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Did anyone see the news this week that the government has announced it is to scale back the CRB checking?


If i have read this right does this mean we wont need this anymore when doing kids discos?


Might save us some money (and lots of red tape)


Dj's and Discos for all your needs

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Est. 1988

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I did, finally this strikes a blow with common sense!

My understanding is that the only people who need official crb checking are those

who work with children full time such as teachers etc, those of us

who attend events with children occasionally won't need to go through

this procedure, unless I guess you make a living as a full time

chlordane entertainer, which I guess most of us don't.

Is this everyone else's understanding of the new rules?

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The information which is being published in the press at the moment is still very vague as to which occupations are to be exempt. I suspect that those who work alone or on a 1:1 basis with Children, or who work at places where Children are residents (Children's Homes, Boarding Schools, Activity Centres) and those who are full time Child Minders will still need to have the check, all of which is common sense really.


However, I think that occupations like ours, who occasionally work with groups of children, who are already being supervised by their parents / teachers etc, will not need a certificate. I suspect that details will become much clearer in the coming weeks.


CRB has always been an issue with a lot of self employed trades, as getting a proper CRB check when your self employed is virtually impossible without actually being employed by a company, or working in an Environment which can refer you to their umbrella association for the check - i.e an educational establishment.


At least there is a bit of common sense being applied, at last.

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My understanding is same as Dukesy - it's a sort of "common sense will prevail" approach. The sort of thing where CRB will no longer be required is for those sorts of things - where working with children already supervised, volunteer driving for the football team etc


(I think it does well to also remember that CRB checking isn't confined to just working with children - CRB checks can also be required when working with vulnerable adults).

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CRB has always been an issue with a lot of self employed trades, as getting a proper CRB check when your self employed is virtually impossible without actually being employed by a company, or working in an Environment which can refer you to their umbrella association for the check - i.e an educational establishment.


Should have never been a problem if the school or establishment you were working for applied for the crb for you... which is what they should have done anyway!


Just because you had been checked by school 'x' doesnt mean school 'y' could employ your services, as each school should ensure your safe to employ...


having said all of that, lets hope the new rules do come into play as it makes much more sense and a lot less administration for the crb dept!


Matt (mjmac)


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Should have never been a problem if the school or establishment you were working for applied for the crb for you... which is what they should have done anyway!


Errrr, that would be a good point apart from the fact that I don't work for a school or establishment, I'm SELF EMPLOYED :wall: :rolleyes:


If I was employed as a teacher - no problem, the school will arrange one prior to starting work


If I was a social worker - no problem, the local Authority will arrange one


but i'm a self employed entertainer, so non of the above applies, I don't work for an employer, I work for myself, and when a School books me for a disco, its a one off booking for one night and I am a third party subcontractor, i'm not actually on the school payroll or employed by the local authority. Yet, in some cases many schools were asking any contractor who worked on their premises - builders, electricians, plumbers, DJ's etc etc to produce evidence of their CRB check BEFORE they would be engaged to work on the school premises.


My point is that in 99.9% of cases you CANNOT APPLY FOR A CRB CHECK ON YOURSELF, it HAS to be arranged by your employer or the association you volunteer for, so how are / were self employed people supposed to obtain one?.


I am self-employed, how do I get a check?


Current legislation does not allow the self-employed or individuals to apply for a CRB check on themselves, as they cannot ask an exempted question of themselves.




Yet another regulation brought in too fast and on a whim, without it being properly thought out, and without the means or facilities for EVERYBODY who requires one, to easily apply for and obtain one, namely the self employed.


I know of at least one Self Employed Electrician who was unable to take a contract within a local school because being self employed he couldn't obtain a CRB check on himself and as a result had to turn down the work. So effectively this regulation directly prevented him from plying his trade and earning a living due to this requirement and the lack of facilities to obtain what was being requested. Ironically, the work he was due to carry out was going to take place during the Summer holidays when there would be no children present in the school anyway. But thats do-gooders, red tape and Jobsworths for you.


