What is a DBS Certificate?

A DBS (Disclosure Barring Service), previously known as a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check is carried out by the government. It is a document which displays a history of any criminal record, and is typically required for those who work with children, vulnerable adults or in this case those who freelance as supporting artists for certain film and TV productions.  

Do I need one?

It is not mandatory to hold a DBS Certificate however some productions do require them. We will inform you in an enquiry or availability check if this is the case for the specific production we are working on. If you choose to apply for a certificate, this must be updated every 18 months to be considered valid. Remember a DBS certificate is not needed for every production.

For BBC productions, a DBS certificate issued within the past 18 months is mandatory.

Some Netflix productions require a DBS certificate.

It will be made clear in your enquiries if a DBS check is required to take part in the production.

How long does the certificate last?

To be considered valid for film and TV work, this must be updated every 18 months.

Why does this have to be updated every 18 months?

This is so that we have the most up to date information. A DBS does not have an expiry date but if you do hold a certificate it must be updated every 18 months for film and TV work productions that require one.

Where can I get a certificate?

We recommend purchasing your certificate via the official government website – opt for a basic certificate which is only £22.  Other third-party sites offer checks however these can sometimes be more costly. If you have any queries about sourcing your certificate, please feel free to contact our Artist Support team for advice.

You can apply via the government website here.

How do I share my certificate with Mad Dog 2020 Casting?

Please upload a clear, colour photo of your certificate to your photo gallery, this must show:

  • Your full name
  • Date of issue/expiry
  • The result
  • This must be a JPEG image (we do not accept PDF scans)

Once your certificate has been uploaded to your gallery, it will be reviewed and accepted or declined within a number of days – if it is declined this could be because it is older than 18 months or the photo is not clear. Please ensure the photo is not too close or too far away.

Paper copy: If you have a paper certificate, we need to see a photo of the front (only).  

Online update service: If you use the online update service and do not have a paper certificate, please take a clear screenshot of the online portal. Even if this is automatically updated annually, we need to see evidence that a new check has been carried out every 18 months or every year.

Enhanced certificates: If you already have a standard or enhanced certificate, this will be valid (for film and TV productions) from the date of issue up until it is 18 months old. After this point, a new basic certificate must be obtained.

Existing certificates: If you have previously had a DBS check carried out by your employer and you do not currently have the original certificate, please ask them to provide you with a copy. You must then upload this to your photo gallery as per the instructions above if it has been issued within the past 18 months.

Why is a photo required?

We require a photo of your certificate to share with production if they request a copy – we cannot accept the certificate code by email, a photo must always be in your gallery.

Will I be considered without a certificate?

If it is stated in a job enquiry that a DBS is required, we must see proof that a check has been carried out within the past 18 months. If a valid DBS certificate does not exist on your profile we cannot put you forward on that occasion. 

Get in touch

If you have any queries regarding a DBS certificate, please feel free to contact our Artist Support team who will be happy to help. If you are unsure if you currently have a valid certificate please log in to your profile and double-check your gallery before contacting us.

Certificate Examples

All personal details have been blanked out of the examples below:

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