Clients sometimes ask if I’m CRB checked. The short answer to this question is “yes”, although CRB checks were replaced with DBS checks with the establishment of the Disclosure and Barring Service in December 2012.
However, there area few myths about these checks, most often surrounding who requires them and where they’re needed.
Firstly, you can’t apply for a check yourself. This is the duty of an employer or organisation responsible for children’s welfare. This means that individuals and self employed people cannot obtain a DBS check themselves. It has to be done by the organisation employing or contracting them,.
Secondly, a DBS check is not necessary for photographing children. It is only necessary for people who are responsible for the care of vulnerable individuals or groups. Typically this means that photographers can work with children as long as they are supervised. However, any photographer working regularly with children benefits from having been checked as this provides customers with an added level of assurance.
As a self-employed person I am not able to apply for a DBS check myself. However, an educational establishment for whom I do regular work has performed an enhanced check with the Disclosure & Barring Service, which provides me with the necessary certification.
Update: Since writing this article I’ve learned that it is possible to apply for a copy of your criminal record (called a ‘basic disclosure’). This simply shows any unspent criminal convictions, as opposed to a DBS check that would also detail spent convictions, cautions, warnings and reprimands.