Why Apply for a Basic Disclosure Certificate?

Posted by Amy - 01 Aug 2018
We take a look at the advantages of having a Basic Disclosure Certificate uploaded to your Extra's profile with Uni-versal Extras.

They say never to work with children or animals, but where would the fun be in that? Some of the UK’s biggest TV production companies require extras to hold an in-date DBS Certificate to work on set with under 18s. In this post, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about this.

The Basics of a Basic Disclosure Certificate

From 1st January 2016, all extras and supporting artistes supplied to work on productions by the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, ITV and Sky, must have obtained a Basic Disclosure Certificate if there are to be any under 18s on the set whilst you are filming. In reality, this means that many of these productions make Basic Disclosure Certificates mandatory for safety reasons.

We wrote a detailed blog post on DBS checks prior to their introduction, but as they are becoming more widely required and we get a lot of queries about them, we thought we would provide some additional clarification.

Why have you introduced this?

The quick answer is, we didn’t. These regulations were introduced by a combination of PACT (a trade association representing the commercial interests of UK independent television, film, digital, children’s and animation media companies) and the broadcast companies that these checks apply to.

Will a Basic Disclosure Certificate guarantee me work?

We cannot guarantee work because it is always the production company that makes the final decision as to whether they would like to book you or not. However, having a valid in-date Basic Disclosure Certificate (issued within 18 months) will mean that you can be considered for more opportunities than if you do not have one. If you do not have a valid certificate when we contact you about a job that requires one, you will not be able to be considered until you obtain one, which may result in you missing out on work.

Can I use my Standard or Enhanced Certificate instead?

Yes, the Standard or Enhanced Disclosure Certificates are more detailed than the Basic Disclosure Certificate so they are acceptable, so long as they are issued within 18 months (the validity duration agreed by the production companies).

Can I use the update service?

Unfortunately, PACT has advised that the use of the update service is not appropriate for these checks – ‘after 18 months, the enhanced check cannot be updated as neither the agent nor the producer is the employer for whom the check was obtained’. You must therefore apply for a Basic Disclosure check if you wish to work on a production involving children.

How long is my Disclosure Certificate valid for?

Although the certificate itself does not have an expiration date, it has been agreed by PACT and the broadcasting bodies that certificates are valid for 18 months from the date of issue.

Can I upload a copy of the Certificate to my profile?

Absolutely, you should always keep the certificates up-to-date on your profile as our Casting Team can search on members who have DBS documents uploaded. Please go to your My Documents page to upload a photo or scan of your certificate. Please note that you will need to select the ‘Basic Disclosure Certificate’ option from the dropdown menu when uploading your certificate.

Disclaimer: every care has been taken to ensure that this information is correct at the time of print. If you find there to be any inaccuracies, please contact us.