Menu

SchoolsWeb

Types of DBS check

Types of DBS check

There are four different types of DBS check and each type of check provides a different level of information.   

Information in different types of DBS check

 Information

Basic

Standard

Enhanced

Enhanced for Regulated Activity

Unspent convictions

 Yes   Yes   Yes   Yes

Spent Convictions*

  No   Yes   Yes   Yes

Cautions, Reprimands or Warnings*

  No   Yes   Yes   Yes

Other relevant ‘soft’ information held by police forces

  No    No   Yes   Yes

Inclusion on Children’s Barred list

  No   No   No   Yes

Inclusion on Adults’ Barred list

  No   No   No   Yes

*Old/minor convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings are automatically filtered and are not included in a DBS Certificate.  Please see Appendix 1 for further detail on filtering.   

Information about filtering rules, together with the list of offences that will never be filtered.

Basic DBS Check

A Basic Check can be used for any position or purpose.  A Basic Check shows any ‘unspent’ criminal convictions in the UK that an applicant may have which must be declared.  A Basic Check may be required for those working in posts where there is access to sensitive information or who have access to a PSN network. 

A Basic Check will contain details of convictions and conditional cautions considered to be unspent under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

Standard DBS Check

A Standard Check shows details of all cautions, warnings, reprimands held on the Police National Computer, as well as all spent and unspent convictions held on an individual’s criminal record.  

This level of check will also reveal if the candidate appears on any government department lists of people who are deemed unsuitable to work with children.

Roles requiring standard or enhanced DBS checks are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 which means that all criminal information is provided about an applicant, even if it would otherwise be ‘spent’.

A standard check is available for duties, positions and licenses included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975, for example, court officers, employment within a prison and Security Industry Authority, solicitors and those accessing sensitive information.

Enhanced DBS Check without a Barred List Check

An Enhanced Check searches against criminal records and other sources, including the Police National Computer (PNC).  The check may reveal convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings. 

An Enhanced DBS Check may also include relevant (”approved”) information the police have on record even if it has not resulted in a caution or conviction (for example if allegations have been made and reported to the police).

Work with adults

The activities which are eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check without a Barred List Check are detailed below.  The activities must be carried out wholly or mainly for adults in receipt of a health and social care service as defined below:

  • Is living in residential accommodation, such as a care home or a residential special school;
  • Is living in sheltered housing;
  • Is receiving domiciliary care in his or her own home
  • Is receiving any form of health care;
  • Is detained in a prison, remand centre, young offender institution, secure training centre or attendance centre or under the powers of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999;
  • Is in contact with probation services;
  • Is receiving a welfare service of a description to be prescribed in regulations;
  • Is receiving a service or participating in an activity which is specifically targeted at people with age-related needs, disabilities or prescribed physical or mental health conditions or expectant or nursing mothers living in residential care (age-related needs includes needs associated with frailty, illness, disability or mental capacity);
  • Is receiving direct payments from a local authority/HSS body in lieu of social care services;
  • Requires assistance in the conduct of his or her own affairs.

Activities with adults in receipt of the above health and social care services:

Individuals carrying out one or more of the following activities with adults in receipt of the above services will be eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check without a Barred List Check.  The activity must be carried out regularly* by the same person.

  • Providing any form of care, supervision, treatment or therapy.  (“Care” in this context excludes the provision of “personal care” which is a “regulated activity”);
  • Providing any form of teaching, training, instruction, assistance, advice or guidance on their emotional or physical well-being;
  • Face to face contacts with adult residents in a care home;
  • Representing or providing advocacy on behalf of a statutory service and has contact with an adult;
  • Providing transportation wholly or mainly for adults and their carers to and from places where they will be receiving / or have received healthcare services (excludes taxis which can be used by the general public);
  • Individuals who are specified office holders e.g.
    • Chief executives of local authorities that have any social service functions
    • Directors of adult social services
    • Individuals who have to register with the CQC in order to provide a health or social care service i.e. registered managers and service providers
    • Elected members of a local authority, members of the executive of a local authority or a member of any committee of the executive (including area committees and sub committees) who discharge social services functions

* Regularly is defined as:

  • Frequently: at least once a month on an ongoing basis
  • Intensively: any time on four or more times in any thirty day period
  • Overnight: any time between 2am and 6am which gives the opportunity for the person to have contact with an adult

Work with Children

Work with children includes anyone who works or volunteers on a supervised basis with children in a specified role or a specified place.

The activity with children must be carried out regularly* by the same person.

Specific roles that are eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check without a Barred List Check are listed below and are on the basis of supervised access to children whilst undertaking those roles:

  • Providing any form of care, supervision, treatment or therapy; (Care in this context excludes ”personal care” which is a “regulated activity”)
  • Providing any form of teaching, training, instruction, assistance, advice or guidance on their emotional or physical well-being;
  • Moderating a chat room
  • Providing transportation wholly or mainly for children (and their carers or guardians) to or from places where they will be receiving / or have received health care services (excludes taxies which can be used by the general public);
  • Work with children also includes individuals who have regular day to day management or supervision of individuals carrying out the above activities.

