Does Santa need to be DBS checked?
We asked the team at NSPCC for child protection advice
for PTAs seeking a Santa. This is what they said:
'If someone volunteers to play Santa at your Christmas event,
they would not be required to undertake a DBS check. It is unlikely
that playing Santa meets the criteria for a check. Also, the
'frequency and intensity test' would not be met. This requires the
activity to take place at least once a week, or at least four days
in a 30-day period, or overnight. Of course, a DBS check is only
one part of keeping children safe. We recommend that you:
- Ask the volunteer to provide references and have a short
informal interview, so that you can reassure yourself you are happy
for them to take on this role.
- Make them aware of your child protection procedures so they
what behaviour is expected.
- Have another person in the grotto when children are present -
if possible that person should have had a DBS check.
- Encourage children's parents or carers to accompany them in the
For more advice on when a DBS check is needed,
Can't find a Santa? Read advice from PTAs on Facebook:
Tracey Morgan-Willcox: 'We use dads and granddads
- we had 3 different santas over a 4 hour shift to give them each a
Francesca Gubbay: 'Try a local scout/cub/beaver
Lorna Boyd: 'What about your local councillor?
Ours was happy to help for a few years.'
Deb Cooper: 'Ask local voluntary groups like
lions or rotary…'
Sharon Newland: 'You can try Round Table
Sally Shiers: 'I rang the local fire station
and sent a text out to the parents - we got sorted!'
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