How to organise a DBS check
Organising a Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) check for your Personal Assistant (PA) is pivotal to maintain your safety. It’s also a prerequisite by law.
Your Personal Assistant will support you with a range of tasks that means you will work more closely with them compared to a traditional employer employee relationship.
There are over 11 million people in the UK with a criminal record. Although I am not here to pass judgement on convictions, people with spent or unspent convictions, safeguarding legislation enables you as a vulnerable employer, to carry out background checks on anyone who is to be employed by you.
What is the Disclosure and Barring Service?
Before it was known as the DBS, it was for a long time called the Criminal Records Bureau. This is where you often heard people use the term ‘CRB checks’. They set up the CRB to allow employers in the public, private and voluntary sectors to run background checks on any job applicant who they might consider offering work to. The CRB then merged with the Independent Safeguarding Authority to form the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
It is compulsory for any organisation that is involved with working with children or vulnerable adults to have background checks run on all potential employees before they work.
As a disabled person, they class you as a vulnerable person so this affords you the extra protection of being able to run background checks on any employee you hire to support you.
How to run a background check
If you run less than 100 checks per year, then you will need to use an approved umbrella body to run the checks for you. An umbrella company is an organisation the government recognises that as being able to run many DBS checks on behalf of individuals.
When you contact the umbrella body they will provide you with an application form. Your applicant needs to fill this in and provide original versions of these documents:
- all their addresses for the last 5 years and the dates they’ve lived there
- their National Insurance number
- a debit or credit card
- their passport
- their driving licence
You will then send their application form back to the umbrella company who will conduct the checks on your behalf.
Once you’ve done this, the DBS will issue your applicant with a certificate which they must show to you.
How much does it cost?
It depends on the check you have done.
|Type of check||Cost|
|Enhanced with barred list||£44|
Which type of check should I get done?
They strongly advise you ask for an enhanced with barred lists check. This applies for applicants who will work with children or adults like you who are in receipt of health or personal care. This check gives additional information that isn’t included in the standard check and may include non-conviction information for example, if the Chief Office feels it is relevant and should be included in the certificate.
Who pays for this?
Usually it would be down to you as the employer to pay for this service.
Even if your applicant has had previous checks and can show a certificate, you are still better off running a new check just to be sure.
How long does it take for my applicant to receive their certificate?
It usually takes about 8 weeks providing the information is accurate. There is no fast track service to get a quicker turnaround (like we can do for passports)
But 8 weeks is a long time, is there no other quicker way?
It is possible for anyone who is providing a care service to use DBS Adult First and you can ask the umbrella body you use to run this check on your behalf.
This will confirm, usually within in 2 days, if your applicant can start work (as long as someone supervises them so you will need to plan for this) or should wait for the results of an enhanced check to come through.
There is an additional cost of £6 to use this service.
To conclude, despite how excited you are about having your applicant start with you, please ensure you complete the DBS checks first. Whilst it might seem like a complete pain, it’s ultimately in place for your safety and protection.