DBS Checks & Criminal Record Checks

Care Check is a leading umbrella body for the Disclosure and Barring Service and has been named one of the top 8 providers for criminal record checks in the UK.

Sign up to our newsletter

Get in touch with us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Are DBS Checks Transferable

Are DBS Checks Transferable Between Employers? TUPE Updates

DBS, an acronym for Disclosure and Barring Service, is an official record that states an individual’s criminal convictions and is a requirement for candidates working with vulnerable groups. Professions such as health care workers, social service workers, teachers and caregivers are required to complete DBS checks.

Proper screening is an essential part of any job application. But is a DBS transferable in the case of a change in employment? Due to the variety of DBS checks, such as basic, standard and enhanced, each case varies. However, it is possible to obtain a transferable DBS check.

We discuss the process involved in transferring DBS checks between employers and job occupations.

How Does A DBS Work?

There are various levels of DBS checks that work through several different screening processes. Depending on the profession, you will be required to complete one of the three checks. Understanding the three will help with future DBS transfers because if you choose to alter your career path, your DBS check might no longer suffice.

  1. Basic DBS check: Suitable for those working in hospitality or construction, the basic DBS will check criminal history, convictions and cautions from the Police National Computer (PNC).
  2. Standard DBS check: Suitable for lawyers and accountants, the standard DBS checks for all cautions, warnings, and reprimands a person has – unspent convictions will appear here.
  1. Enhanced DBS check: An enhanced DBS check requires an employer to request the check on the applicant’s behalf. The check reviews whether an individual is listed on the Children’s Barred List or Adult First list. This check is suitable for most health care professions and education roles.

Applying for a DBS check online through Care Check ensures that your application is valid and error-free, cost-effective, simple, quick and discreet.

DBS Checks & Criminal Record Checks

Are DBS Checks Transferable Between Organisations?

Two factors determine whether a DBS check is transferable between employers.

Firstly, you need to be applying for a position in the same career field – that requires the same type of DBS check. The reason for this is that each check provides a different criterion, and employers might not have access to certain information due to the level of disclosure.

Secondly, the DBS check is only transferable if you have signed up for an update service. Applicants have 30 days to sign up for an update service once they have received their certificate. Therefore, if you were to change jobs with an update service subscription, your DBS check would remain valid for different employers – provided the career field is not altered.

DBS Update Service

A DBS update service is offered by the Disclosure and Barring Service and houses your DBS check so that it is easily accessible to you and your employers. With your consent, employers can review your check to ensure you are meeting the requirements.

The applicant will need to pay an annual £13.00 subscription fee, which will allow the DBS check to be transferable between employers. Registration will continue as long as you pay the yearly subscription fee. You can renew your subscription 30 days before it is due to expire.

Do I Need A DBS For Every Job?

You will not need to apply for a new DBS check if you intend to remain in the same industry. If you wish to change career fields, you will need to apply for a new DBS check, obtain the reference number and load it onto the update service system – it will then be transferable.

Do DBS Checks Transfer Under TUPE?

TUPE stands for Transfer of Undertakings, Protection of Employment, it is used when a company has been bought by or merges with another company. In layman’s terms, it is to protect the transferring employees by ensuring terms and conditions of the employment stay the same, such as; contract of employment, company benefits such as pension arrangements or holiday allowance, and it also protects from unfair dismissal.

The most commonly asked question about TUPE transfers are surrounding DBS (disclosure and barring service) checks, do you have to redo the affected employee’s checks all over again?

Will I Need A New DBS Check?

The short answer is maybe, the longer answer is a bit more complicated…

A DBS check is used to see if you have any unspent criminal convictions, they come in three levels; a basic DBS check, standard DBS check and enhanced DBS check. It may be assumed that if you move to a new employer by TUBE, your certificate should move with you, although there is no specific law on this issue. Many employers are happy with this thinking, but as there is no expiry date on the certificates, some employers may feel uncomfortable taking on someone they don’t know.

Although it’s not illegal to have a policy of doing new DBS checks, employees have to either check everyone or no one to be fair.

Should I Accept A Previously Issued DBS Certificate?

There are a few things to consider as an employer when deciding to accept a previously issued check or not:

  • Is the DBS Certificate authentic? There are features that can be used to certify the authenticity:
    • There should be a ‘Crown Seal’ repeated down the right-hand side, visible on the surface and whilst being held up to a light source.
    • The word ‘Disclosure’ is incorporated into the background design of a wave-like pattern, with a uniform colour on the front, but the back alternating between green and pink.
    • There is colour changing ink and paper when contact is made with water.
  • How old is the DBS Check? Although it may still be ‘within date’ – generally checks should be carried out every 3 years – the employee could have a further developed criminal record since being issued the check.
  • Enhanced checks may contain ‘additional’ non-conviction information that is withheld from the applicant’s copy for the prevention or detection of crime.

What’s The Process Of Getting A New DBS Check?

During TUPE, most roles carry on pretty much the same as before the transfer, which means your new employer can only ask you to have a new DBS check if your role remains unchanged.

If your new employer wants you to get a fresh DBS check they will be paying for it, TUPE regulations forbid them from asking employees to pay. The process of getting a new DBS certificate will be exactly the same as in other circumstances.

You will be asked to complete an application form, either online or on paper. This is the same form you would have used when you applied for your first DBS check. As usual, you will be asked to provide the original identifying documents and proof of address such as a birth certificate or passport, and utility bills or bank statements.  If you’re looking to get a fast and easy DBS check for your employees, choose Care Check, where you will receive your results in under 24 hours.

Read more