About

The background behind the DJmark Awards Scheme and Award Levels

Introducing the DJmark Awards Scheme

The majority of the UK's estimated 50,000+ mobile disco operators are part-time sole traders who provide low-cost musical entertainment at pubs, clubs and private hire venues across the country. Many are little more than hobbyists, working for a small supplemental income, often undeclared, using consumer grade equipment and illegally downloaded music (200,000 tracks anyone? - at retail rates that would require an investment of over £120,000!)

However, at the other end of the spectrum are dedicated, professional organisations who specialise in co-ordinating and providing bespoke entertainment and lighting for important milestone events such as wedding receptions, anniversaries, birthdays, corporate functions etc., using reliable, professional-grade equipment and great-sounding music from legitimate sources.

We know from our own surveys that over 80% of people seeking a mobile DJ for an important event have never done so before. For many, the "typical DJ" sets their expectation level, because they know no better, and along with this an expectation of cost.

Then there are tens of thousands of venues regularly hosting private functions - from pubs and village halls through to castles and steam trains - which must consider their licences, insurances and, crucially in this internet age, their reviews and feedback.

It became very clear to us back in 2007 that the simplest way to safeguard the needs of the venues and separate the hobbyist from the professional in the eyes of the private hirers was to develop a meaningful quality assessment standard. DJmark was born.

Today we offer 4 distinct award levels - from our entry-level Silver Award through to our much coveted Diamond Award - and these are introduced to you in the table opposite. Each award has its own entry requirements which are carefully vetted by a team of industry experts. They are reviewed on a WEEKLY basis to ensure they remain up-to-date at all times.

Endorsements

NADJ MDJN

The DJmark Awards Scheme is endorsed by the UK's largest mobile disco trade association, the National Association of Disc Jockeys (NADJ) and one of the UK's largest providers of public and employee liability insurance for disco operators, the Mobile DJ Network (MDJN).

We work closely with both organisations that joint members correctly maintain their business insurances.

Award Levels

DJmark Silver Award

Our entry-level award, a Silver DJmark will satisfy the requirements of the majority of venues and proves that the holder takes the DJ business seriously from a compliance and legal point of view.

The aspects checked at this level are detailed below.

Public Liability Insurance (PLI)

What and Why?

PLI is designed to protect you, your guests and your venue in the event of an accident involving the DJ or the DJ's equipment. Many venues now insist on a minimum level of PLI before granting access to the venue, and this requirement is often driven by the venue's own insurers wishing to offset risk. The worst case scenario is if your DJ cannot produce a valid PLI policy, your venue may refuse access in order to protect their own rights. When PLI is available for as little as £29 per year, not carrying it speaks volumes about the DJ!


ALL DJmark Silver award holders carry PLI in the name of the account holder.

Electrical Safety Tests (PAT)

What and Why?

PAT is a testing regime which inspects and tests portable electrical appliances to ensure they are safe to use in a public setting.

Most DJ equipment has a hard life - bounced around in the back of a van, in and out of venues in all weathers week in, week out - so in our opinion it is essential that equipment which may come into contact with the public is regularly tested, checked and serviced. When PAT testing generally costs less than £1 per item, what does it say about a DJ who does not get it done?


Under the latest regulations, the frequency of PAT is not defined. However, for DJmark membership we insist on an annual test as an absolute minimum. We inspect PAT records held in the name of the account holder.

Legal Music Sourcing/Dubbing (ProDub)

What and Why?

ProDub is a licence issued in the UK by PRS for Music, which governs the copying of music from any format to a digital format. For example, if a DJ copies CDs to a hard drive in order to play them using a laptop. Or changing the format of a downloaded track. Or changing the structure of a digital file in any way.


Unfortunately there are a lot of common myths surrounding ProDub, especially amongst ill-informed venue managers who consider that all digital DJs require a licence. This is not necessarily the case. Here at DJmark we understand the remit of the licence. We challenge members to confirm exactly how they manage their digital music collections and insist on sight of a ProDub licence where necessary.

Contracts / Ts & Cs Issued

What and Why?

Any service provider worth dealing with will issue you with terms and conditions governing the agreement which you have made with them in respect of services to be provided. Why should a mobile disco be any different?


