unsupervised activities: teaching, training, instructing, caring for or supervising children, providing advice or guidance on children’s wellbeing, or driving a vehicle only for children.
  • Working in a limited range of establishments with opportunity for contact with children – for example, schools, children’s homes or childcare premises. This doesn’t include work by supervised volunteers.

The following activities are considered regulated activity even if they’re only done once:

  • Healthcare for children provided by, or under the direction or supervision of, a regulated healthcare professional.
  • Personal care for children involving hands-on physical assistance with washing and dressing, eating, drinking and toileting; prompting or supervising a child with any of these tasks because of their age, illness or disability; or teaching someone to do one of these tasks.

In addition, anyone who manages or supervises someone who’s engaging in regulated activity is also carrying out a regulated activity.

Any summer camp employees or volunteers who are working with children in one or more of the above capacities will be eligible for an Enhanced Check with a children’s barred list check.

What about employees or volunteers who aren’t eligible?

Employees and volunteers who aren’t eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check can have a Basic Check.

There are no eligibility requirements for a Basic Check, so anyone aged 16 or over can have one.

Working with children at a summer camp

We hope our blog has given you a good idea of what sort of DBS Checks employees are eligible for when working with children at a summer camp.

For more information, see the DBS eligibility guidance, or give us a call if you have any questions.

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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