DO FACE PAINTERS NEED A DBS CHECK? By Jane Harding
Hi everyone, I’m going to talk about something that’s pretty boring today, but it’s really essential as a Face Painter to know about this stuff. Firstly because we work directly with children, but also because you will inevitably get asked by potential clients if you have a current DBS Check and it will benefit you to know how to respond to these requests.
Having previously worked in Children & Young People Services for almost 20 years I have a very good understanding of what the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) is and what is required when working with Children and Vulnerable People. In my old role within Social Care it was essential that I had an Enhanced DBS with Barred List for obvious reasons, but it’s not so clear to everyone, if the same checks are required or even available for Face Painters. Hopefully this blog can help clarify that for you.
Please note: Some of the information I am sharing is from my own knowledge, but I have also cross checked this with the information shared on the Government website for the Disclosure & Barring Service. Here’s the link to the website so you can read and check for any latest updates.
Disclaimer: As with anything where the law is concerned. I will always encourage you to do your own research and contact the relevant professionals and/or government dept. for guidance.
WHAT’S A DBS?
A “DBS” refers to The Disclosure & Barring Service that was formed in 2012, when the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) and Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) merged together. The DBS are an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the home office and their job is to help employers make safer recruitment decisions, preventing unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups Inc. children.
Firstly let me explain about the different types of DBS. Unfortunately it is not as easy as someone asking if you have a current DBS. Because there are different types of DBS and they all have a different level of ‘check’ to them. I am not going to list what they all exactly check for, as this is easily found on the website above and there is really only two types of check that I want to talk about and that are relevant to this topic, those being the ‘Basic Check’ and ‘Enhanced Check with Barred Lists’.
The Types of Checks:
DO YOU NEED A DBS TO BE A FACE PAINTER?
In short the answer is NO. As a Face Painter you will most likely be self employed as a sole trader. Currently, the only DBS Check available for individuals to request on their own behalf is a ‘Basic Check’ and these will not provide the level of check that a potential client would be hoping for. So what does a Basic Check, ‘check’ for?
As explained on the DBS website, ‘A basic check will contain details of convictions and conditional cautions considered to be unspent under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.’
This means it WILL NOT highlight ‘Spent’ convictions or if someone is on a ‘Barred List’ i.e. sex offenders register. The only check that will currently provide all this information is an Enhanced DBS with Barred List and this can only be requested by an employer. When our clients are asking for a “DBS Check”, it is very likely that they do not have a full understanding of what the DBS is or the different checks available; and so the information they think they are going to get, is that this person has been “checked” and has therefore not had any current or prior convictions in relation to the job they are doing and are not on any barred lists, but nothing could be further from the truth. It is our responsibility to educate people on what it is they are requesting and what the actual law says with regards to this.
The law states that you are only required to have a DBS check if you are working in a regulated activity with children or vulnerable adults. As face painters we do not meet this criteria. Here’s a link to the information on the DBS website explaining this:
WHAT DO YOU SAY IF A COMPANY ASKS IF YOU HAVE A DBS?
This has happened to me on many occasions and following my response, I have never had to get a DBS or lost the job because I told them I haven’t got one. This to me proves that it’s mainly the client thinking that we need one and by asking for that information they can tick a box, rather than knowing what the law states.
I always reply professionally, I acknowledge their request and their reason for asking this, however I then politely explain that by law Face painters are not required to have a DBS check, firstly because we would never be left unattended or have sole care of a child or vulnerable person. I explain that as a sole trader I would only be able to obtain a ‘Basic Check’ and that would not provide them the relevant checks they are hoping for. I explain that only employers can request an Enhanced DBS with Barred Lists. I provide them with the contact details to the DBS so they can contact them directly and clarify that this is what the law states. Every single time I have replied in this way, the client has replied quite quickly that this is absolutely fine and they no longer require it.
WHAT IF I ALREADY HAVE AN ENHANCED DBS THROUGH MY OTHER JOB?
This is quite common, as many Face Painters come from a background of working with children in schools or nurseries etc. so may well have the Enhanced Check with Barred Lists. I was certainly one of these people before I left my old job and focussed full time on my face painting business.
It really is down to the individual how you manage this. I am not saying what’s right and what’s wrong. I know some people advertise they have a DBS and/or would reply to clients that ask, that they do have one. It’s certainly the easier option than explaining why Face Painters don’t need one. But my personal feeling on this is that it doesn’t really help our community as a whole and actually only exacerbates the problem of clients thinking that we need one. If they see one Face Painter advertising that they are DBS Checked, it would be very easy to assume that this is expected on some level across the industry. So ultimately I believe it would be most beneficial for everyone in the face painting community to re-educate all those people that ask us if we have a DBS check. It doesn’t take long to share this information with clients; you could literally type up a standard response to copy and paste to them if you are asked. As long as you reply in a professional, polite and informative manner, clients will actually appreciate you sharing your knowledge, at the end of the day it will save them time if they know they don’t need to check for something they don’t need!