We hear so many stories of unscrupulous DJs who back out of jobs at short notice when a better paying offer comes in that we even set up a website needalastminutedisco.com to help dozens of people every week arrange DJ cover rapidly. Almost invariably these situations involve "lower priced" DJs and almost invariably there is no contract in place, effectively granting the original DJ carte blanche to walk away without consequence.


ALL DJmark award holders will present you with a full set of terms and conditions at the point of booking in order to establish a contract, and will usually require a small deposit from you to confirm the date. This is how a professional business in any other market would operate.

DJmark Gold Award

Our Gold DJmark award builds on the basics checked by Silver by examining customer service aspects - from offering face-to-face planning meetings through to post-event positive feedback.

The aspects checked at this level are detailed below.

Public Liability Insurance (PLI)

What and Why?

PLI is designed to protect you, your guests and your venue in the event of an accident involving the DJ or the DJ's equipment. Many venues now insist on a minimum level of PLI before granting access to the venue, and this requirement is often driven by the venue's own insurers wishing to offset risk. The worst case scenario is if your DJ cannot produce a valid PLI policy, your venue may refuse access in order to protect their own rights. When PLI is available for as little as £29 per year, not carrying it speaks volumes about the DJ!


ALL DJmark Silver award holders carry PLI in the name of the account holder.

Electrical Safety Tests (PAT)

What and Why?

PAT is a testing regime which inspects and tests portable electrical appliances to ensure they are safe to use in a public setting.

Most DJ equipment has a hard life - bounced around in the back of a van, in and out of venues in all weathers week in, week out - so in our opinion it is essential that equipment which may come into contact with the public is regularly tested, checked and serviced. When PAT testing generally costs less than £1 per item, what does it say about a DJ who does not get it done?


Under the latest regulations, the frequency of PAT is not defined. However, for DJmark membership we insist on an annual test as an absolute minimum. We inspect PAT records held in the name of the account holder.

Legal Music Sourcing/Dubbing (ProDub)

What and Why?

ProDub is a licence issued in the UK by PRS for Music, which governs the copying of music from any format to a digital format. For example, if a DJ copies CDs to a hard drive in order to play them using a laptop. Or changing the format of a downloaded track. Or changing the structure of a digital file in any way.


Unfortunately there are a lot of common myths surrounding ProDub, especially amongst ill-informed venue managers who consider that all digital DJs require a licence. This is not necessarily the case. Here at DJmark we understand the remit of the licence. We challenge members to confirm exactly how they manage their digital music collections and insist on sight of a ProDub licence where necessary.

Contracts / Ts & Cs Issued

What and Why?

Any service provider worth dealing with will issue you with terms and conditions governing the agreement which you have made with them in respect of services to be provided. Why should a mobile disco be any different?


We hear so many stories of unscrupulous DJs who back out of jobs at short notice when a better paying offer comes in that we even set up a website needalastminutedisco.com to help dozens of people every week arrange DJ cover rapidly. Almost invariably these situations involve "lower priced" DJs and almost invariably there is no contract in place, effectively granting the original DJ carte blanche to walk away without consequence.


ALL DJmark award holders will present you with a full set of terms and conditions at the point of booking in order to establish a contract, and will usually require a small deposit from you to confirm the date. This is how a professional business in any other market would operate.

Positive Feedback Received

What and Why?

All DJmark Gold Award holders have received positive feedback from previous customers for work which they sourced via our website.


It's so easy to falsify customer feedback on the internet. All of our members' feedback is carefully vetted by us. As we monitor the entire lifecyle from initial enquiry through to feedback after the event, we can confirm that all feedback posted on our site is almost certainly genuine.


Gold Award holders must have received at least one such testimonial within the last 12 months, or, in the event that negative feedback has been received, a minimum of 5 positive feedbacks for each negative.

Meetings Offered

What and Why?

We know that many people hiring a DJ for an important occasion such as a wedding would appreciate a face-to-face meeting before the event, to meet the DJ and discuss their musical preferences and priorities for the party.


All DJmark Gold Award holders have confirmed that they offer this service. Some of our members even INSIST on a meeting as a condition of accepting the booking!

Requests Accepted

What and Why?

Most people booking a mobile DJ for a party want at least some say over the music styles played or not played. One of the most common complaints we hear about non-members is that they play inappropriate music and fail to "read the crowd", or are not willing to take guidance from the client.


