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.

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