DBS Checks for Working With Children in a Pantomime or Nativity

DBS Checks for working with children are often a requirement of the role – but this isn’t always the case. 

With Christmas coming up, lots of children will be taking the stage to perform in a nativity or pantomime.

Of course, behind every great child nativity star there are dedicated adults beavering away in the background to make sure the show goes off without a hitch. But do those adults need DBS Checks?

In this blog we’ll explain whether or not you need DBS Checks for working with children in a pantomime or nativity. 

DBS Checks for working with children

Enhanced DBS Checks for working with children

 

Enhanced Checks are the highest level of DBS Check available. 

An Enhanced DBS Check will show whether the applicant has any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings, 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, if the applicant is eligible.

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

Regulated activity is work that a person is not allowed to do if they’ve been barred from working with children. 

An employee or volunteer may be classed as working in regulated activity based on what they do or where they work. 

 

Working with children in a school or nursery

 

If the pantomime or nativity takes place in a school or nursery, the people working with the children may be eligible for an Enhanced Check. 

This is because schools and nurseries are what the DBS calls ‘specified places’ where employees and volunteers will have the opportunity for contact with children. Other types of establishment that fall under this category include pupil referral units, children’s homes and children’s centres. 

If an employee or volunteer works in a specified place, like a school or nursery, at least three times in a 30-day period, this would be classed as regulated activity and they would be eligible for an Enhanced Check with a children’s barred list check.

If they work with children in a school or nursery but do it less frequently than this, they’ll only be eligible for a Basic DBS Check. 

Basic Checks are available to anyone aged 16 or over, and will show any unspent convictions the applicant has.

 

Working with children in other settings

 

If the pantomime or nativity happens somewhere that isn’t a specified place – for example, a community centre or village hall – the employees or volunteers may still be eligible for an Enhanced Check. 

However, their eligibility would be based on what their role is, rather than where they work.

Anyone who teaches, trains, instructs, supervises or cares for children, on a frequent basis and unsupervised, is engaging in regulated activity. Again, ‘frequent’ in this case means at least three times in a 30-day period. 

Any employees or volunteers who meet these requirements when working with children in a pantomime or nativity will be eligible for an Enhanced Check with a children’s barred list check.

If an employee or volunteer is doing regulated activity infrequently they would still be eligible for an enhanced DBS Check – without the children’s barred list.

If they aren’t doing any of these activities, they’ll only be eligible for a Basic DBS Check. 

 

DBS Checks for working with children: To recap…

 

So, do you need DBS Checks for working with children in a pantomime or nativity? Let’s recap:

  • If you work with children in a specified place, like a school or nursery, at least three times in a 30-day period, you’ll be eligible for an Enhanced Check
  • If you’re doing a regulated activity as part of your role, like teaching, training or instructing children unsupervised, at least three times in a 30-day period, you’ll be eligible for an Enhanced Check
  • If you don’t meet either of these requirements, you’ll only be eligible for a Basic DBS Check

You can see a full definition of regulated activity with children here, and find out more about Enhanced Check eligibility here

Now all that remains for us to say is we ho-ho-hope your Christmas show goes well! (sorry)