Archive for January, 2018

Six DBS checking tips for employers

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) provides information relating to criminal records and barred list information, and it is used during recruitment. This may be a standard procedure or a requirement by a client. Either way, it can be a useful tool.

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You can complete a basic DBS check yourself or choose an approved third-party organisation. The Government provides a list of responsible organisations. There are different levels of checks depending on the role of the applicant and your eligibility to apply. These are the basic DBS check, or basic disclosure, and the enhanced disclosure.

The process itself is straightforward, but you should be aware of current changes to the system and the small-print details in order to streamline the process.

Basic Disclosure Changes

As of January 2018, basic disclosure checks can be completed via a new online application or a registered organisation. If you are completing the check for a job in Scotland, the application needs to be made via Disclosure Scotland; England and Wales use DBS. In addition, the method of identity verification is changing and applicants will now be required to confirm their identify in person.

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Insurance Policies

Professional indemnity insurance may require employees to have a DBS check in order to validate the policy. Similarly, public liability insurance may have the same requirement depending on the nature of your business. Check with your current insurer for peace of mind or check in advance if taking out a new policy.

Fast-track Clearance

Although third-party organisations can complete a DBS check within a reduced time frame, you may need to appoint someone prior to receiving their certificate. In this case, you can utilise the DBS Adult First Check service if the person is working on regulated activities with vulnerable adults only. This service takes between 48 and 72 hours and can only be used by those eligible to apply. If you need further information on regulated activities, visit the DBS website as some activities necessitate an enhanced disclosure instead of a basic disclosure. You might consider completing your basic DBS checks through Care Check.

Additional Checks

If an applicant has lived outside of the UK for more than 12 months or is a foreign national, they will require additional checks. These can be made via the embassy or High Commission for that particular country.

Top tips for those new to driving a van

Driving any van is a completely different experience to driving a car. If you’ve got a new van, whether it’s a replacement or your first, there are a few things you should think about before you start driving it.

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Get to know your van

The driving position in a van is probably the first thing that you will notice is different to a car. You’re much higher up and won’t always have a rear-view mirror so you will have to learn to rely on just wing mirrors.

Find out where all the controls are and what they do, having to glance down briefly to find the rear demister button is time when your eyes aren’t on the road and could result in a near miss, or worse, an accident.

Have a go at parking the van somewhere quiet so that you can get a feel for the dimensions before you have to do it for real in a busy car park. The type of van you have, for example, standard or long wheelbase, might dictate where you can and can’t park. Also, make sure you know the height of your van as there are plenty of very low bridges about that you could clip if you misjudge it by a few centimetres.

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If you’re carrying heavy loads get used to packing the van correctly. Any loose items shifting round in the back can destabilise the van while you’re driving it.

Any new vehicle can be a magnet for thieves and there are plenty of good locks for vans on the market such as those supplied by

Legal requirements

There are also a couple of things you should remember to keep you within the law when driving your van. Firstly, and particularly if you’re new to van driving, remember that the speed limits for vans are different to cars. Secondly, if you’re carrying hazardous materials, make sure you have the correct signage to indicate this. The Government’s website has plenty of information that will help to keep you on the straight and narrow.

Finally, be a courteous driver. Van drivers have acquired a reputation for being bullish drivers but it’s likely that you have spent more time on the roads than most and have far more experience than the average driver, so why not show it?