Film and TV extras may be asked by Mad Dog 2020 if they have a Basic Disclosure Check. Previously known as a Criminal Records Check, a basic disclosure shows any unspent convictions. The disclosure can be applied for through Disclosure Scotland or Access Northern Ireland.

The broadcasters, BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky along with industry body PACT brought in a new requirement in 2016. Background artists are asked to produce a basic disclosure check if they appear on a set with young people under the age of 18. It is not a requirement to produce a background check if you work on set with adults over the age of 18.

Anyone becoming an extra should consider if they want to apply for a basic disclosure check, as potentially they could qualify for more work commissioned by these broadcasters, and would be able to undertake background work where there are children and young people on set. Background artists who are 16, or 17 years old will also need to apply for a basic disclosure check. Programmes or films included would be those that might engage a child and/or young person at some stage during the production in speaking or non-speaking roles. 

A disclosure certificate is a document containing impartial and confidential criminal history information held by the police that can be used to make safer recruitment decisions. The basic disclosure document will provide details of any unspent convictions that an individual may have. This new requirement has been brought into strengthen the approach taken to safeguarding and child protection by the broadcasters and producers. Any extra who has unspent convictions contained within the Sexual Offences Act 2003 will not be allowed to work on productions alongside under 18’s. Children are normally chaperoned on set and this will continue. The additional requirement is a further safeguard. A new certificate will need to be provided every 18 months. However if a supporting artist is convicted of an offence under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 in this period then they must inform Mad Dog 2020 immediately and they will be unable to work on sets involving those under the age of 18.

Those who have enhanced disclosure and barring checks because they work directly with children can show this instead and will not need to also apply for a basic check however the enhanced DBS must be less than 18 months old. Artists will also be asked to confirm each time they work with children that no sexual offence has been committed since the check. Checks must be renewed every 18 months and you cannot sign up for the annual renewal service. Artists who want to apply for a basic disclosure check can do so through Disclosure Scotland, or Access Northern Ireland. The check itself costs £25 or £26 respectively. Mad Dog 2020 will ask you to upload your check onto your profile but we will also ask you to bring it in so that we can check it, alongside other documents. You may also be asked to take it to set by some productions.  

To apply for a basic disclosure, apply through Disclosure Scotland here or Access Northern Ireland here.



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