DJmark Awards

An Overview of the Scheme


Introducing DJmark

The majority of the UK's 50,000 plus mobile disco operators are part-time self-employed 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 dubiously-obtained music collections.

However, at the opposite end of the scale - and this is where DJmark comes in - you will find 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 regular surveys that over 80% of people seeking a mobile DJ for a wedding or other important event have never done so before. For many, the "typical pub DJ" sets their expectation level because they know no better, and of course alongside this an expection of service level and of course cost.

The there are tens of thousands of venues regularly hosting private functions - from pubs and village halls through to castles and hotels - that need to consider their licences, insurances and, crucially in the internet age, their online reviews and reputations.

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

Today we offer 4 distinct award levels - each is progressively more difficult to attain - from our entry-level Silver Award through to our coveted Diamond Award - as summarised in the table opposite or below. Each award level has its own specific requireents which are carefully vetted by a team of industry experts, and these are reviewed DAILY to ensure they remain up-to-date at all times.

DJmark Award Requirements

Public Liability Insurance (PLI) S G P D

Required for: Silver | Gold | Platinum | Diamond

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 insist on a minimum level of PLI cover before granting DJs access to the venue and this requirement is often driven by their own insurance policies.

In the event that your DJ cannot produce a valid PLI policy for the requisite amount, the venue may refuse access in order to protect their own rights.

All DJmark Award holders carry PLI and in the case of the major issuing organisations we check this status daily. No PLI = No DJmark Award.

Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) S G P D

Required for: Silver | Gold | Platinum | Diamond

PAT is a testing regime in which a competent person 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 (and that of the Health & Safety Executive (HSE)), it is essential that equipment which may come into contact with your guests is regularly inspected, serviced and tested for safety. This usually costs less than £1 per item and needs to be done at least once a year.

All DJmark Award holders carry PAT undertaken within the preceding 12 months. No current PAT = No DJmark Award.

Written Contracts / Ts & Cs S G P D

Required for: Silver | Gold | Platinum | Diamond

Any service provider worth dealing with will supply you with a set of terms and conditions governing the agreement you have made with them in respect of services to be provided. This is to protect both parties in the event of a problem down the line.

Yet many DJs still don't issue such written contracts, leaving you at risk in the event they decide they cannot fulfil your booking. Almost invariably these situations involve budget DJs and the lack of a contract effectively grants the DJ carte blanche to walk away without consequence leaving you in the lurch.

All DJmark Award holders will present you with a full set of Terms and Conditions at the point of booking and will usually require a deposit from you to secure their services. No Contact = No DJmark Award.

Legitimate Music Sourcing S G P D

Required for: Silver | Gold | Platinum | Diamond

Gone are the days when a DJ would turn up with crates of music, either on vinyl or CD, apart from a few specialists who still play these formats.

For everyone else, digital music is the format of choice, and with this ease of use comes the temptation to obtain music illegally or at very low cost. Lots of pirated music can sound terrible over a decent PA system, as well as potentially jeopardising your venue's licence. Anyone offering a music library in the hundreds of thousands of songs is likely pirating - we've not met a single DJ yet that has a huge music library such as this that was legitimately sourced as the investment would be impossible to recover.

DJs that convert their vinyl or CD libraries to digital can take advantage of a relatively low cost one-off ProDub Licence issued by PRS for Music to legitimise their new collection.

All DJmark Award holders source their music legitimately. Illegal Music = No DJmark Award.

Verified Positive Feedback G P D

Required for: Gold | Platinum | Diamond

In conjunction with our sister website needadisco.com, all feedback published is verified. By this we mean that we are in contact with the client all the way from the initial enquiry through to the collection of feedback after the event, and at each stage this is checked to ensure authenticity.

Most other internet review methods can be manipulated and we don't agree with this approach. All of our members agree that we can post customer feedback 'warts and all' for the benefit of future clients.

To achieve DJmark Gold and above, our members must have at least one positive feedback for an event sourced via our sites in the past 3 years. In addition, should they attract negative feedback for any reason, they must also have at least 4 positive comments for each negative one in order to keep their Gold Award, 8 to 1 for Platinum and 12 to 1 for Diamond.

All DJmark Gold, Platinum and Diamond Award holders have recent positive feedback and are maintaining the appropriate positive:negative ratio required.

Health & Safety P D

Required for: Platinum | Diamond

In order to protect their staff, venue staff, customers and their guests, we require our Platinum and Diamond award holders to operate a strict Health & Safety regime as part of their on-site activities.

This takes the form of a published Method Statement (sometimes called a 'Safe System of Work') which is effectively a manual describing the processes and procedures for temporarily installing, operating and removing mobile disco equipment and ancillary devices, including COSHH-governed chemicals such as smoke fluids, pyrotechnics etc).

Members must also conduct a written risk assessment for each event and upload these for vetting.

With more and more equipment these days entering the guest area - for example mood lighting - we feel that it is essential that DJs understand how to do this safely and deal with any issues that may arise.

All DJmark Platinum and Diamond Award holders observe strict Health & Safety guidelines

Complaints Procedure D

Required for: Diamond

A published Complaints Procedure demonstrates that the company involved has considered how to handle and escalate any complaints which, no matter how unlikely, may arise.

We feel it is important that a published procedure is available which also details your alternative recourse options such as a trade body or Trading Standards department.

All DJmark Diamond Award holders have a published Complaints Procedure

Membership Longevity D

Required for: Diamond

All DJmark Diamond Award holders have held a lower DJmark award for at least two years without interruption.

This demonstrates not only their commitment to the scheme, but proves that their business is a long-term venture and that great customer service is at the forefront of their offering.

All DJmark Diamond Award holders have held a DJmark Award for at least two years