skip to main content

Our safeguarding advice applies to all teaching, whether you are self-employed or an employed teacher, teaching online or face-to-face.

Here you can find information about:

Safeguarding requirements for England and Wales: DBS

In England and Wales, an employer may want to check the criminal record of someone applying for a role, known as a DBS checks. These are processed by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). These were formerly known as a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check.

There are different levels of check, as certain roles in healthcare and childcare will require a more detailed check:

  • Basic
  • Standard
  • Enhanced
  • Enhanced check with barred lists

The type of work that you are doing or planning to do will determine which level of check you need.

We recommend that all MU members teaching in England and Wales have an Enhanced DBS check.

It is recommended to get a check done every two or so years, however the DBS have an Update Service which is an automatic annual renewal service which costs £13 per year. To register for the Update Service you will need to do so within 30 days of the issue date on your DBS certificate. Find out more information about the DBS Update Service.

Enhanced DBS checks

MU members can obtain Enhanced DBS checks, subject to a fee, as part of their membership benefits.

The DBS certificate will be for the role of “music teacher” and will cite the Musicians’ Union as the organisation. For any other role, such as music therapist, members will need to seek advice from the relevant associated body or organisation to get a DBS check which covers that work.

Please note that this Enhanced DBS Check will not include the adult barred list check, as this is not necessary for music teaching.

How to apply

Enhanced DBS checks are processed by TotalCRB for the MU. MU members can start an online DBS application by contacting with their membership number.

The Enhanced DBS check costs £54, payable to TotalCRB.

If you are transgender and you do not want to reveal details of your previous identity to a potential employer, please contact the DBS transgender applications team by email to

Please note that while Enhanced DBS checks typically take a couple of weeks to complete, this is subject to the police department relevant to your application, and they have up to 60 days to run checks. 

Safeguarding requirements in Scotland: PVG

Those who work with vulnerable groups on a regular basis will be required to join the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme.

Managed and delivered by Disclosure Scotland, the scheme makes the decisions about who should be barred from working with vulnerable groups. There is a cost to join the scheme.

For more details, visit Disclosure Scotland.

Safeguarding requirements in Northern Ireland: AccessNI

AccessNI supplies criminal history information (also known as a disclosure) to organisations and individuals upon request, to help them make safer recruitment decisions.

You are required to get an AccessNI check if your work involves close or regular contact with children or vulnerable adults.

The three levels of check undertaken by AccessNI are basic, standard and enhanced.

For more information visit AccessNI.

Safeguarding training from Educare

The MU recommends that musicians who teach are up-to-date with the legislation regarding safeguarding children and pupils.The Child Protection in Education (Music) is a bespoke online course developed by Educare in partnership with the MU. The course costs £24, excluding VAT.  

It provides musicians with a better understanding of their responsibilities and how they can contribute to the welfare of, and protection of, children in their care whilst teaching. The course covers:

  • Child development
  • Forms of child abuse
  • Recognising child abuse
  • Reporting abuse and the child protection system
  • Good practice

Read more detailed information about this course and sign up.

A series of advice videos created as part of this online course can be viewed on YouTube.

Member services

Be better represented

Join the Education Section

Sign up to news in music education, and be eligible to stand for the MU's Education Section Committee to help shape the MU's aims and initiatives for music teachers.

Read more about Join the Education Section

Latest education news

Need to talk to us?

The MU has a network of experienced teams available to help musicians in all areas of the industry.