If you work for an organisation that works with children, you may have come across the phrase ‘ working in regulated activity with children ’.

‘Regulated activity’ is a classification used to ascertain what level of DBS check employees or volunteers should have.

If a role involves working in regulated activity with children, the applicant must undergo an enhanced DBS check with a check of the children’s barred list.

The children’s barred list is a list of people who have been barred from working with children. It’s an offence to employ a barred person in a role which involves working in regulated activity with children.

Below, we’ve provided a definition of working in regulated activity with children, and examples of job roles that fall under this classification.

What is working in regulated activity with children?

 Working in regulated activity with children includes:

  • Teaching, training or instructing children
  • Supervising children
  • Working unsupervised with children
  • Overseeing or supervising somebody who’s working in regulated activity with children
  • Providing advice or guidance on a child’s well-being
  • Driving a vehicle only for children. For example, to school or to healthcare
  • Fostering or adopting a child
  • Working for a limited range of establishments (known as ‘specified places’, including schools, colleges and children’s homes) with the opportunity for contact with children. Work done by supervised volunteers is not included

Some applicants are eligible for this level of check because of how and where they work rather than because of what they’re actually doing. For example, a contractor who works in a school four or more times in a 30-day period would be classed as working in regulated activity. This can include four different schools once, or one school four times.

Some examples of job roles that fall under this category include:

  • Teachers
  • Sports coaches
  • Childminders
  • Probation officers
  • Foster carers
  • School counsellors
  • School bus drivers

Some activities are always regulated activity

Some activities are always classed as regulated activity, regardless of how often they happen or whether the person is supervised or not.

These activities include relevant personal care, or healthcare provided by or under the supervision of a healthcare professional.

Personal care includes:

  • Helping a child, for reasons of age, illness or disability, with eating, drinking, washing, bathing, dressing or going to the toilet.

Healthcare means:

  • Care for children provided by, or under the direction or supervision of, a regulated healthcare professional.

Some examples of roles that fall under this category include:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Foster carers

What isn’t included?

 The following situations are not classed as working in regulated activity with children:

  • Family arrangements or personal, non-commercial arrangements. For example, if a person looks after a friend’s child it would be classed as a domestic affair.
  • Incidental contact with children, meaning the presence of children is not foreseen, and the activity isn’t being provided to children directly.

Working in regulated activity with children: a summary

 Our guide should help you ascertain whether specific job roles will involve working in regulated activity with children.

Applicants for roles that involve working in regulated activity must undergo an enhanced DBS check with a check of the children’s barred list.

For more information, see the government’s publications Keeping Children Safe in Education and Regulated Activity in Relation to Children: Scope.

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