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Inside The Extras Dept.

Update on Background Checks for Extras

17 May 2016

Working with Children – Extras NI’s members and Disclosure Certificates

From 1st January 2016 PACT (Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television) along with the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, ITV & SKY require that all Extras who are employed by productions involving children, must have obtained a valid disclosure certificate within the previous 18 months. 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. As these guidelines are in their infancy and we have a small number of members on our books with valid certificates, we highly recommend having a certificate, as it will significantly increase your chances of being cast on a production. 

Please see the below FAQs that will hopefully answer your questions: 

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. 

Who should apply for a certificate?
All members of Extras NI who are aged 16 and over should apply for a certificate. 

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. You can apply for a certificate as an individual through this system. (Please note, the Access NI website states that a basic disclosure check is not sufficient for working with children, for the circumstances that we require it is fully valid, please ignore this note). http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/index/information-and-services/crime-justice-and-the-law/accessni-criminal-record-checks/accessni-individuals.htm 

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. I already have an Enhanced Disclosure Certificate or a Standard Disclosure Certificate. 

Do I need to obtain a Basic Certificate?
No, all criminal background checks are valid from the date of issue for this purpose. A certificate will need to be obtained 18 months after the issue date of the original. If it is not possible to obtain another Standard or Enhanced, a Basic Disclosure Certificate must be sought. 

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 productions that do not involve children.