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Inside The Extras Dept.

Essential Background Checks for Extras working on productions involving children

17 May 2016

Dear Valued Member, On 1st October 2015 PACT (Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television) gave us 3 months notice that from 1st January 2016 that any extras that we supply to work on productions commissioned by BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, ITV or SKY which involve under 18s (in either cast or extras roles) must have obtained a basic disclosure certificate which shows that the extra has no unspent convictions for sex offences. 

PACT together with the broadcasters are committed to safeguarding children working in our industry. As part of the background checks that producers already undertake for production staff and freelancers the broadcasters are requiring an additional measure to protect children and young persons under the age of 18. We are highly recommending that all our members aged 16 and over do take the steps to obtain a Basic Disclosure Certificate, as it will open you up to all castings that are taking place. We do understand that this is an expense on your part and very much appreciate your continued commitment to Extras NI and Northern Ireland's television industry. 

We are already starting to cast for productions in 2016 that will involve children. If you have an existing Basic Disclosure Certificate from Access NI, we do recommend you adding it to your profile ASAP as this will increase your chances of being cast. 

Please see below FAQs that will hopefully be able to answer the majority of your questions. If you do have any further questions or wish to discuss this further please reply to this email or contact myself on 02890 732 055 during office hours. Thank you for your continued support. 

Kind Regards,
Emma Sweeney Manager Extras NI. 


What is a basic disclosure certificate? 
A basic 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 an individual’s unspent criminal convictions, or state that they have none. 

How do I apply for a basic disclosure certificate? 
Currently Access NI is the official UK body authorized to provide basic disclosure certificates in Northern Ireland: 

What is the cost of a certificate? What information do I need to provide? How long does it take to issue certificate? 
Through Access NI the current cost of the certificate is £26. You will be asked to provide 3 forms of identification to confirm your name, date of birth and current address. For example: passport, driving licence, utility bill, rental agreement, and mortgage or bank statement. You will also be asked to provide address details for the last 5 years. 

How often do I need to provide a certificate?
A new certificate will need to be provided every 18 months. However, if within that period you are convicted of an offence under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 you must inform Extras NI immediately. 

Who do I show the Basic Disclosure certificate to?
You need to provide Extras NI with a copy; we have implemented a new section to your profile that will allow you to upload this in a similar fashion as you do with your identification documents. You will also be asked to enter the date of issue so we can monitor its expiry correctly. Please click the link below to login to your profile to update your information Once logged in, please click "Update your profile" and scroll down until you see a section titled "Access NI". 

What will happen if I don’t obtain a Basic Disclosure Certificate?
If you would prefer not to obtain or disclose your Basic Disclosure Certificate you will still be eligible to work on television productions that do not involve children.