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Disclosure & Barring Service


Go to the DBS government website

The DBS Update Service came into effect on 17th June 2013.
Individuals are able to apply to have their criminal record check kept up to date and employers/voluntary organisations are able to go online to see if the information released is still current and valid. The update service will ultimately reduce the number of criminal record checks people need to have, saving everyone time and money.
Anyone who now applies for their criminal record check can choose to subscribe to the update service for £13 per annum (FREE FOR VOLUNTEERS) so that they can take their criminal record check from role to role within the same workforce.
Employers and voluntary organisations can carry out free instant online checks of an individual’s certificate (with their consent and as long as they have subscribed to the update service) to check that it is up to date. You would only need to seek a new criminal record check if the system tells you something has changed.

How does an individual register for the update service?
An individual who has a DBS issued can subscribe to the update service and log in at, this must be done 19 calendar days from the date of issue printed on the certificate. Just enter your application form or DBS certificate number, name, date of birth and address and pay the subscription fee (THIS SERVICE IS FREE FOR VOLUNTEERS).
Click on the link (PDF, 81.1KB 1 page), for your guide “How to subscribe to the DBS Update Service”.
When subscribing to the Update Service, please make a note of your unique ID number and keep it safe. You should not share this ID number with anyone because you will use it to access your Update Service account online.
If you’ve lost your certificate and are subscribed to the Update Service, you will need to apply for a new certificate, add that to your account and then remove your old certificate from your Update Service account. We cannot issue a replacement certificate.
How does an organisation carry out a status check?
You can carry out Status checks at
You will need to enter the name of your organisation, your forename and surname and then the following details of the DBS certificate being checked:
• DBS Certificate Number
• Current surname of the certificate holder as shown on their DBS certificate
• Date of birth of the certificate holder as shown on their DBS certificate
Click on the link date_Service_how_to_carry_out_status_checks_04.10.13.pdf (PDF, 138KB 1 page), for your guide “Guidance Update Service: How to carry out status checks”

Question x61 - Position applied for - what you need to do now
The Police will now use this broader definition of 'workforce' to assess the relevance of any information that they may consider for release. Application forms, which do not include the relevant workforce and position applied for in section x61, will be returned.
Understanding Workforces
The documents are not a comprehensive list of all conditions, which must be applied for the role to be eligible; you still have to meet the eligibility criteria in law before you consider the workforce. However we hope they will provide you with the guidance you need to support your decision-making.
As a reminder of how to fill in this section correctly, field x61 Line 1 MUST contain the relevant workforce, and field x61 Line 2 MUST contain the position applied for.

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There are three types of workforce: • Child • Adult • Other
Where the role involves working with both Children and Adults, you need to complete x61 line 1 as Child and Adult workforce.

DBS - Volunteers: who is eligible? DBS guide to eligibility
When applying for a standard or enhanced DBS check, you need to consider if the position applied for is eligible. This is the case for both paid and voluntary positions.
The DBS Compliance team work closely with their Registered Body network and there has been a noticeable increase in some organisations submitting checks for volunteers who are not eligible for a DBS check. These ineligible applications have included shop assistants, who may meet our definition of a volunteer, but are not in a position that's eligible for a DBS check.
Before submitting an application for a voluntary position, follow these steps:
Step 1: Establish whether the role the applicant is applying for is eligible for a criminal record check. A good starting point is to view the updated eligibility guidance.
Step 2: Once you’re satisfied the role is eligible, consider whether it meets the DBS definition of a volunteer. They define a ‘volunteer’ as: ‘A person engaged in an activity which involves spending time, unpaid (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses), doing something which aims to benefit some third party other than or in addition to a close relative.’
Step 3: When you’re satisfied it meets the DBS definition, cross the volunteer box as ‘Yes’ at question x68 on the application form.
To qualify for a free-of-charge volunteer check, the applicant must not:
• Benefit financially from the position for which the DBS application is being submitted.
• Receive any payment (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses).
• Be on a work placement.
• Be in a trainee position or undertaking a course of study that will lead to a full time role/qualification.
• Be a paid foster carer or a member of a foster carer household.
The DBS monitor volunteer applications and will take action if they believe inappropriate volunteer applications are being submitted.

DBS barred lists
Jobs that involve caring for, supervising or being in sole charge of children or adults require an enhanced DBS check (previously called an enhanced CRB check).
This includes checking whether someone is included in the two DBS ‘barred lists’ (previously called ISA barred lists) of individuals who are unsuitable for working with:
• children • adults
It’s against the law for employers to employ someone or allow them to volunteer for this kind of work if they know they’re on one of the barred lists.

Referring someone to the DBS - DBS referral form
Employers must refer someone to the DBS if they:
• sacked them because they harmed a child or adult
• sacked them or removed them from working in regulated activity because they might have harmed a child or adult
• were planning to sack them for either of these reasons but the person resigned first
If you want help referring someone to the DBS, contact the DBS referrals helpline: 01325 953795 Find out about call charges
An employer is breaking the law if they don’t refer someone to the DBS for any of these reasons.
DBS Referral Form Guidance - DBS referral form guidance
The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 (SVGA) places a legal duty on employers and personnel suppliers to refer any person who has:
• Harmed or poses a risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult;
• Satisfied the harm test; or
• Received a caution or conviction for a relevant offence.
If you need help and guidance with the new system please contact Debbie on 01785 240378.

Applicant-only DBS certificates
The registered body no longer receives a copy of the applicant's DBS certificate. You will need to ask the applicant to see their DBS certificate and can make use of the online update service. This is part of the government’s aim to put the individual in greater control of their own data allowing them to challenge the information released before it is seen by the employer/voluntary organisation.

Download Applicant Guide Download Employer Guide Download DBS Check List