Nikita Passi, Solicitor, Napthens answers some commonly asked questions on DBS for care providers.
- What is a DBS check?
A DBS check is carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service and allows employers to check the criminal record of someone applying for a role. A person needs to be at least 16 years old to be eligible for a DBS check.
- Are there different types of DBS check?
Yes, there are four levels of DBS check:
- Basic – A basic DBS certificate will contain details of unspent criminal convictions, conditional and unconditional cautions, or a statement that the individual has no such convictions or cautions
- Standard – A standard DBS certificate will contain details of both spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings that are held on the Police National Computer, which are not subject to filtering. A standard DBS check is only suitable for certain roles as set out within the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975, such as a security guard
- Enhanced – An enhanced DBS certificate can only be applied for in respect of excepted posts that are included within the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 and the Police Act Regulations, for example, people working with children or adults in certain circumstances such as those in receipt of healthcare or personal care. An enhanced DBS certificate will contain the same details as a standard DBS certificate and if the role is eligible, an employer can request that one or both of the DBS Barred Lists are checked. The certificate may also contain non-conviction information supplied by relevant police forces, if it is deemed relevant and ought to be contained in the certificate
- Enhanced with Barred List(s) DBS Check – An enhanced DBS certificate with Barred lists check will contain the same information as an Enhanced DBS certificate but will also include a check of one or both of the DBS Barred Lists. The two Barred Lists are people who have been barred from working with children and barred from working with vulnerable adults
- How long does a DBS check last?
A DBS check does not expire. However, it is important to remember that any information included within it is only accurate at the time the check was carried out. It is up to an employer to decide when and if a new one is needed.
If an individual is signed up for the DBS Update Service, an employer can check whether their certificate is up to date online.
- How long does a DBS check take?
The process can vary depending on the level of check. However, it usually takes around 14 days to complete the DBS check. The process can take longer if the details given for the check are incorrect or if several police forces need to be involved in the check.
- How much does it cost?
The current costs for DBS checks are as follows:
- £18 for a basic and standard DBS check; and
- £38 for an enhanced and enhanced with barred list DBS check
- What is the DBS Update Service?
The Update Service is an online subscription service that enables individuals to register their Standard, Enhanced or Enhanced and Barred Lists DBS certificate and allows employers to check online whether the certificate is up to date.
It costs £13 per year for the Update Service.
- Can I work with vulnerable adults or children without a DBS check?
Individuals working in a care setting and carrying out a ‘regulated activity’ as set out in the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, will require an enhanced with barred lists DBS check. If the individual is included on a barred list, it means that they must not carry out the ‘regulated activity’ within the workforce they are barred from, and an employer must not employ them in that role. It is a criminal offence to work, seek work or offer work in regulated activity when barred on the relevant list.
- Can a DBS certificate be disputed?
Yes, the information disclosed on the DBS Certificate can be disputed if you believe there has been a mistake in the certificate. You must report the mistake within 3 months of the date of the DBS certificate.
A dispute can be raised about the content of a basic DBS certificate (through the DBS online account) if any of the following apply: personal information is incorrect, such as a name or place of birth; incorrect information regarding conviction details or the conviction details do not belong to that individual.
A dispute can be raised for a standard or enhanced DBS certificate (by filling in a certificate dispute form) if it is believed there has been a mistake in either the records provided, like wrong or irrelevant information on convictions or personal information, for example, a name.
DBS will work with the police to make a decision about the dispute. If the police do not agree there is a mistake, the dispute will be referred to the Independent Monitor only if the objection is that information is not relevant to the position applied for or should not be included in the certificate.
The enhanced DBS certificate will be corrected if the Independent Monitor agrees with the dispute.
Disclosure and Barring Service: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service