Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

05th July 2017

Can we use a CRB from another home?

Should a person with a two-month-old CRB check, done by another home, be sufficient to employ that person whilst we await another CRB check (bearing in mind that it is only two months old)?

Many thanks,


Dear Vishnu,

Thank you for your question.

Enquiries are always more complex than about almost anything else related to Adult Social Care but there are a number of useful pieces of advice on the internet.

The first is guidance on CQC's own website, page 22 of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks (formerly criminal record (CRB) and barring checks) says:

"31. Can DBS checks be used for more than one job application? (this is sometimes referred to as portability)

Depending on their role and activities, new entrants to the workforce in services regulated by CQC are expected to obtain a new DBS check where eligible.

People taking up a new position who are currently working in services regulated by CQC can satisfy the expectation that they will have an appropriate DBS check if they can provide evidence of a check, at the right level for their role, that is less than three months old at the point of application.

People supplied by an employment agency can satisfy the expectation that they will have an appropriate DBS check if they can provide evidence of a check, at the right level for their role, that is less than 12 months old.

The portability section of the DBS page on the website describes some of the risks and limitations of portability.

Where people take up a new role or go to a new location but stay with the same employer with no break in service, a new DBS check is not necessary provided that a check has previously been obtained at the appropriate level. Some examples where this applies include:

  • A care assistant employed by a large corporate provider moves from working in care home A to care home B.
  • A consultant with practising privileges who has been checked to work in independent hospital A also starts working in hospital B, which is part of the same group of hospitals owned by the organisation running hospital A.

The DBS will launch the Update Service on 17 June 2013. The Update Service will allow the applicant (the person who the check is about) to apply for a DBS check only once and then, if they subsequently need a further check of the same type, to use their existing certificate. To do this, the applicant would have to subscribe to the Update Service and pay an annual subscription fee. The organisation employing them would, with the person’s consent, be able to check online to see if the information on their certificate was still up to date. The intention is to avoid many repeat applications. See the DBS section of the website for further details."

Additionally, there is a great deal of further information on the Government's website relating to DBS checks and the update service which you need to combine with the CQC information when deciding whether or not to apply for another CRB check.

I hope this is helpful.

Best wishes.


*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.

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