All DJmark Gold Award holders will play your music. This can even be a rigid playlist. Or they can be trusted to pick and choose music to suit the guests in attendance plus incorporate requests from the floor on the night. They are totally flexible and accept that YOU are in charge.

Visibly Open

What and Why?

How many mobile DJs hide behind a mobile telephone number and a hotmail address? Usually the same ones who don't issue booking contracts or declare their income we expect...

All DJmark Gold Award holders have supplied a full verified postal address which we keep on file. So in the unlikely event of a problem, we know exactly where you can find them.

DJmark Platinum Award

Our Platinum DJmark award builds on Gold by focusing primarily on Health and Safety. Members are required to show a suitable Method Statement covering their physical activities, and provide regular venue Risk Assessments for validation.

The aspects checked at this level are detailed below.

Public Liability Insurance (PLI)

What and Why?

PLI is designed to protect you, your guests and your venue in the event of an accident involving the DJ or the DJ's equipment. Many venues now insist on a minimum level of PLI before granting access to the venue, and this requirement is often driven by the venue's own insurers wishing to offset risk. The worst case scenario is if your DJ cannot produce a valid PLI policy, your venue may refuse access in order to protect their own rights. When PLI is available for as little as £29 per year, not carrying it speaks volumes about the DJ!


ALL DJmark Silver award holders carry PLI in the name of the account holder.

Electrical Safety Tests (PAT)

What and Why?

PAT is a testing regime which inspects and tests portable electrical appliances to ensure they are safe to use in a public setting.

Most DJ equipment has a hard life - bounced around in the back of a van, in and out of venues in all weathers week in, week out - so in our opinion it is essential that equipment which may come into contact with the public is regularly tested, checked and serviced. When PAT testing generally costs less than £1 per item, what does it say about a DJ who does not get it done?


Under the latest regulations, the frequency of PAT is not defined. However, for DJmark membership we insist on an annual test as an absolute minimum. We inspect PAT records held in the name of the account holder.

Legal Music Sourcing/Dubbing (ProDub)

What and Why?

ProDub is a licence issued in the UK by PRS for Music, which governs the copying of music from any format to a digital format. For example, if a DJ copies CDs to a hard drive in order to play them using a laptop. Or changing the format of a downloaded track. Or changing the structure of a digital file in any way.


Unfortunately there are a lot of common myths surrounding ProDub, especially amongst ill-informed venue managers who consider that all digital DJs require a licence. This is not necessarily the case. Here at DJmark we understand the remit of the licence. We challenge members to confirm exactly how they manage their digital music collections and insist on sight of a ProDub licence where necessary.

Contracts / Ts & Cs Issued

What and Why?

Any service provider worth dealing with will issue you with terms and conditions governing the agreement which you have made with them in respect of services to be provided. Why should a mobile disco be any different?


We hear so many stories of unscrupulous DJs who back out of jobs at short notice when a better paying offer comes in that we even set up a website needalastminutedisco.com to help dozens of people every week arrange DJ cover rapidly. Almost invariably these situations involve "lower priced" DJs and almost invariably there is no contract in place, effectively granting the original DJ carte blanche to walk away without consequence.


ALL DJmark award holders will present you with a full set of terms and conditions at the point of booking in order to establish a contract, and will usually require a small deposit from you to confirm the date. This is how a professional business in any other market would operate.

Positive Feedback Received

What and Why?

All DJmark Gold Award holders have received positive feedback from previous customers for work which they sourced via our website.


It's so easy to falsify customer feedback on the internet. All of our members' feedback is carefully vetted by us. As we monitor the entire lifecyle from initial enquiry through to feedback after the event, we can confirm that all feedback posted on our site is almost certainly genuine.


Gold Award holders must have received at least one such testimonial within the last 12 months, or, in the event that negative feedback has been received, a minimum of 5 positive feedbacks for each negative.

Health & Safety

What and Why?

In order to protect their staff, venue staff, customers and their guests, we require our Platinum DJmark holders to operate a strict Health and Safety regime as part of their day to day activities.


This takes the form of a Method Statement (sometimes called a "Safe System of Work") which describes the procedures and processes for temporarily installing, operating and removing mobile disco equipment and ancillary devices (including COSHH governed chemicals such as smoke fluids, pyrotechnics etc.). With more and more equipment these days entering the guest area - for example architectural uplighting - it is essential that DJs understand how to do this safely and deal with any issues which might arise.


