DBS and safer recruiting

The use of a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS formerly CRB) check should be part of your overall safer recruitment policy and practice.

DBS checks are obtained through an umbrella body registered with the DBS. Further information can be found on the website: https://www.gov.uk/find-dbs-umbrella-body

Where staff or volunteers are working with children or (vulnerable) adults at risk, it is important that the correct level of DBS check is requested and the requirement for such a check should be made clear in a job or role description.

Under legislation, there are specific activities and work that a person who has been barred from working with a particular vulnerable group (children and/or adults) must not do. This is known as regulated activity.

If a voluntary organisation is engaging a member of staff or volunteer in regulated activity then a DBS enhanced check including a check against the relevant barring list(s) (children and/or adults) must be carried out before they start in that role.

Employers who wish to engage a person in regulated activity must not knowingly employ a barred person and are therefore eligible to ask for an enhanced DBS check to include a check against the relevant DBS barring list (children and/or adults list). This barring list check will show if someone is included or not on the relevant DBS list.

Other work not meeting the definition of regulated activity, but includes substantial contact with a child or (vulnerable) adult at risk, may be eligible for an enhanced DBS check as a matter of best practice. This type of check will not include a check against the barring lists.

The DBS Registered Body that is carrying out checks on your behalf should confirm the eligibility for the correct level of check. You can also use the eligibility tool on the DBS website.

It is not always necessary to carry out a new check every time you take on a new member of staff or volunteer, or need to recheck existing staff. Find out more from the DBS Update service

You can also contact the WCVA safeguarding service to discuss check eligibility and the use of DBS checks, including the Update service, as part of your overall recruitment plan.

Next Steps

Safeguarding Community - Recruiting safely

This information suite gives overviews of: safer recruitment and criminal record checks; regulated activity and eligibility; good practice guidance and checklists, and a model recruitment policy.