Badges, and stars, and ribbons etc

Does anyone know what these various icons means beside sitters’ names?

Erik and my icon looks different than the others on this screenshot. Is that because we have done the criminal record check? What do the one or two “ribbons” hanging below mean? I assume the people with just a circle have only had basic checks done.

I’m still wondering what a premium badge looks like.

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Hi @Kelownagurl - I totally agree it is very confusing, both for sitters and homeowners.

How I understand it - stars represent reviews from homeowners and the asterisks represent references from friends, colleagues etc. It doesn’t help that they are the same colour and very similar shapes. I have mentioned this several times to THS. I can see the situation getting even worse with the introduction of more badges and symbols as the different ‘levels’ of membership come in to force.

@Kelownagurl … Hi Barbara. Here’s what I know after double checking with product team:

One ribbon = Basic Verification: Phone, Email and References
Two ribbons = Standard Verification - ID check (document verification)
Your icon as you correctly identified = Criminal Background Check
No icon = no checks yet completed

As @Twitcher confirmed, stars are house sit reviews completed on TrustedHousesitters site, whereas asterisks are externally requested and uploaded references. (And it’s a good point regarding the similarity which we will feedback again).

The premium badge is only shown on the sitter or owner profile and not on the first search screens (i.e. cannot be seen on the screenshot you have attached).

However… following feedback from members, all of this is currently under review by the product team, who are looking at updating the icons to make them more obvious. We will of course let everyone know what happens as soon as any changes are made.

Hope that helps in the meantime, and here’s wishing you a lovely day ahead :slight_smile:
Vanessa :paw_prints:


Hi @Vanessa-Admin Is it also true that the new badge can not be seen on the app - only on the website?

Not absolutely sure Colin… I know some things appear slightly differently on the app so this might be the case. I’ll check and get back to you.

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@Vanessa-Admin I only ask as I was on the website last week and I spotted one for the first time on a sitter local to us - later that day I was talking about it to my husband, went to the app to show him but it was not there.

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You are absolutely correct, just got word back that the premium icons don’t appear on the app yet. I expect this will be a future update after they’ve fully reviewed how they will display with more clarity on the main desktop version.


Interestingly, I have spent quite some time looking at sitters profiles - For inspiration and also because I am nosey! - I never noticed that some are stars and some are asterisks - and that is with my glasses on! - 0/10 for observation :sweat_smile:


Totally agree that the symbols/colour are too similar. Like you I have read many profiles when looking for a sitter and had never noticed the difference!!!


Thanks for this useful summary of icons. However, if I remember correctly, the criminal background check has been discontinued. Without a homeowner knowing this, they could make the incorrect assumption that those who do not have that icon are less favourable than those who do. Further, a criminal background check is only as good as the day it was done. I have a Nexus card (North America), which is a far more extensive search and can be revoked if I don’t comply. Yet the system has no way of giving me credit for that. This icon has created an unfair system and I ask that it be reviewed.


Vanessa, as I have my own DBS certificate on the UK update service, can HOs see this? Or does it look like as tho I do not have a DBS clearance?

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@LTD I have 2 UK DBS certificates. So does my husband. Maybe THS could give us 4 medals on our profile! However I suspect it looks as if we don’t have DBS clearance.

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@Debbie @LTD @Snowbird @Margaret @Colin … the debate continues and we understand the confusion of some members, Product are discussing this very subject, including the tier badges on profiles and listings and we will update everyone as and when.

Me too Debbie. I have 2 Enhanced DBS Clearances. One of these is my own on the UK Update Sevice. Surely these are ‘worth’ more than a shiny gold crown thingy? HOs and Sitters can ‘buy’ a Premium Membership but no-one can ‘buy’ a DBS with a dodgy background. In my sit applications I always tell the HOs I have a DBS and that they can have the reference to check it online.


Thanks for the update Angela. I think that, along with the Premium badge discussion, there needs to be a change in how the rest of these badges, icons etc are shown, since none of us seem to have ever really known they mean, with the exception perhaps of the 5 star system.

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@LTD With my sitter head on, I think making your DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) clearance a prominent part of your profile for quick viewing, as you’ve done, is a really excellent idea. You will certainly stand out to owners looking for that reassurance.

I’d say that’s the same for anything that is relevant to your profile that helps owners connect with us in ways that meets the expecations and reassurances they particularly need. I’ve seen vets who also highlight their qualifications.

We have no criminal record checks as we’ve been nomadic for a long time, and so rely solely on our reviews. Despite this we have completed over 100 sits, but I really do appreciate that for some people these checks provide an extra level of reassurance.

I have to admit to needing to look up “DBS” and I see it’s UK specific; it can be requested by anyone at a cost for the basic level, but only specific professions can request on a person’s behalf for enhanced clearances. Correct me if I’m wrong. For anyone in or outside UK wanting more info, here’s the wiki page:

Thanks for the nudge to become educated on this particular topic :slight_smile:
Have a lovely day.


I believe that I can generate a code which I can give an individual for access to my Update record. For example, I gave an Estate Agency the code once ( in Wales we have ‘Rent Smart Wales’ and as a landlord I had to be registered with it).

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I’ve said before - all countries do not provide this UK thing, my country of residence being one. And like a virus-test, it can be out of date the day after it’s obtained. Not a fair qualification.


My Enhanced DBS would be revoked immediately if I broke the law and / or did something stupid which put a child or a vulnerable adult in danger. I take my responsibilities having an Enhanced DBS very seriously and it would crush me if it was taken away from me. I have two DBS certificates and have had them for years. One is my own and I update it, and pay for this, every year. If it was a useless piece of paper the Trade Unions in the UK would not sanction it. The system works very well and unlike a pretty badge on a Sitter’s profile, it is a legal document which carries considerable weight.