26Oct

The Growing Need for Background Screening in Television Productions


Background screening and television.

It’s not something you would normally think of together, but background screening is a crucial step for maintaining safety on set. It ensures the integrity of any cast and crew, and it also safeguards against risk to the reputation of television productions and the companies behind them.

The reason background screening is vital within any television production is the same reason it’s vital anywhere else; there is always a chance that any hired cast and crew may not be who they claim to be! Without background screening, the risks of a public relations nightmare increases drastically, and no production company wants to deal with that! This is perhaps most prevalent when hiring contestants for reality tv and ensuring no scandal comes out affecting ratings and popularity!

Public image and opinion will always be a high priority for production companies and the television shows they run. If they were to hire anyone who could pose a danger to any within the cast or crew, or even to the public, this could be detrimental, even resulting in legal action.

Within television, a combination of checks are completed such as identity, social media and basic DBS checks, which are criminal record checks that provide information of all non-spent convictions.

Background screening and basic DBS checks have become more and more prevalent within media, tv and production in recent years. A story that broke back in 2011 revealed a contestant on an ITV produced tv show won a prize of £1 million, but it had been found out later on that he had previously served time for 5 years in 2006 for assaulting a woman.

This one story alone shows how important background checks within media are, but you may be thinking that the above story is a spent conviction so the basic DBS check would not have flagged this…

Production companies have the right to ask potential cast and crew to declare any criminal convictions, but those that are asked only have to declare any unspent convictions due to the Rehabilitation of Offenders act as they have the right to leave the past in the past.

When a production company undertakes formal criminal checks through a basic DBS check, this would also only reveal unspent convictions. However, this does not apply to crimes such as terror, assault or murder as these will always be considered as a spent crime.  So, if the appropriate checks were done by ITV back in 2011, the contestant wouldn’t have been allowed to participate, and the embarrassment would have been spared.

As much as production companies would like to perform more extensive checks, there are laws and rules in place that make them exempt from doing so. However, enhanced DBS checks may be needed on occasion if those who are hired will be working around children.

The need for background checks within the media industry is only going to continue to grow, meaning that media and production companies will continually have to review their background screening processes as they play a vital role in protecting their reputation, integrity and also protect everyone as a whole. Unfortunately, there will always be a chance of previous convictions making it through to the press, but if production companies do everything they can beforehand, the issue can be handled appropriately.

Here at CBS our demand for basic DBS checks from production companies is increasing, and we have already helped a whole host of companies on a number of TV show productions. We understand that production companies are in constant need of running basic DBS checks and that the information is needed as soon as possible.

Here at CBS, we work with you to ensure the background screening process is easy and runs as smoothly as possible. We offer a streamlined online process approved and tested by the Home Office, which provides us with direct access to the vetting teams accessing the Police National Computer.

That means fast and accurate criminal checks for you!

If you are a production company looking for high-quality basic DBS checks; we are here to help! Contact us today by emailing us at info@cbsscreening.co.uk or call us at 01443 799900

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