What types of DBS check are there?
The below is directly sourced from the GOV.UK guidance on checks processed by the Disclosure and Barring Service, or DBS:
Types of DBS check that you can request:
a basic check, which shows unspent convictions and conditional cautions
a standard check, which shows spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings
an enhanced check, which shows the same as a standard check plus any information held by local police that’s considered relevant to the role
an enhanced check with barred lists, which shows the same as an enhanced check plus whether the applicant is on the list of people barred from doing the role
Schools, colleges and Local Authorities may be registered with the DBS as their own registered body, or may purchase DBS checks from an external Registered or Umbrella body.
Enhanced DBS Check vs Standard DBS Check
An example of something you might find on an enhanced DBS certificate check but not a standard DBS check might be that the individual is being investigated for a crime but has yet to be charged.
When you choose to apply for an enhanced DBS certificate, you may have the option of searching for barred list information.
This is typically known as “a barred list check”.
A barred list check searches the children’s barred list and / or adults barred list to see whether the applicant is barred from working with either group in regulated activity.
Please see here for the definition of regulated activity.
It is illegal for you to knowingly employ a barred person in the sector from which they are barred.
Once the checks are complete, the DBS will send the certificate to the applicant.
The applicant must show the original DBS certificate to their potential employer before they take up post or as soon as is practicable afterwards.
The applicant should present their original paper DBS certificate to the recruiting organisation within 28 days of date of issue; employers cannot require an applicant to produce their certificate earlier than this although they should be encouraged to present it as soon as possible in order to confirm a start date.
If your school or college chooses to allow an individual to start work in regulated activity before the DBS certificate is available, you must ensure the individual is appropriately supervised and that all other checks (including a separate barred list check) have been completed.
The DBS cannot provide barred list information on any person (including volunteers) who are not in, or seeking to enter in, regulated activity.
Perform the above DBS check relevant to the role
Record the date you performed the check and whether certificates obtained
If your school deems it good practice according to your processes, our SCR Tracker profile also provides default fields for you to input who did the check and the DBS Disclosure number.
Past terminology to note:
The DBS certificate check is formerly known as the “CRB” (Criminal Records Bureau) certificate check, and the barred list check is often confused with the “List 99 check” which no longer exists.
Do I need to keep copies of DBS certificates?
No, schools and colleges do not need to keep copies of DBS certificates in order to fulfil the duty of maintaining the single central record.
To ensure that you comply with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 2018, a copy should not be kept for longer than six months (if a school or college chooses to retain one).
Do I need to do DBS renewals?
The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions Order 1975) gives employers in some sectors (including education) the right to see someone's criminal history at the point they are making a recruitment decision, but not after this point.
The exception to this is if an employer wishes to undertake a new check if there is:
(a) a break in service of 12 weeks or more
(b) reason to believe that new information will be disclosed (e.g. when the member of staff discloses that they have a new conviction or caution, or after an allegation of professional abuse has been investigated).
(c) concern about the member of staff
(d) a staff member moving from a post not in regulated activity to a post which is in regulated activity
(e) a staff member moving from a post in regulated activity with children to regulated activity with adults
This is stated clearly in KCSiE paragraph 162 where, if a staff member moves from a role without regulated activity to a role with regulated activity, they are to be treated as if they are a new member of staff.
The Disclosure & Barring Service website states that a check can be made on a record of ‘someone applying for a role’, and also states in guidance to employers that there is 'no official expiry date for a criminal record check issued by DBS’.
Should I use the DBS Update Service?
The DBS introduced its Update Service in June 2013 as an aid to reducing the number of DBS checks that were needed.
Schools are free to decide whether to use the update service or not.
It can be sensible to move towards using the DBS Update service, due to cost-effectiveness over time, and being more up-to-date than certificates can be.
A person can register any time up to 28 days from the DBS application being submitted or up to 30 days after the certificate has been printed.
The employee registering for the Update Service has to apply and pay £13 with a personal debit card.
The employer cannot apply for them, or pay the fee.
When the employee is on the Update Service, the employer can reimburse this fee if they wish.
Volunteers can apply for free.
When an employee is on the Update Service, employers will usually check their status annually.
This status check is online, immediate and free.
Employees will be able to see via their personal account who has checked them online and when this check was performed.
On SCR Tracker, you can use an extra column or field where you can note that the employee is on the Update Service, and track their status check date and renewal date. However it is not your statutory duty to show this information on your SCR, so the fields can be hidden upon Inspection.