Compliance checks in Care: What is a DBS check?

Compliance checks in Care: What is a DBS check?

Typically, a job in social care will require you to get a DBS check. But what is it? What will you need to get one? In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about getting your DBS certificate. 

Table of Contents 

What does DBS stand for? 

DBS stands for Disclosure and Barring Service and these are the people who will process your certificate application. There are four types of checks currently available: a basic check, a standard check, an enhanced check, and an enhanced check plus whether you’re on the adults’ barred list, children’s barred list or both. 

You can request a basic check for yourself, but your employer will need to give you an application form if they want a standard or enhanced check (which is normally what is required for social care when your role involves working with vulnerable adults or children). 

What is the difference between CRB and DBS? 

Initially, you may have had a ‘CRB check’ done for you to work in social care. However, in 2012, the Criminal Records Bureau was replaced by the Disclosure and Barring Service, so now you will be asked to get a DBS check.  

What do I need for a DBS check? 

There are lots of different ID requirements for a DBS check, depending on your nationality. You can see all of the ID routes on the DBS website. 

Most people can do Route 1: 

one document from Group 1 

2 further documents from either Group 1, or Group 2a or 2b 

At least one of the documents must show your current address. 

An acceptable group of documents would be your passport, your current driving licence photocard (full or provisional) and a bank statement. However, your employer will be able to give you full guidance on what they need from you, and you can see all of the documents you can use above. 

How much is a DBS check? 

A basic and standard check is £18. An enhanced or enhanced with barred lists check is £38. A lot of social care employers will pay for the check for you but ask beforehand. 

After you’ve received your DBS certificate, you can sign up for the DBS update service for £13 a year. This will allow you, in lots of cases, to take your DBS certificate from one job to the next because it will be updated every year. It also means your DBS will be renewed more often, which some jobs ask for. There are some exceptions to this. 

How long does a DBS check take? 

A DBS usually takes around 14 days to come back, but this does vary. Some will get their certificates back very quickly whereas others may take longer if multiple police databases need to be checked. If your DBS gets stuck in its final stages (stage 4), you can escalate the check at 60 days. You’ll need to contact the DBS to do this, but your prospective employer should support you here. 

Fake DBS checks – keeping yourself safe 

As part of the Home Office Stop! Think Fraud campaign, the Disclosure and Barring Service released some advice for ensuring that job seekers were not tricked into paying for a non-existent DBS. You can find all of the tips on their website. 

We hope this advice is helpful and you now feel confident in how to get a DBS check and what you need for it. 

Find your next role in care on Care and Support Jobs.