DBS checking of children’s entertainers

DBS Check

When looking to hire a children’s entertainer, you’ll see that some advertise the fact that they’ve been DBS checked or hold a Disclosure Scotland certificate. This article takes a look at what this means.

What is a DBS check?

DBS stands for Disclosure & Barring Service. The DBS check is an amalgamation of the old CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check and the Independent Safeguarding Authority.

What is a Disclosure Scotland check?

There are different rules for getting a criminal records check in Scotland. The Disclosure Scotland certificate is broadly similar to a DBS check in England and Wales.

Who can request a DBS check?

Only an employer (such as a school, business or local authority) can request a DBS check on an employee where the role falls within the criteria of DBS checking. It is not possible for an individual to request a DBS check on themselves. Therefore, if an entertainer holds a DBS check, it will probably be because they have worked for a school, local authority or a company where their employment has brought them into contact with children and/or vulnerable adults.

The rules for obtaining a Disclosure Scotland certificate are a little different and it is possible for an individual to do a criminal records check on themselves. Interestingly, you don’t even need to live in Scotland to do this!

Do children’s entertainers need a DBS check?

Most definitely not! It’s important to remember that you’re hiring an entertainer to entertain your guests and not child mind them. At no point should your party entertainer be put in a situation where they are left alone with any of your guests. In fact, most entertainers will insist that other adults are always present during their performance.

A DBS or Disclosure Scotland check is only accurate at the time of its issue and there is no automatic updating or renewal of a check. However, if an entertainer has had a DBS check, they can utilise the DBS update service to keep their certificate up-to-date.

Types of DBS check

There are three levels of DBS check:

  • Standard

This details all spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings.

  • Enhanced

The enhanced DBS check includes all the information contained in a standard DBS check, along with any additional detail held by local police considered to be relevant.

  • Enhanced with list check

This is the most detailed check. As well as all the detail contained in the other checks, an enhanced check will also verify whether the individual has been listed as being unsuitable to work with vulnerable adults and/or children.

What does a DBS certificate look like?

A genuine DBS certificate is roughly one-third longer than a sheet of A4 paper. It is printed on both sides, on watermarked paper.

For your reference, specimen copies of DBS and Disclosure Scotland certificates are shown here.

A sample DBS & Disclosure Scotland certificate

A sample DBS & Disclosure Scotland certificate

Why do we show whether a children’s entertainer has supplied evidence of a DBS check?

We offer the option for advertisers to upload evidence of a DBS / Disclosure Scotland check to allow clients to make an informed decision on the entertainer they book.

As we’ve already stated, it’s not a mandatory requirement for a children’s entertainer to be DBS checked and you certainly shouldn’t reject an entertainer purely on the basis of them not having a DBS check, as it may simply be because they’ve not been employed in a situation where one has been necessary. However, many entertainers do advertise the fact that they’ve been checked both on their own websites and on their UK-Entertainers profiles. Similarly, some clients have their own reasons for wanting to hire a DBS checked entertainer.

We therefore offer children’s entertainers the option of providing us with proof that they hold a recent DBS check. Remember, DBS checks have no ‘expiry’ date and they only indicate the holder’s status at the time of issue. We will accept evidence of a check that is no more than 2 years old. Once the certificate we hold is over two years old, it will be removed from our system and we would expect the entertainer to upload fresh evidence.

If you’re a children’s entertainer and want to supply evidence of a DBS / Disclosure Scotland check, please log-in to your admin account.

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