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.

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A nurse talking with an elderly lady in her garden

DBS Checks For Care And Nursing Homes

The DBS, or CRB as it was when it opened back in 2002 was introduced for many reasons, but primarily to safeguard vulnerable people such as children or adults requiring support or care.

Over the years, the DBS has evolved to process DBS checks for many different types or organisation, industry or charity, but possibly one of the primary industries that uses the service is care and nursing homes for adults and children. This is due to the fact that in most cases, the applicant needs to have a DBS check in place before they commence work. DBS checks for care workers play a critical role in ensuring the safety of the clients they care for.

Care work is broadly defined as:

  • Assisting a person with activities such as dressing, eating and drinking, and washing and using the toilet.
  • Being available to ensure a person carries out the above activities for themselves.
  • Providing training or education in personal care.

DBS eligibility for Adult Care and Nursing Homes

When the DBS was introduced in 2002, if a care home was employing a staff member they would require an enhanced DBS check with a relevant barring list check whatever their role. This changed in September 2012 when the newly appointed coalition government decided to pull DBS checks back to what they believed was a proportionate level. With this the eligibility criteria for checks changed in certain environments and a list of tasks was introduced that the applicant had to be regularly carrying out in order to have an enhanced check with a barring list. This legislation change only applied to people working with vulnerable adults. So for example, for a carer. Manager, or someone providing healthcare or hands on assistance nothing changed, but if the applicant was a domestic, laundry assistant, maintenance operative or cook/kitchen assistant they became only eligible for an enhanced check without an adults barring list. There was also a frequency criteria introduced which meant the applicant had to be working within that environment more than three times a month or once overnight.

DBS Checks for Children’s Care Homes

There was no legislation change for people working within care homes for children, and whatever their role, whether they be responsible or caring for a child they remained to have an enhanced level check with a children’s barring list. The change only applied to those working with adults.

Home-Based DBS Checks

If care work is to be carried out in the applicant’s home – for example, if a client will visit them in their home – a home-based check is required. This in addition to the applicant’s check. A home-based check looks at and will potentially disclose relevant information about other people associated with the address at which the work will be carried out.

DBS Checks & Criminal Record Checks

DBS Adult 1st Checks/ISA 1st Checks/ Pova Checks

DBS Adult 1st Checks were introduced back before  an online application process was in place, and everyone had to go via paper channel. The name of these has changed over the years. First they were called POVA 1st Checks, then ISA First Checks and finally the name was changed to DBS Adult 1st Check.. 

A DBS Adult 1st Check is used by a care or nursing home with adults when an enhanced DBS check with adults barring list is talking too long to come back. It enables an applicant to work supervised in their role until the full DBS is completed.

It is commonly thought within CQC, CIW regulated care, nursing homes and domiciliary care agencies that a DBS Adult 1st Check has to be requested on all applications. However, this is not the case. If an employer is going via the paper route, then it would be advisable however,  using an online application channel such as Care Check, the vast majority of Enhanced DBS Checks are completed within 24 hours to 5 days, so they are not required. This also provides the employer with quite a cost saving on the application process.

DBS Check Renewals

In England, there is no CQC regulation that states that a DBS has to be renewed on a regular basis, although it is advisable to renew a check periodically. In Wales, organisations regulated by CIW are required to renew checks every 3 years. In both cases, if an applicant goes to work for an organisation and has had a check issued that is appropriate within 3 months it can be accepted and used by the new employer. 

Can someone still work in a care home if they have convictions?

Having a criminal record does not automatically bar a person from working in certain roles. The DBS Check is there to help the employer make an informed recruitment decision and it is important that all employers make candidates aware that if they have a conviction it won’t necessarily affect their employment. All employers are required to discuss the information contained on a certificate with the applicant, and ascertain if they still believe they would be a risk to their business or service users.

Care Check provides Basic, Standard and Enhanced DBS Checks to all industries. Processing 90% of Basic DBS Checks in under 24 hours and 85% of Enhanced and Standard DBS checks within 24 hours to 5 days. We can have employers and charities set up on our system within a few minutes of registering and we do not charge any licensing or setup fees. If you have any queries or require any help don’t hesitate to contact Care Check on 0333 777 8575 or email info@carecheck.co.uk

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