The ability for an employer, voluntary organisation or licensing organisation to ask an individual to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, at either Standard or Enhanced level, is set out in legislation. Eligibility is based upon the nature of the duties for the specific position. To be eligible for a DBS check, a position must be:
- Listed in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 – this entitles the position to a Standard level check only.
- Prescribed in The Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) Regulations – this entitles the position to an Enhanced level check. These are for posts that involve a far greater degree of contact with children or vulnerable adults. In general the type of work will involve regularly caring for, supervising, training or being in sole charge of such people. Examples include a Teacher, Scout or Guide leader. Enhanced checks are also issued for certain statutory purposes such as gaming and lottery licences.
If you are in any doubt you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 03000 200190.
It is important that your organisation only completes the level of check the role is eligible for and that the check is necessary. If an individual knowingly asks for a DBS check for a post which is not included in the Exceptions Order 1975 to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (ROA), they would be in breach of Part V, section 123 of the Police Act, in that they are committing an offence by knowingly making a false statement for the purpose of obtaining or enabling another person to obtain a certificate under this.
As providers of DBS checks, there are rises in the number of applications which are being stopped and subjected to additional justification requirements. Not only does this represent an unnecessary delay to the check which you require, but there are potentially criminal (see above) and employment law related consequences (failure to lawfully request a DBS check of an individual could lead to a number of HR related complaints and grievances against the organisation).
With electronic DBS checks there is a need to enter the job role that will be undertaken by the staff member or volunteer applying for the check, and this may well be different to the job title that would have been asked for on the paper DBS form. The job role should reflect the qualifying criteria which makes the role eligible for a check.
No, elsewhere on the form you are requested to identify whether the person being checked is a volunteer. This is only relevant to DBS is for charging reasons as checks for volunteers are free of charge, although an admin fee is still charged by the umbrella body. In terms of a job role then ‘volunteer’ does not describe the activities or the requirement for the check and cannot be used
There is a common misconception that some companies can obtain DBS checks quicker than each other. There is no real merit to the argument; once applications are transmitted to DBS then all providers are powerless.