Ask the Care Specialists

Welcome to our 'Ask the Care Specialists', your one-stop portal for social care-related questions. Our team of specialists will try to answer as many of your Social Care questions as possible.

Are introductory care agencies who are not CQC registered still required to carry out DBS checks?

Are introductory care agencies who are not CQC registered (because introductory means they don’t have to register) still supposed to carry out a DBS as they introduce you to vulnerable clients in the community to live in with them? Who do you complain to if these checks are not carried out?

The law doesn’t say when a Standard or Enhanced DBS check ‘must’ be carried out, but it does specify when a DBS check ‘can’ be applied for. Organisations may produce their own guidance stating when they want DBS checks to be requested, but this guidance must comply with the law that allows a DBS check to be applied for. In terms of whether an introductory care agency carries out a DBS, this should be carried out as part of the service to ensure a safe recruitment process is followed. If you are a worker or you are seeking to employ a care worker from an agency, you will need to ask what are the onboarding procedures. You should also ask about the right to work checks, training and particularly important during COVID if the worker is working in multiple services or homes. If you expected the DBS to be in place and it isn’t, in the first instance follow up with the agency using their complaints procedure. If you need to take it further I would suggest speaking to your local social services team.

Philippa Shirtcliffe

QCS Clinical Policy Lead

Philippa Shirtcliffe is Head of quality at QCS. She is a registered nurse with over 30 years working in Health and Social Care. She has had varied career undertaking operational and strategic leadership roles within social care. Read more

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Please note that our specialists cannot offer answers to matters requiring legal advice. Please do have a look at our website at other answers provided by our experts and in our Expert Insights section There is a wealth of information here freely accessible that could help you.

Important note: We are not in any way affiliated or connected to the Care Quality Commission, Care Inspectorate Scotland, or Care Inspectorate Wales. If your query relates to someone who is at risk of harm or in danger, you must follow your local safeguarding procedures. It is important that you speak to your regulator who will provide you with the best guidance and support.

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