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The documents available here demonstrate that DBS (formerly CRB) checks are not relevant to a Punch and Judy Performance

Click here to see the DBS Guide to Eligibility.

This guide refers to regulated activities.  

Q.   Why is the PJF so interested in the law?  Surely the aim is to protect children?

A.    The PJF expects the highest level of behaviour and integrity from its members.   However, we        are  not a regulatory body and are unable to excuse from the law members or the people they        come into contact with.

Q.    The law restricts tightly those who can be asked for a DBS check.  Therefore, the law is not        protecting those who it is meant to protect.

A.    It is outside the scope of this page to enter into a debate about whether the law is efficient or        not.  The aim is to inform.

Q.    Children's entertainers, Punch and Judy Performers, Clowns and Face Painters often advertise        themselves as being CRB or DBS checked.  Why?

A.    We cannot say why in all cases, but if a check is advertised as an advantage to a booker, then        we find it unfortunate.  It perpetuates the misunderstandings surrounding this subject.

Q.    A booker has asked for a check and an application has been made.  Can I find out if the booker        is entitled to ask for a check?

A.    Yes.  Send an email to with the title Application eligibility        enquiry – urgent.  See the bottom of page 1 and the top of page 2 of the Eligibility Guide for        full details.

Q.    I have a CRB Check and a booker has asked to see it.  Should I show it to them?

A.    Your CRB check is position specific.  There is nothing to stop you from showing the check to the
       booker, but they may not be entitled to see it, and it will be of limited value.

Q.    I have a DBS check and have subscribed to the updating service.  Should I allow bookers to        check the online updating service?

A.    Unless the position requires a check, the booker would be breaking the law by using the        updating service in this way.  

Q.    Why is it against the law to ask for a DBS check when one is not required?

It's all to do with asking an 'exempted question' for positions where the Rehabilitation of        Offenders Act 1974 does not apply.  So it is all down to what you do, where and how often you        do it.

Q.    ‘Positions’ are mentioned a lot.  Why?  

A.    DBS checks and former CRB checks are position based and it is important to understand this.        The first question to ask is,  'Does the job (position) require a check?'  If the answer is, 'No,'        there is nothing further to be done regarding checks.

Q.    Is it a serious matter to ask for a check when not entitled to do so?  

A.    Yes.  There is the potential to be sent to prison.  The Exceptions Order 1975 to the        Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (as subsequently amended) and Part V of The Police Act        1997 refer.

Q.   Do The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man have similar arrangements?

A.   Yes.  The statutes are different.  The Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey appear to have similar        arrangements to the UK.  Other islands in the Bailiwick of Guernsey appear to be covered by        the  arrangements in Guernsey.

Q.  I have been asked to provide a DBS Scotland Basic Check.  Is this possible?

A.  DBS Scotland will provide a basic check showing unspent convictions in the UK to anyone who      pays the fee and provides proof of identity.  The disclosure is only valid when it is created and      not  for a specific length of time.  Access NI offer a similar check.  At the time of writing (May      2017),  DBS England and Wales do not offer a similar service.  It appears Guernsey have their      own  basic  check and Jersey have a police check.  Residents of the Isle of Man appear to be      directed  to the  DBS Scotland Basic Check.