Additionally, to achieve a Platinum award, members must present a minimum of three Risk Assessments for validation annually to prove that these are undertaken as a matter of course in their work.

Meetings Offered

What and Why?

We know that many people hiring a DJ for an important occasion such as a wedding would appreciate a face-to-face meeting before the event, to meet the DJ and discuss their musical preferences and priorities for the party.


All DJmark Gold Award holders have confirmed that they offer this service. Some of our members even INSIST on a meeting as a condition of accepting the booking!

Requests Accepted

What and Why?

Most people booking a mobile DJ for a party want at least some say over the music styles played or not played. One of the most common complaints we hear about non-members is that they play inappropriate music and fail to "read the crowd", or are not willing to take guidance from the client.


All DJmark Gold Award holders will play your music. This can even be a rigid playlist. Or they can be trusted to pick and choose music to suit the guests in attendance plus incorporate requests from the floor on the night. They are totally flexible and accept that YOU are in charge.

Visibly Open

What and Why?

How many mobile DJs hide behind a mobile telephone number and a hotmail address? Usually the same ones who don't issue booking contracts or declare their income we expect...

All DJmark Gold Award holders have supplied a full verified postal address which we keep on file. So in the unlikely event of a problem, we know exactly where you can find them.

DJmark Diamond Award

Our Diamond DJmark award is our top award granted to very few members. Achieving this award is particularly difficult as it introduces a third party - Trading Standards - and their Buy With Confidence scheme. Members are also subject to increased positive feedback scrutiny.

The aspects checked at this level are detailed below.

Public Liability Insurance (PLI)

What and Why?

PLI is designed to protect you, your guests and your venue in the event of an accident involving the DJ or the DJ's equipment. Many venues now insist on a minimum level of PLI before granting access to the venue, and this requirement is often driven by the venue's own insurers wishing to offset risk. The worst case scenario is if your DJ cannot produce a valid PLI policy, your venue may refuse access in order to protect their own rights. When PLI is available for as little as £29 per year, not carrying it speaks volumes about the DJ!


ALL DJmark Silver award holders carry PLI in the name of the account holder.

Electrical Safety Tests (PAT)

What and Why?

PAT is a testing regime which inspects and tests portable electrical appliances to ensure they are safe to use in a public setting.

Most DJ equipment has a hard life - bounced around in the back of a van, in and out of venues in all weathers week in, week out - so in our opinion it is essential that equipment which may come into contact with the public is regularly tested, checked and serviced. When PAT testing generally costs less than £1 per item, what does it say about a DJ who does not get it done?


Under the latest regulations, the frequency of PAT is not defined. However, for DJmark membership we insist on an annual test as an absolute minimum. We inspect PAT records held in the name of the account holder.

Legal Music Sourcing/Dubbing (ProDub)

What and Why?

ProDub is a licence issued in the UK by PRS for Music, which governs the copying of music from any format to a digital format. For example, if a DJ copies CDs to a hard drive in order to play them using a laptop. Or changing the format of a downloaded track. Or changing the structure of a digital file in any way.


Unfortunately there are a lot of common myths surrounding ProDub, especially amongst ill-informed venue managers who consider that all digital DJs require a licence. This is not necessarily the case. Here at DJmark we understand the remit of the licence. We challenge members to confirm exactly how they manage their digital music collections and insist on sight of a ProDub licence where necessary.

Contracts / Ts & Cs Issued

What and Why?

Any service provider worth dealing with will issue you with terms and conditions governing the agreement which you have made with them in respect of services to be provided. Why should a mobile disco be any different?


We hear so many stories of unscrupulous DJs who back out of jobs at short notice when a better paying offer comes in that we even set up a website needalastminutedisco.com to help dozens of people every week arrange DJ cover rapidly. Almost invariably these situations involve "lower priced" DJs and almost invariably there is no contract in place, effectively granting the original DJ carte blanche to walk away without consequence.


ALL DJmark award holders will present you with a full set of terms and conditions at the point of booking in order to establish a contract, and will usually require a small deposit from you to confirm the date. This is how a professional business in any other market would operate.

Enhanced Positive Feedback Received

What and Why?

All DJmark Diamond Award holders have received positive feedback from previous customers for work which they sourced via our website.


