Incorporating the Variety Artistes' Federation
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Information update CRB checks

6 March 2013

There are some changes to CRB checks for England and Wales that are of particular interest for performers and entertainers.  

The following is a brief resume.

The CRB check no longer exists.  The Criminal Records Bureau is now known as the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)  The CRB check is now called DBS check.

This is important.  Carrying out a DBS check (formerly CRB) isn't just at our clients/customers discretion.  In a nutshell no matter who they are, they can't say that they think you ought to be checked.  The criteria is set out in law as to whether they are allowed to check out someone or not and it would be illegal for them to request a check for someone who they are not entiutled to check.

New guidlines have been issued by the Ministry of Justice to say that if someone withholds work or an offer of work because they do not have a CRB and they don't need to have a CRB then that person will be in breach of employment regulations.

In our day to day work as entertainers it is down to the clients/customers to determine if we need a DBS or not.  They have to sure they are entitled to check us because it is against the law otherwise.  However, as we are all aware so many people have a little understanding of the whole system and they are blissfully unaware of all of the above information.

It is safe to say that in all but a very few exceptional cases a childen's entertainer cannot be checked (it would be illegal)  The basic reason is that one of the criteria is that we must work in a regulated activity.  The law defines Regulated Activity as work with children and young people that is unsupervised and done regularly.  Regular means carried out once a week or more often or for 4 or more days in a 30 day period.  This I consider means for the same children or young persons (same audience).

I can guess that this rules most of us out from requiring a DBS check (formerly CRB)  So regardless of whether we or our customers believe that we should be checked the law says we not only shouldn't be checked but more importantly can't be because to carry out a check on a person who should be checked is illegal.

The above report was written by Goldini and the information was gathered from Forums on the subject.

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