Coronavirus Updates

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08th April 2020

DBS changes during COVID-19 (Last update 08.04.20)

DBS guidance is changing for some whilst the Coronavirus Act 2020 is in place

CQC have written to all providers in England about the recent temporary changes to the DBS vetting and barring scheme


What do you need to know? 

A) Why are there changes?

There are temporary DBS changes in place; through this crisis, staff and volunteers may be needed as soon as possible to ensure a service can meet the need.  The three things that are covered;

  • providers need to start staff urgently
  • waiting for a full DBS check could cause undue delay
  • this delay could lead to risks to the continuity of service, impacting the safety and wellbeing of people using the service

you can find the new DBS guidance here and CQC DBS temporary updated guidance here

B) When is it not applicable

  • It is not applicable if it does not relate to the challenges of COVID-19
  • CQC says it is not applicable to applications of Registration: applying to be a Registered Manager or New Provider

All other appointments and applications for DBS checks that are not linked to coronavirus must be processed according to existing DBS and CQC guidance.

C) Who does the guidance cover?

The guidance covers both paid staff and volunteers

All persons taken on as front line health or care workers in response to COVID-19 will still need an enhanced DBS check, but the way this is being delivered has temporarily changed.


What are the changes?

E) Emergency Fastrack Barring service checks

The DBS will be running an emergency barring check for both adults and children’s services.  All other checks will be completed, but paperwork may be received after the person has begun their role.

Once you have applied to the DBS, they will provide a barred list check result to the registered body by the end of the next working day, and the full DBS check later.

The fast-track service is available from Monday 30 March 2020, apart from those ‘emergency volunteers’ who will commence at a later date.

The DBS provides a flow chart which determines the necessity for the emergency check here, outlining other considerations where one may not be needed.

F) Other recruitment checks

Providers are to risk assess their own situations ensuring all other recruitment checks are carried out.  The way this happens may be different/ less evidence may be gathered than normal in emergency situations – for example, a phone call to a previous employer may satisfy you regarding that previous employment.

G) Audit

It is important to audit why you need the member of staff in response to COVID-19, and what you have done to assure yourself of their suitability through checks.

CQC recommend marking the employees file with COVID-19 so you can return to complete fuller checks when possible.

*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

Abi Spence

Registration and Inspection Specialist

Abi has worked for and with Government agencies relevant to social care for the past 12+ years. Primarily with the Department of Health, Social Services Inspectorate, Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) and since its inception the Care Quality Commission (CQC). As part of this long involvement Abi has developed a wide and detailed understanding of relevant issues and has worked closely with stakeholders such as people that use services, carers, providers, local government, the Department of Health, Ofsted and the Audit Commission. Read more

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