In most cases, its highly unlikely that if you were booked to do a one-off disco at a school, that the school would arrange and pay for your CRB check for you. More so as it can take anything from 7 - 10 weeks to complete. In fact its rumoured that the huge backlog created over the last few years by the knee jerk expansion of the CRB policy has led to this latest decision, as many people are still unable to start full time work in a position requiring a CRB check because of the delay caused by non urgent and minor risk activities hogging all of the resources.

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Dukesy, self employed or not the school will need to obtain a crb for you to ensure your safe - its their responsibility and it doesnt cost them to do this.


Just because you have a certificate from one place doesnt mean you can use it else where... each school or establishment needs to do it for you.


typically you wouldnt need a crb to carry out a school disco as you will not be left with the kids unsupervised... however, in my school even the PTA members were crb'd via the school im governor at... just in case they so happen to be un supervised with kids in the room - which could happen on some occasions... and these are parents of kids at the school.. utter madness! i hear in some areas parents taking other kids to school needed a crb also... news hype yet again took this way over the top...


two other schools in my area didnt bother with a crb for me as i was not going to be left in the hall alone with the kids (xmas disco time) - as at least one teacher would be present at all times - see safeguarding for children on the dfcs website....


many schools had the usual kneejerk reaction of anyone visiting the school would need a crb... typcially driven by the local education authority due what happened in cambridgeshire... plumbers and the like would never be left in a room with kids - however not many schools would use an unapproved (by the local education authorirty) contractor in the first place... so would be vetted prior to visiting the school...




Matt (mjmac)


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As a school governor the only advice id give would be to any dj / contractor...


As soon as you get a booking that required a crb check firstly speak to the school office, administrator for the establishment or local education authority to get the application underway - as you know this can take some time!


And secondly to get on the list of approved suppliers for that given area / council... now this list is priceless to any given skill, be it plumber, electrician, grounds keeper... DJ, entertainer etc.. the list is endless.


In Thurrock / Essex this opens many doors for various trades and is worth the effort to get done... and its free!


Matt (mjmac)


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MJ MAC - Can we have a link please to where this is fact, ideally a .gov based site if possible. I ask because its clear to me that a lot of Schools aren't following the guidelines you mention in providing the contractor with a CRB via their own internal process.


I've relayed your advice verbally to my local Council who dismissed it as 'utter nonsense' and have told me that its up to the individual contractor or their employer to seek out a CRB check, its not something that the local schools would do. I also asked the same Council if 'contractor' extended to my line of work, and again their reply was anybody who whose services are engaged by the School, The Local Authority or the PTA and of which takes place on the School premises or at a place where pupils from the school are present during school hours - so 'Yes' I think is the answer there.


It doesn't seem like my area is the only one 'flouting' the obligation you mention above for the school to provide a contractor with a CRB, in fact many Schools i've found on a simple Google search are instrumental at passing on the liability and obligation for this on their own documentation, and some actually state that they will NOT provide CRB checks for contractors or third parties who are not employed in some capacity at the School.


It doesn't seem to just be my area either, Here is an example from a Leeds based School




I've highlighted the relevant text from the above document


2.5 In such cases school will not carry out the CRB checks however, before work commences,

the contractors will be required to supply their employees CRB numbers. Such contractors

are not required to present their employees’ CRB certificates due to the risk associated with

its potential loss. This is in line with central government guidelines.


Here is the advice on CRB checks in local schools regarding Contractors from the Swindon.gov website


3.2.2 The contractor must supply the school with written confirmation that the staff they

supply have had a satisfactory enhanced CRB check.


Again, indicating that the obligation for providing the School with a CRB check falls to the contractor themselves. In neither of these documents is there any mention of the School obtaining a CRB check on behalf of the contractor, the only responsibility is for the School to CHECK that the contractor has a CRB in place.


So either this example (and many other) Schools are clearly flouting their obligations to provide CRB's for Contractors / DJ's or the obligation you mention doesn't exist beyond the confines of your school, they both can't be right.