And that my friend is basically all you need to know. I could go into explaining the ‘update service’ and exactly what each level of check covers, but that’s all available via the link above and it’s a lot of information that’s not really relevant to us.
I hope this has helped you to understand a little more why we don’t require a DBS, and how you can share this information with clients or anyone else asking you… lets share the knowledge and change people’s expectations for the benefit of everyone.
Keeping It Simple
By Joni Nettleship
We all want to paint fast, easy faces and as a busy face painter I need my designs to be done in 2-5 minutes. All these photos are on the job and were done super quick. I didn’t use any one strokes at all, I love one strokes but spend too long loading the things. When I really have to knock out a design I prefer metallic and pearl paints, rainbow cakes and stencils plus glitter and fake blood.
Hope these are useful.
Rainbow tiger – Pearl white base, neon rainbow and a few strokes of black with my favourite Bolt brush.
Dog – Superstar gold and something like 13 black lines. Really quick.
Butterfly – Plumeria rainbow cake, Global black with Bolt brush. Blue chunky eco-glitter applied with Vaseline and cotton bud.
Road accident – tyre stencil, global red flicked on, fresh scratch. Really popular with older kids.
Stars – Superstar silver, DFX white, Global black, chunky glitters and star stencils. Can be used for little children through to adults.
Minecraft – pale and dark greens, Graffiti eye stencil, reptile scale stencil, black and white.
What are your go-to fast faces? What products do you swear by?
Hello everyone! Today I am tackling that question that I see asked nearly every single day (ok not quite, but a lot!) about INSURANCE! I sent out the following email to various companies in the hope that they might be able to help.
I was wondering if you would be able to put together an email or a chart for me detailing PLI insurance cover for face painting, Special Effects, Makeup, and hair styling, separately and together, with details of cost at each tier of coverage, and any limitations to the environment at which you will cover someone, plus information about insurance cover for tools and equipment used on the job. Can you please also let me know your policy on UV face painting and wether this is covered under Face painting insurance or wether you would need to be insured for special effects, what your policy on repotting face paints is, and what information you need from people to insure them, if you have a minimum amount of experience or if you require a specific qualification?
The only companies that replied were Hencilla Canworth and Blackfriars, so I have focussed this blog post on Hencilla Canworth, Blackfriars and Salon Gold (who I didn’t email because they have such a simple online process). If you are a member of FACE then I believe you will be with Rees Astley as per their regulations so I haven’t talked about Rees Astley here. I did email them to see if they would take insurance from non-members of FACE but they didn’t reply.
Hencilla Canworth, BECTU
Before I began this process, I was with Hencilla Canworth via BECTU. I was insured to do ‘Any activity related to the members employment within broadcasting, entertainment, cinema, theatre and live events’ for £38 a year which gave me £10m cover as long as I was a member of Bectu, which costs £11.25 a month. This was what was recommended to us when I was training, so I went with them and never thought twice. However when I sent them the above email I was HORRIFIED to discover that I had potentially not been covered for a lot of the work I have undertaken in the last 2 and a half years. This is the email I received from them
Good morning Mazz
The best option for your self it to join an organization called BECTU and take out their Public Liability (costs approx. £38) which will cover you for all of your work relating to theatre and entertainment industry and then we can provide a top up to this cover which will then cover you for any personal work you do away for these industries such as weddings etc.
Now, that’s completely my fault for not being pro-active about this beforehand, and I am VERY lucky that no-one has ever needed to make a claim against me. I actually decided to undertake the research into insurance because I don’t actually do very much film and tv work, so I wasn’t sure if being a member of BECTU was really worth it for me, but I have actually now left BECTU and therefore Hencilla Canworth in favour of another insurer.
Blackfriars were very easy to deal with. They even sent me a link to their policy on UV Face paint which I know has been a bit of an issue for people recently! I have included a link to their policy for all of you to see, as well as their reply to my email below.
Thank you for your email, we will cover all of the mentioned items under the one policy for the same cost regardless of how many of them you actually want to insure the premium will be £67.93 for £5M Public Liability and Treatment Liability for 1 person. The hairstyling will not cover any cutting, perming, dying etc purely for styling only.
The insurers do not require you to have any qualifications but would expect you to have whatever your Governing Body say you should have.
This was the first email I had back, so this definitely put things into perspective for me when I thought about how much I was paying for my insurance with BECTU! However, not being able to cut hair was an issue for me, and after a little more digging I discovered that they do not offer kit insurance at all. I also didn’t find their application form the easiest, but they were really easy to deal with over the phone and email.
