A Guide To DBS Checks for Musicians
Musicians are often self-employed or work on short-term contracts. Therefore, they need to be aware of relevant rules and regulations around safeguarding. Additionally, people who employ musicians need to be aware of DBS Check requirements.
DBS Checks are criminal background checks that involve searching through an individual’s criminal record to ascertain their suitability for a role. Musicians may be employed in roles that involve working with children or vulnerable adults, which will make them eligible for DBS Checks.
In this brief guide, we’ll look at certain situations that musicians may find themselves in that will require a DBS Check and how to go about getting one.
When do musicians need a DBS Check?
The main situation that will create a need for a musician to get a DBS Check is when they are working with vulnerable adults or children. For example, some musicians may come into a school to provide specialist music instruction or lessons.
Whether musicians need a DBS Check or not is often decided by the type of establishment they will be working in, e.g. school, colleges, art workshops, private homes, or a music studio.
If the role involves direct, unsupervised contact with children or vulnerable adults on a frequent basis, then it may be considered to be a ‘regulated activity’. This means that there is a legal requirement for the individual to complete an Enhanced DBS Check with a barred list check.
People who employ musicians to work in a regulated activity have a legal duty to ensure that they haven’t been barred from working with vulnerable people.
Self-employed musicians who work directly with children or vulnerable adults on a frequent basis (more than three times in a thirty day period) are likely to be eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check and will need to get this done through a DBS registered body.
Please note that it is a criminal act to apply for or work with vulnerable adults or children if your details are on the relevant barred list.
It is also worth noting that even if the self-employed musician role you work in doesn’t require a DBS Check by law, it may still be advisable to get one, as it will give parents, client, and employers more peace of mind that you are suitable for the role.
How to get a DBS Check as a musician
A musician that is directly employed by an organisation or business in a regulated activity role will apply for a DBS Check through their employer. It is a legal responsibility that the employer arranges, verifies, and submits the DBS application in this case (as long as the role makes the individual eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check).
The musician will be required to provide ID documents and fill in the personal details on a DBS Check application form. Their employer will then verify the details and submit the application.
Temporary employees and freelance musicians may need to apply for and provide DBS certificates on their own. In this case, you may need to go through a DBS registered body or umbrella body.
For instance, self-employed musicians can join The Musicians’ Union which can verify and submit DBS applications for their members. The union actually recommends that all members who work as self-employed music teachers get a DBS Check carried out.
Likewise, the Incorporated Society of Musicians can also carry out DBS Check submissions for members.
What level of DBS Check does a musician need?
The level of DBS Check that a musician needs depends on the nature of the role they are doing and the type of employment. There are three levels of DBS Check available:
- Basic DBS Check – reveals unspent convictions and conditional cautions.
- Standard DBS Check – reveals unspent and spent convictions, warnings, reprimands, and cautions.
- Enhanced DBS Check – reveals the same details as a Standard DBS Check, as well as any additional relevant notes or information held on file by the police.
As mentioned earlier, for regulated activities, an Enhanced DBS Check is required, as well as a check of the children’s barred list, adult’s barred list, or both.
A summary of DBS Checks for musicians
Musicians who work with children or vulnerable adults are advised to get a DBS Check. In some cases, especially if the role is considered to be a regulated activity, then it will be a legal requirement to get an Enhanced DBS Check.
If you’re unsure about the DBS Check eligibility requirements for musicians or how to apply for one, then get in touch with one of our expert advisors today who will be more than happy to help.