If it is the case that many schools are not excercising the correct procedure, then the matter needs bringing to the attention of the relevant body, and whilst i'm more than happy to do it, doing it will need something a little more constructive than chat on a DJ Forum, hence the need for your source.


Cheers in advance :thanks:

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ok... after speaking with my office staff what they normally do for helpers and those 'non paid' who are regularly at the school is apply for their enhanced crb and pay the £36 as they are volunteers at the school - good will...


however, this doesnt extend to contractors.... Contractors will be charged by the school / contract agreement that the invoice they submit will include a discount for the cost of the crb the school carried out for them. (this is a local school policy and may not be replicated throughout the land). This can speed up the process if the service we hire is not on the approved list... happened twice last year the office tell me.


Ultimately, it is the schools responsibility to ensure a safe environment is not compromised in any way (see safeguarding from the DfE link below)... obviously the school can decline your offer and seek an alternative provider if a crb is all that stands in the way... their helpfulness is based on how much they need your service i spose!


therefore the basic outlines are;


1) contractor to provide the crb / certificate number to the school office (national policy)

2) the school must carry out the relevant checks with the crb agency (national policy)

3) arranging a crb for a contractor (regardless of trade) if a crb doesn't exist (local policy)


Our school rarely uses trades outside of the Local Education Authority (LEA) 'approved list'... so typically wouldnt need to carry out number 3 above, as mentioned my school did this twice last year.


Depending on 'our' relationship with the schools they may allow us to carry out a party / disco without a crb... they will have to risk asses the situation, and that risk assessment will advise you never be left unsupervised etc... its a risk they can take based on the relationship you may have with them. If you ask any council official they will not suggest this and give you the official line... a crb must be in place!


Regarding the 'approved list'

If your LEA / Council claim they don't have such list they will be misleading you... as each council or company the world over has a purchasing dept. with an approved / preferred supplier list, regardless of trade... this typically comes back to economies of scale, purchasing power & best value (and contractors with crb's for schools)...


for more info >

crb - a gov website



DfE - a gov website




Matt (mjmac)


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So do DJ's actively appear on these LEA approved lists?, do we get a mention?. I assume that we do, if some Schools are actively asking us to produce / obtain CRB.



(this is a local school policy and may not be replicated throughout the land)


Yep, clearly this is the case, as my call to my own local Council and also the links to the other schools seem to already indicate and suggest.


This site is also useful:-




Which seems to suggest that self employed people should seek a Subject Access report from their local Police station. Which seems to be bad advice, if one disclosure which applies to one school, does not apply to another!.


I wonder how many Schools would react if we had to pass on the 'Admin' fee's of individual CRB checks to our own fee's. I wonder how many schools would then find the DJ to be out of their budget and shop around, purely due to increased expenses as a result of their own LEA requirements?. Food for thought eh?. Perhaps these Schools should start booking us a decent timeframe in advance to allow an in-house CRB check to be sought, rather than panic ringing two weeks before half term :wacko:


If anything I find some schools to be the most quibblesome over price :D , perhaps they should be a little more sympathetic to our expenses.


This link may also prove useful to those who still require a check.




Obviously it seems that we are not the only self employed activity discussing this or feeling restricted by the lack of obvious advice.









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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi all, this is my first post to please go easy on me.


I had the same query as a lot of others on here about CRB - I've even seen some DJ's use it as a selling point, so I thought I'd look into it further myself, as we specifically offer kid's parties as part of our services.

I work for a company that supports the Home Office IT systems, so I'm Home Office Security cleared with my job.

I rang the Home Office line to ask about this, the response was basically as follows:

If I am not unsupervised with children when DJ'ing, there is no need for me to be CRB checked. I mentioned that there are always parents at our events, and we always prefer that to make it easier, as you can't be watching the doors/toilets/fire extinguishers as well as working.

They said that was sufficient, and no application was required.

They also said, you can't apply for it as an individual (although you can ask for a local check at your local Police Station) as there is normally a sponsor, ie, it's your employer that goes through the CRB process and pays for it.

Hope this helps.

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