A Guide To DBS Checks For Professional Wrestlers (and other sportspeople)
DBS checks (formerly CRB checks) have been around since 2012. They are used by employers to run checks on individuals for a variety of job roles. These checks reveal any relevant criminal history and are an important part of many company’s safeguarding policies.
During 2020, the #SpeakingOut movement started to trend on social media with victims bravely coming forward to share their experiences of abusive, predatory and manipulative behaviour in the wrestling industry. There were a number of professional wrestlers and others in the industry, who were accused of such behaviour. This then led to some of the British wrestling companies taking action and blacklisting several of the accused from competing in future events.
Equity also responded to this by publishing guidelines asking organisations to pledge to the implementation of safer practices and more robust safeguarding policies. This will ensure that children and vulnerable adults get protection from unsuitable individuals.
Progress, a British professional wrestling organisation, started to require DBS checks as standard for all their staff including talent. They also followed Equity’s recommendations, introducing safeguarding policies, to make their company safer for all those involved.
Since then, other wrestling companies have begun to use similar practices to ensure the safety of all those within their organisation. The use of safeguarding policies and DBS checks will hopefully be a key part of these changes.
DBS Checks to Improve Safeguarding Practices
It is usually the employer or governing body who requests higher level DBS checks, i.e. standard and enhanced DBS checks. However, many wrestlers work on a freelance basis as self-employed individuals.
However, as an individual you can only request a basic DBS check which simply discloses any previous unspent cautions and convictions.
Within the leisure and sports industry, personnel who work with children and vulnerable adults, need to apply for the higher level enhanced DBS checks. These are requested by the employer or relevant governing body and it is their responsibility to ensure that this happens.
Currently British wrestling does not have a National Governing Body, although some wrestling organisations want one to be introduced. Without a governing body in place, the required level of DBS check isn’t clear at present. An enhanced DBS check, for example, contains the same information as a standard check as well as other relevant information from the police but cannot be applied for by an individual.
One of the leading professional wrestling companies, Progress, requires DBS checks as part of their safeguarding policy although they haven’t specified at which level those checks are. They are also one of the organisations calling for the introduction of a governing body for professional wrestling.
Why DBS Checks Are A Good Thing
DBS checks are there to ensure companies recruit employees who are safe to work with vulnerable groups, as well as to protect people both within the organisation and outside of it. In professions such as health care, teaching and in particular those working for the NHS, an enhanced DBS check is a mandatory part of the recruitment process. To ensure that everybody is in a safe, protective environment as they work, learn or train, knowledge of how to get a DBS check is essential.
To find out more about the DBS check requirements for wrestling and other sports, contact us today.