DBS checks for summer camps or children’s activity groups

April 21st, 2021 by Jonathan Bazely

As summer rapidly approaches and the school term ends, many organisations begin to offer summer camps or children’s activity groups. These form a great place for children or vulnerable adults to carry on learning and having fun through the summer months. They also offer parents additional facilities to find care outside of term time. Safeguarding plays a vital role in setting up the facility and a key consideration when recruiting staff and helpers.

Do you need a DBS check?

It is very important that any organiser offering a summer camp for children or vulnerable adults, assesses their need to carry out criminal record and other pre-employment checks. This includes all those interacting with children and/or vulnerable adults. This may be volunteers helping out, students gaining work experience or paid staff.

Each organiser will need to assess the roles that they offer under some key principles. The most important terms here will be ‘Regulated Activity’ and ‘Supervision’ which should be mentioned in any risk assessments you use. DDC can offer to assist with this process and below are some of the key questions to ask for each role on offer.

If you have already decided on the type of check why not register for free and begin your applications today?

What level of DBS check do I require?

The level of check depends on the role the individual is performing and which groups of people the services will be offered to. There are three levels of DBS check available; basic, standard and enhanced, the enhanced check has an additional barred list (Children’s and/or Adult’s) for those in ‘Regulated Activity’.

Basic DBS check

Any employer or recruiting organisation can request a basic level check on any role. Basic Certificates confirm an applicant’s unspent criminal convictions, and can be included in a general safeguarding policy.

Standard DBS check

A standard level check is specific to roles exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974) by way of being listed in the Exceptions Order (1975). The standard check is commonly used for finance roles or legal roles amongst others. However, you may wish to request a standard level check for volunteers who would ordinarily be in ‘work with adults’ but do not perform the role often enough.

A standard Disclosure contains details of all spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings. There are some filtering rules that apply to this level of check and you can read more about this on our DBS Filtering Rules page

Enhanced DBS check

You can request an enhanced check with child and/or adult barring list if in ‘Regulated Activity’ or without the barred list if an individual would be in ‘Regulated Activity’ with children but does not perform the role often enough. An enhanced check contains the same information as the standard check but also includes a check of police records held locally.

Can I request the barred list?

To be eligible to request either the children’s or adult’s barred list, the individual must be performing a role in ‘Regulated Activity’. There are specific requirements for the work to be considered ‘Regulated Activity’ and every role will be different. Our guides are designed to help each employer assess the role before deciding on the level of check to request. Often writing a job description can be a very useful exercise, to help answer these questions, and decide the right level for your organisation. The frequency of the work is important, and the age/vulnerability of those attending. The Department for Education (DfE) give some practical examples of ‘supervision’ which is a key term.

Children’s barred list – There are several questions that should be asked to establish whether a role is in ‘Regulated Activity’ with children. The first being, will the work involve teaching, training or supervising children? Please note that there are also certain establishments, such as a school, that need to be considered. These types of establishment are termed ‘specified places’. ‘Regulated Activity’ also depends on the frequency the individual performs the role. For more detailed information please read our webpages specific to regulated activity with children.

If the activity takes place overnight, the role would be classed as being in Regulated Activity even if it occurs once.

Adults barred list – Adults are classed as being ‘vulnerable’ if they are in receipt of certain types of care, broken down into six categories. These are health care, personal care, social work, assistance with general household matters, assistance in the conduct of a person’s own affairs and conveying. For more information, please read the pages relating to regulated activity with vulnerable adults.

When would I need to undertake the DBS checks for summer camps?

The processing time for each level of check varies, and the DBS do not take priority for any application or Umbrella Body. DDC cannot guarantee turnaround time, but have additional processes in place to ensure speedy results.

A basic DBS checks takes on average 24 hours, with some checks returning in two hours.

A standard DBS check takes on average 48 hours, with 48% taking 24 hours or less.

An enhanced DBS check on average is returned within 8 days, with 73% being returned within less than five working days.

It is advised to carry out the checks well in advance of the camp or activity taking place. The earlier the better.

How do I start processing DBS checks?

As an established Umbrella Body, DDC have an advanced online platform to allow you to initiate, manage and receive results for your DBS checks. Registration and set-up is free and all you pay for is the checks you add to the system. Once registered you will be provided access to your ‘Client Area’ and to initiate the process all we require is basic details of the applicant.

Get started todayRegistration is quick, easy and FREE

Register Now or phone our team on 0116 260 3055

Additional background checks for summer camps or children’s activity groups.

In addition to a DBS check, you may wish to complete additional background checks to ensure you get the right person for the role. As a specialist in pre-employment checks we have numerous different services that we can offer to include the following:

  • Employment references
  • Personal references
  • Right to Work

If you have any questions about these services or just want to talk to one of the team about how we can make your recruitment easier, please get in contact.

Contact us

If you have any further questions prior to making your final decision, speak to one of our friendly Customer Service Team on:

0116 260 3055 | 0845 644 3298


The team will talk you through the eligibility criteria and ensure that you request a legal and compliant DBS check.