Disclosure and Barring Service
What is a DBS check?
A Disclosure and Barring Service check is a process for gathering information about an applicant’s criminal history and is an important part in safeguarding. It helps organisations make safer recruitment decisions and prevents unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups.
What are the different levels of a DBS check for volunteers?
The same three levels of DBS checks apply to volunteers in the same way as paid workers. There are three types of DBS:
- A basic DBS check is a criminal record check that individuals and employers can request. This is the lowest level check and is available for all individuals and employers living within the UK. A basic DBS will check a person’s criminal history, convictions and cautions from the Police National Computer (PNC). You can complete a basic check here: Basic DBS checks: guidance – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- A standard DBS check is an in-depth criminal record check used by employers on behalf of applicants to ensure they are suitable for the role in question. At this level, it shows information of all cautions, warnings and reprimands a person has. Eligibility guidance for standard DBS checks – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) You can contact us for more information and eligibility for a standard DBS check.
- An Enhanced DBS Check includes the same information as a Standard DBS Check but may contain ‘soft’ non-conviction information supplied by the police, such as a person being under investigation for a crime but not yet charged. Eligibility guidance for enhanced DBS checks – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) You can contact us for more information and eligibility for a standard DBS check.
How can I check if the volunteer/s are eligible for a standard or enhance check?
You can check the eligibility guidance through accessing the links above, use the ‘Simple Eligible Flowchart’ below or/and contact one of the team to discuss the volunteer role where the team member will be able to access if the volunteer is eligible for a check.
Standard & Enhanced DBS checks will only be done if a volunteer is going to undertake work known as regulated activity. Most people think this only applies to work with children, but that is not the case, this also includes working with vulnerable people.
What is regulated activity?
Regulated activity refers to certain roles carried out by applicants in relation to children and vulnerable adults. It covers various types of activities which, by their nature, would entitle an individual to an enhanced DBS check with applicable barred lists. This activity would have to be done –
- Frequently – once a week or more
- Intensively – 4 or more occasions over a 30-day period
- Overnight – between 2am & 6am
How do I process a DBS check?
Firstly, use our ‘Simple Eligibility Flowchart’ to assess the volunteer’s eligibility. If the volunteer role meets the criteria for a Standard or Enhanced DBS check, contact the team to discuss the volunteer’s role where you will be asked a number of questions to determine the eligibility of the check. If the volunteer is eligibility, one of the team will arrange an appointment to start the process. The volunteer will need a number of documents to complete the check. The team will go through this with you during the first appointment, but you can take a look at the ‘Identify Evidence List’ below.