September 2019 - DBS Checks: Changes & Reminders

Please make sure that this information is passed on to anyone in your organisation who deals with DBS applications.

Unacceptable errors: The DBS has decided that applications with certain errors will no longer be accepted. If they receive forms with these errors the application will be withdrawn and the applicant will have to submit a new application. Payment will not be refunded in these cases.

Incomplete address history: The most common error is not ensuring that months overlap. The DBS view is that house moves happen in one day so address histories saying, for example, an applicant left one address in December 2018 and moved in to the next in January 2019, would always have been returned by the DBS with a query. Now this error will invalidate the form.

s.61 Workforce: Incorrect information in this section will also invalidate an application.

Eligibility: The DBS has reminded us of the importance of ensuring eligibility for barred list checks. As a reminder, a barred list check is an add on to an Enhanced DBS check, not an automatic part of one. If you are applying for a DBS for someone who will be working with children they can only have a barred list check if their work will involve them working unsupervised with the same group of young people in a training, supervising or similar role frequently or regularly. Adult barred list checks are predominantly for social workers or care home workers and are rarely applicable in our sector. Full guidance on eligibility for barred list checks can be found here

Charges: From 1 October 2019 charges for DBS checks are being reduced
Type of DBS check

Basic DBS check £25.00 (Current fee) £23.00 (Fee from 1 October 2019)
Standard DBS check £26.00 (Current fee) £23.00 (Fee from 1 October 2019)
Enhanced DBS check £44.00 (Current fee) £40.00 (Fee from 1 October 2019)

A reminder of the law about disclosure of criminal records: The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, covering England, Wales and Scotland, and the Rehabilitation of Offenders (Northern Ireland) Order 1978 set out rehabilitation periods during which a conviction or youth caution is said to be “unspent”. After this period, it is said to be “spent” and should not normally be taken into account when recruiting. Some sentences never become “spent”. DBS checks, which disclose all convictions (spent and unspent), are allowed in certain very specific circumstances, for work with children or with adults in vulnerable circumstances, or for certain financial, legal and other roles; these are called “Excepted Roles”. Where jobs are not “Excepted Roles ” only unspent convictions generally have to be disclosed, and only if the employer asks about them, a spent conviction in effect never happened and does not need to be revealed.