The DBS have launched a new e-guide for completing the DBS application form. This is a really valuable tool in ensuring the application form is not rejected due to errors or incomplete information.
Requesting inappropriate list checks
It is an offence to request a check of the barred lists for a role that’s not eligible for one. Requesting inappropriate barred list checks may have an adverse impact on the applicant and any associated recruitment processes.
Please ensure when filling in the application and ticking to indicate a search of the adult or children’s barred lists (questions 64 and 65) you are entitled to know this information.
You may legally request barred list information where you’re assessing the applicant’s suitability to engage in regulated activity with children and/or adults but you must only do so for the list(s) relevant to that role. You’re also declaring that the applicant will be, or is currently, undertaking regulated activity with children and/or adults.
A full list of the positions for which you can request an adults or children’s barred list check can be found here
Since the merger of the ISA & CRB to form the DBS last December there have been a number of changes to the way individuals are checked and the information that is provided to the employer or registered body.
Some of the key changes are listed below, this is in response to a number of questions and queries received to the Safety Net DBS Service.
- The DBS now issue certificates to the applicant only, putting the individual in control of their own data.
- The DBS now use a new relevancy test when releasing non-conviction information about an individual. This is based on the type of workforce; children or adults, both or other. This change means that DBS Certificates can be taken from role to role within the same workforce if the applicant signs up directly to the DBS’s Update Service at a cost of £13 per year (free to volunteers).
For more information regarding the Update Service and for Applicant & Employer guides please see the following link: https://www.gov.uk/dbs-update-service
What is a volunteer?
DBS defines 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.’
Make sure that applications meet the DBS’ definition of a volunteer before selecting 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 directly 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 on a course that requires them to do this job role.
• Be in a trainee position that will lead to a full time role/qualification.
The new DBS service no longer provides details of ‘spent’ convictions following the recent Court of Appeal ruling, unless there is a pattern of regular/frequent offending or the offence was in relation to the Sexual Offences Act.
Watch this Space…..
The DBS are developing an online eligibility tool to provide the extra guidance for employers and organisations to decide which level of check is needed for specific job roles. They advise this is still at design stage, but they hope to have a working prototype ready soon.
In the meantime please still refer to the the ‘DBS guide to eligibility’ that has been updated on their website. This guidance helps you establish whether the law allows a criminal record check through DBS for a role you are recruiting for (or already have) in your organisation. The guide is available here:
Please note that since the DBS introduced single certificate issue Safety Net does not receive a copy of the certificate. We are able to track the status of the application online.
It is the responsibility of the employer or organisation to request sight of the certificate to ensure it is satisfactory for the purpose of recruitment. If there are any disclosures then Safety Net can advise the relevant procedure to take to make a recruitment decision.
DBS advise to ignore all previous advice regarding Question e55 on the criminal record check application and to treat this question as
‘Do you have any convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings which would not be filtered in line with current guidance?’
The DBS filtering guidance is available on their website.
It contains full details of the filtering rules and a list of offences which will never be filtered, which has been derived from legislation
It is vital that field x61 Line 1 on the application form MUST contain the relevant workforce, and field x61 Line 2 MUST contain the position applied for. The changes were made to give the police the information they need for their relevancy test which is now applied against the new prescribed purpose of child and/or adult workforce. This also assists the applicant to take their certificate with them from job to job if the join the Update Service.
The relevant workforces are:
- Child Workforce
- Adult Workforce
- Child and Adult Workforce
- Other Workforce
18 June 2013 Safety Net’s updated DBS Disclosure Information Pack made available online.
Single Certificates from 17 June 2013 the DBS will issue single certificates to the applicant only. The Registered Body / organisation will no longer receive a copy. This change does not affect the employer’s right to have sight of DBS disclosure information for eligible roles. Organisations retain responsibility for risk assessing positive disclosure information.
Launch of the Update Service applicants can chose to subscribe to this service for a fee of £13 per annum (free to volunteers). The certificate can be re-useable within the same work force. This will mean that with the individual’s consent, employers will be able to undertake a free online check to establish whether the status of the DBS disclosure provided by the applicant has changed.
The DBS removed certain specified old and minor offences from certificates . The filtering rules, together with the list of offences that will never be filtered, are available on the DBS website.
DBS amended Question e55 on the criminal record check application form from “have you ever been convicted of a criminal offence or received a caution, reprimand or warning? to “do you have any unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings?”