It's so easy to falsify customer feedback on the internet. All of our members' feedback is carefully vetted by us. As we monitor the entire lifecyle from initial enquiry through to feedback after the event, we can confirm that all feedback posted on our site is almost certainly genuine.


Diamond Award holders must have received at least three such testimonials within the last 12 months, or, in the event that negative feedback has been received, a minimum of 10 positive feedbacks for each negative. This is much stricter than the requirements for Gold and Platinum awards.


Health & Safety

What and Why?

In order to protect their staff, venue staff, customers and their guests, we require our Platinum DJmark holders to operate a strict Health and Safety regime as part of their day to day activities.


This takes the form of a Method Statement (sometimes called a "Safe System of Work") which describes the procedures and processes for temporarily installing, operating and removing mobile disco equipment and ancillary devices (including COSHH governed chemicals such as smoke fluids, pyrotechnics etc.). With more and more equipment these days entering the guest area - for example architectural uplighting - it is essential that DJs understand how to do this safely and deal with any issues which might arise.


Additionally, to achieve a Platinum award, members must present a minimum of three Risk Assessments for validation annually to prove that these are undertaken as a matter of course in their work.

Buy With Confidence Approved

What and Why?

Buy With Confidence is a government-backed scheme operated by local and regional Trading Standards organisations with a strict set of entry requirements, usually including a CRB or DBS check on the company owner.


Members who fall into one of the existing Buy With Confidence areas must be approved to join the scheme. Where a scheme is not yet in operation, members must instead meet all of the other requirements of this award level and they are given 60 days from when a scheme does start up to join.

Meetings Offered

What and Why?

We know that many people hiring a DJ for an important occasion such as a wedding would appreciate a face-to-face meeting before the event, to meet the DJ and discuss their musical preferences and priorities for the party.


All DJmark Gold Award holders have confirmed that they offer this service. Some of our members even INSIST on a meeting as a condition of accepting the booking!

Requests Accepted

What and Why?

Most people booking a mobile DJ for a party want at least some say over the music styles played or not played. One of the most common complaints we hear about non-members is that they play inappropriate music and fail to "read the crowd", or are not willing to take guidance from the client.


All DJmark Gold Award holders will play your music. This can even be a rigid playlist. Or they can be trusted to pick and choose music to suit the guests in attendance plus incorporate requests from the floor on the night. They are totally flexible and accept that YOU are in charge.

Visibly Open

What and Why?

How many mobile DJs hide behind a mobile telephone number and a hotmail address? Usually the same ones who don't issue booking contracts or declare their income we expect...

All DJmark Gold Award holders have supplied a full verified postal address which we keep on file. So in the unlikely event of a problem, we know exactly where you can find them.

Complaints Procedure

What and Why?

Diamond Award members have a published complaints procedure which is available to all customers on request. This shows that the company has considered how to handle any complaints which, no matter how unlikely, may arise. We feel that a published procedure demonstrates that any complaint will be dealt with in a structured and fair manner.

Membership Longevity

What and Why?

All Diamond Award holders have held a lower DJmark award for at least two years without interruption. This demonstrates their commitment to the scheme and proves that their business is a long-term one.

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  • About DJmark

    DJmark is the UK's original and most comprehensive quality and safety vetting scheme for independent mobile disco, DJ and karaoke operators across the UK since 2007. We offer a range of award levels from our entry-level Silver Award through to our prestigious and extremely difficult to attain Diamond Award. At all levels, accepted members operate with due regard for the law, industry best practices and excellent customer care.

    DJmark Awards are offered exclusively to members of www.needadisco.com. If you wish to earn a DJmark Award but are not already a member of needadisco.com, please click here to learn more about joining. If you prefer, you can forego the other benefits of needadisco membership if your sole aim is to achieve DJmark.

  • Award Levels

    The design of our badges changes each year. The current designs are shown below. Sadly, we regularly find non-members using badges without permission in an attempt to mislead their potential customers. If you find evidence of this, please report it and we'll investigate. Badges on member websites should be clickable and lead to a confirmation page on this site.

    DJmark Silver Award DJmark Gold Award DJmark Platinum Award DJmark Diamond Award


  • Endorsements

    The scheme is endorsed by the UK's largest mobile disco trade association, the National Association of Disc Jockeys (NADJ) and one of the UK's largest providers of public and employee liability insurance for disco operators, the Mobile DJ Network (MDJN).

    NADJ MDJN