DBS Checks in TV and Film: What Checks Do You Need?

We get lots of queries from production companies about DBS Checks in TV and film.

Like any industry, it’s important that people working in TV and film have appropriate background checks if necessary – but it’s equally important to make sure your employees are eligible before applying for a check.

The following guide explains everything you need to know about DBS Checks in TV and film.

dbs checks in tv and film

Do employees need a DBS Check if there are children on set?


Enhanced DBS Checks are often required for jobs that involve working with children or vulnerable adults. However, an employee can only have an Enhanced Check if they meet specific eligibility requirements.

On a film set, the majority of employees will not be eligible for an Enhanced Check, even if there are children present.

This is because any children on set will be accompanied by a chaperone. The chaperone will be responsible for safeguarding the child, and other employees will not have unsupervised contact with them.


What about employees who work closely with children?


Some employees may have more significant contact with children on set – for example, makeup artists or directors.

However, this contact is not the main purpose of their role and is considered incidental. And, again, the children would be accompanied by a chaperone, so there would be no eligibility for an Enhanced DBS Check.


Are there any exceptions?


An Enhanced DBS Check would only be appropriate for someone who is employed specifically to carry out a regulated activity on set.

‘Regulated activity’ is a term used by the DBS to describe specific roles and activities that involve contact with children and vulnerable adults. You can see the full definition of regulated activity with children here, and with adults here.

In the case of DBS Checks in TV and film, examples of employees who would be eligible for an Enhanced Check include:

  • A chaperone employed to accompany a child on set
  • Someone who teaches or instructs children unsupervised, like a tutor


Are there any other checks employees can have?


Any employees who aren’t eligible for an Enhanced Check can have a Basic DBS Check. There are no eligibility requirements for a Basic Check, so anyone aged 16 or over can have one.

A Basic DBS Check will reveal any unspent convictions the applicant has. Carrying out Basic Checks on employees is a great way to gain an extra level of confidence in them, and to show that your organisation is committed to safeguarding.


Applying for DBS Checks in TV and film


Applying for DBS Checks for your employees is simple with our online system – you can register here and get started today.

If you’re unsure whether an employee is eligible for an Enhanced Check, see the DBS eligibility guidance or get in touch with us – we’d be happy to answer any questions you have about DBS Checks in TV and film.