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Update on Enhanced Disclosure DBS check requirements for artists

Updated June 2017.

In September 2012 the government issued a new definition of what is deemed ‘regulated activity with children’. Most school or educational settings will require anyone who undertakes regulated activity with children to have an Enhanced Disclosure with barred list check (formerly CRB checks, now DBS checks).

The new definition of regulated activity relating to children relates both to what activity you are doing and also how often you are doing it:

(i) Unsupervised activities: teach, train, instruct, care for or supervise children, or provide advice/guidance on well-being, or drive a vehicle only for children;

(ii) Work for a limited range of establishments (‘specified places’), with opportunity for contact: for example, schools, children’s homes, childcare premises. Not work by supervised volunteers

Work defined above is only regulated activity if done regularly i.e. carried out by the same person frequently (once a week or more often), or on 4 or more days within a 30-day period, or overnight.

There are three types of check which are undertaken by the DBS:

Standard checks: These are suitable for eligible roles that do not involve regular contact with children or vulnerable groups such as finance or security.

Enhanced checks: These are suitable for eligible roles where the applicant will be working/volunteering with children, young people and/or vulnerable groups.

Enhanced with DBS Barred List checks: These are suitable for roles where the applicant will be working/volunteering in a regulated activity (see paragraph above) with children and / or vulnerable adults.

Practical application of the above: 

If your work with children is paidfrequent and supervised, then you are likely to need an Enhanced Disclosure, but without the barred list check.

If your work with children is frequent and unsupervised then you will need an Enhanced Disclosure with a barred list check.

Note that ‘supervision’ does not necessarily mean a member of school staff will be with you at all times. Supervision must be: regular, day to day, reasonable in all the circumstances for the purpose of protecting the children concerned and carried out by someone who is engaging in regulated activity relating to children.

It is important to note that because schools are listed as ‘specified places’ under regulated activity, they are allowed to request an Enhanced Disclosure without barred list check for anyone who is working in their establishment even if not undertaking regulated activity. It is our experience that most schools do request this.

Useful links and documents:

Keeping Children Safe in Education July 15 – paragraphs 50-55 Safer Recruitment, p30 flowchart on who requires a DBS check and the type, paragraphs 83-89 for volunteers, paragraphs 91-94 for contractors (e.g. artists)

A useful leaflet created for the Disclosure and Barring roadshow is available here DBS Roadshow 2012 leaflet

A DBS elegibility handiguide created by SAFE to help you decide if a role requires a DBS check.

If after reading the above information, you do require a DBS check, KEAP may be able process one for you if you are an artist living and working in Cornwall, the cost is £56. However, it is preferable that the school or organisation requesting that you obtain a DBS check process it for you.

If you require further information please contact Helen Reynolds on helen.reynolds@keap.org.uk