Specified places include work or volunteering in a range of establishments including:

  • An educational institution (e.g. a school or a PRU)
  • A Nursery
  • A children’s hospital
  • A children’s detention centre (e.g. a prison or remand centre)
  • A children’s home or a children’s care home
  • Childcare premises

*Regularly is defined as:

  • Frequently: at least once a week on an ongoing basis
  • Intensively: any time on four or more times in any thirty day period
  • Overnight: any time between 2am and 6am which gives the opportunity for the person to have contact with a child.

Please note:  Employees or volunteers working in an unsupervised capacity in a specified role or specified place will be in “regulated activity” and will therefore be eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check with a Barred List Check (see below).

Enhanced DBS Check with Barred List Check

Barred List information is not routinely provided in an Enhanced Check and can only be requested for those positions or activities listed under the definition of regulated activity in the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 (as amended by the Protection of Freedoms Act in 2012).

An Enhanced DBS Check with Barred ListCheck (either Children or Adults or Children and Adults) searches against criminal records and other sources, including the PNC.  The check may reveal convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings and includes a check of whether the individual is barred from working with Children, Adults or both) depending on the appropriate workforce.

Definitions of Regulated Activity

Children and Young People

Work of a specified nature which involves close and unsupervised contact with children which occurs frequently/regularly in a specified place.

  • Specified role/work e.g. a Teacher, Learning Support Assistant, Midday Supervisor
  • Specified nature e.g. teaching, training, care, supervision, advice, treatment
  • Close work which involves close proximity to a child and allows the possibility of a relationship to be built (including online)
  • Unsupervised there is no-one overseeing the activity who has had a DBS and barred list check (i.e. someone who has been checked for undertaking Regulated Activity)
  • Frequency Once a week or more often
  • Specified place e.g. a school, youth club, care home
  1. Unsupervised activities: teaching, training, instructing, caring for or supervising children, or providing advice / guidance on well-being, or driving a vehicle only for children.
  2. Work for a limited range of establishments (‘specified places’), with opportunity for contact, for example schools, children's homes, childcare premises (but not work by supervised volunteers).

Work under (1) or (2) is Regulated Activity only if done regularly. In this context, ‘regular’ means carried out by the same person frequently (once a week or more often), or on 4 or more days in a 30-day period (or in some cases, overnight).

  1. Relevant personal care, for example washing or dressing; or health care by or supervised by a professional, even if done once.

Adults

The definition of Regulated Activity relating to adults no longer labels adults as ‘vulnerable’. Instead, the definition identifies the activities which, if any adult requires them, lead to that adult being considered vulnerable at that particular time.

The focus is on the activities required by the adult and not on the setting received, nor on the personal characteristics or circumstances of the adult receiving the activities. There is no longer a requirement for a person to do the activities a certain number of times before they are engaging in Regulated Activity. Any time a person engages in the activities set out below, they are engaging in regulated activity.

There are six categories of people who will fall within the new definition of regulated activity (and so will anyone who provides day to day management or supervision of those people). A broad outline of these categories is set out below:

  • The provision of health care by a health care professional, or by a person acting under the direction or supervision of a health care professional (such as a health care assistant in a hospital or care home)
  • The provision of relevant personal care (washing, dressing, toilet, eating, drinking)
  • The provision of social work or community care services by social workers to adults who are clients or potential clients
  • The provision of assistance in relation to general household matters for an adult who needs that assistance because of age, illness or disability, (e.g. managing a person’s cash, paying bills or shopping for someone)
  • Any relevant assistance in the conduct of an adult’s own affairs, (e.g. under an enduring power of attorney)
  • Transportation in certain circumstances which is needed because of age, illness or disability, although the Government has pointed out that this will not include family and friends or taxi drivers

Examples:

1. A care assistant in a care home who cuts and files an adult’s nails as the adult cannot do it themselves, because, for example, they cannot see well enough, would be engaging in regulated activity.

2. A beauty therapist who attends a day care centre once a week and provides manicures for anyone who would like one, instead of for people who need them because of their age, illness or disability, is not engaging in regulated activity.

3. A volunteer who prepares and serves a meal to an adult in their own home (but does not feed the adult) is not engaging in regulated activity. To be engaged in regulated activity you must provide physical assistance to the person, for example spoon feeding that person, or you must be prompting and supervising (for example, prompting and supervising a person with dementia, because without it they would not eat), or you must be training or instructing (for example, teaching a person who has suffered a stroke to eat using adapted cutlery).

4. A health care assistant on a hospital ward who feeds an adult because they are too frail to feed themselves would be engaging in regulated activity.

5. A worker in a care home who reminds a person with dementia to eat their lunch, and ensures they do so is in regulated activity.

Summary

Any time a person engages in one of the activities above, a DBS check is required as regulated activity is being undertaken. - even if the activity occurs only once.

The requirement for a DBS check is based not on the characteristics of the adult but the activities being undertaken.

Was this page helpful?

1 star
Very poor
3 stars
Neither good nor poor
5 stars
Very good