I went through the Salon Gold form a few times to see if adding various services would change the policy price. The price didn’t change regardless of how many services I added (including the ability to cut hair!), it really came down to the level of cover I wanted and any add ons like kit insurance etc. For the sake of comparison for this post, I did not include any kit cover and kept the liability level to £5m (the same as Blackfriars), which came to £73.44, however if you only want £3m cover it was £60.
I didn't have to prove that I was qualified, however they do state that you are required to show your certificates in the event of a claim, and that by purchasing insurance, you are declaring that you are suitably qualified.
I found the website very helpful (I won’t even deal with a company if their website isn’t easy to use, I am going to do a blog post about websites in the near future) and if you hover your mouse over any section it tells you what is or isn’t included within that. They have a list of documents towards the end of the process detailing what services are included in the trades you have selected which is really helpful! Although not specifically listed on their makeup artist documents, they do cover SFX makeup too, (I phoned to double check), which is great, particularly for those of you who like to get involved at halloween.
Things you may need to check or think about when you are sorting your insurance
Period of insurance
Be careful on this one! A lot of insurance companies work April to April, so if you sign up in March, you will pay a full years fee, and it will expire in April when you have to pay another full years fee.
Level of Cover
With BECTU I automatically had £10m cover, however when I started looking at other companies, this really pushed the price up. The highest level of minimum cover I have ever been asked to make sure I have for public events is £5m, so that’s what I went for. It largely depends on the events you do, and obviously, the higher the level of cover you want the higher the insurance fee will be. Some companies offer cover from £1m, some start at £5m, so think about the types of events you want to do, and if you have any application forms hanging around, check how much cover they want you to have.
On the Salon Gold website when I hovered over the Public and products liability I discovered that I would be covered up to 14 days abroad except US and Canada. Before this, I didn’t even consider that working abroad could have the potential to invalidate my insurance! So if you are thinking about working abroad just double check what your insurance says about this, you may need to pay a little extra. After a quick chat with Blackfriars, when I asked this question they said it also depended on what happens with Brexit. I guess a lot of companies are going to be in the same position, so if you are planning on working abroad just get in touch with your insurer and double check where you are covered and how long for, and don’t forget to get travel insurance!
This is entirely up to you. We spend a lot of money on our kits, and if you have a craft-n-go, that’s not an insignificant amount of money to lose if something were to happen to it! Until now I didn’t have kit cover. I really wondered wether I wanted to pay the extra money when I was already paying quite a bit, but I now have a few big ticket items, not only for my face painting kit but for my hair and makeup kit too. For the sake of an extra £40 I now know I’m covered. I did actually have an incident about a year and a half ago, and I still didn’t get kit cover! I had been doing my makeup in the car on the way to London (my mum was driving don’t worry!) I use the same brushes on myself as when I’m on the job in one big brush belt, and I have a particular palette with all my essential eyeshadows etc magnetised to it. We left the car at Richmond Car Park and I left the makeup I had brought in a little tote bag apparently on view. Idiot. We got back to the car to see the hazard lights going off and the passenger window smashed in and my tote bag gone. I was absolutely devastated and in a total panic because I was supposed to be doing hair and makeup at a wedding fayre in a couple of days time. All of my brushes were in that bag, as well as some pretty key items. We had a quick look around the area in case whoever had take it had realised what was in there and dumped it, but couldn’t find anything. We reported it to the police but didn’t expect to hear back from them. About 10 minutes into our very cold journey home, we had a phone call saying they had recovered it!! I could not believe it! Apparantly they had been chasing someone on a moped earlier in the day and he threw the bag with my bits in it off onto the pavement, and do you know what? Out of the roughly 30 or so eyeshadows on that palette I only lost 2 due to breakage, and I only lost 3 makeup brushes. In case anyone was wondering, they didn’t catch the guy. He took off his helmet, and apparently they have to stop chasing when someone does this because health and safety. Also, my mum was pretty annoyed at me. I cost her a new window. But I don’t think kit insurance would cover that…
Just as a little note, Blackfriars do NOT insure kit and equipment.
Everyone seems to have an opinion on UV at the moment. Blackfriars made a very helpful document about this https://www.blackfriarsgroup.com/face-painting-uv-and-neon-paints/ and I am sure each insurer has their own policy.
So Who did I go with?
We all have different needs with our insurance. I ended up going for Salon Gold because it was the best decision for me and my business. They cover all the services I need insuring under one policy and my kit for less than my yearly BECTU membership, before the insurance on top of that!
I hope this has been useful to you and that I have answered any questions about insurance! If you still have questions, please pop a comment below or get in touch with me.
The Pixie Tribe