DBS Checks & Criminal Record Checks

Care Check is a leading umbrella body for the Disclosure and Barring Service and has been named one of the top 8 providers for criminal record checks in the UK.

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Do Actors Need DBS Checks?

From TV and film to theatre productions, the entertainment industry is a diverse one. It employs thousands of employees such as actors and supporting artists. In such an industry, it’s important to know the people you’re hiring in order to protect all your employees. 


One easy tool you can use to do this is a DBS Check. But do actors and supporting artists need to obtain a DBS Check to work on set? In this blog, we explain everything you need to know. 

What Are The Different Types Of DBS Checks? 

DBS Checks are used to determine whether you have any convictions – spent or unspent – against your name. There are three levels of DBS checks, each of which highlights a certain level of convictions. 

Basic DBS Checks

A Basic Check is the lowest level and is used to highlight whether an individual has any unspent conditions and/or conditional cautions against their name. You can apply for this check yourself, as long as you are 16 years or older. 

Standard DBS Checks

A Standard check shows the same information that comes up in a basic check as well as any spent convictions, reprimands, warnings or cautions you may have. They’re only required if you’re applying for a specific role or profession, or to part-take in a certain activity. Individuals are unable to apply for this level of DBS Check themselves; their employer will have to submit the application on their behalf. 

Enhanced DBS Checks

This is the highest level check that can be conducted. An Enhanced DBS check will highlight all the information that comes up in a Standard check. Additionally, it will bring up any other relevant information held on file by police, and it will highlight whether you’re barred from working with vulnerable adults or children. 


Like the Standard check, Enhanced checks are only required for certain roles, activities and professions, and an employer will need to submit the application.

DBS Checks & Criminal Record Checks

Do Actors Or Supporting Artists Need To Get DBS Checks? 

Generally speaking, the work that actors and supporting artists do will not be categorised as a regulated activity. Therefore, they will only be eligible for a Basic DBS Check


Even in productions where under 18s are present, actors and supporting artists will still only need to obtain a Basic DBS Check. This is due to the fact that a parent, guardian or employed chaperone will be supervising the children at all times. 


However, in cases where actors and supporting artists are carrying out activities (such as training, teaching or instructing cast members under the age of 18) they will be required to obtain an Enhanced DBS Check

How Do You Apply For A Basic DBS Check?

As we mentioned before, you can apply for a Basic DBS Check yourself. All applicants, besides non-EEA (European Economic Area) nationals, will only have to provide two documents. 


The first document will be used to prove your identity. This can be a birth certificate (issued within a year of the birth), a valid passport, or a current driving licence (full or provisional). The second document must show proof of address, such as a utility bill (issued within the last three months), or a bank or credit card statement. 


Since Brexit came into effect in 2020, some DBS guideline changes have come into effect that apply to all non-British citizens. Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to get in touch with us. 

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