Since the pandemic started earlier this year, the DBS has provided free-of-charge fast-track Barred list checks in response to the growing demand for key workers during this crisis.
However, the system must be used correctly and for the purposes stated within the legislation and guidance for it to be maintained. The DBS has therefore provided further guidance which re-affirm the types of roles that may be eligible, but also those roles that the DBS believe should not be submitted via this route.
Fast Track DBS Check Eligibility
The fast-track service is only available where the role would normally meet the eligibility criteria for an Enhanced DBS certificate with a check of the Barred List. These roles include:
- Any health or social care professional who is registered, or registering temporarily, to assist with the delivery of treatment or care in an emergency involving the loss of human life or human illness. This comprises: Nurses / Nurse associates / Midwife
Social worker/ social worker in Wales
Pharmacist/ Pharmacy technician
(It also includes the registration of retired healthcare professionals and those whose training is nearly complete.)
- Staff who would be providing a health care or social care service in connection with a person who has, or is suspected of having, COVID-19. This includes staff that have been appointed to additional positions required to maintain healthcare or social care services such as additional ambulance drivers, additional cleaners and additional staff for Nightingale hospitals and in nursing homes.
- This criterion also applies to the recruitment of healthcare/social care roles, but only as a result of COVID-19 and not due to normal staff turnover.
This service has previously been applied to roles that are not set out in the guidance and the DBS has confirmed that if they find this has happened, they will recover payment and take action in accordance with the Code of Practice where necessary.
It must also be noted that the legislation does not cover roles in education, leisure or commercial sectors even where the roles are related to COVID-19.
To give a better explanation of this, the DBS have outlined below some scenario-based examples to clarify what the legislation does and does not cover:
- Alex has accepted a job as a care assistant at a care home for adults with learning disabilities. He will be replacing a member of staff who is leaving. The care home is otherwise fully staffed. Alex is not eligible for a free-of-charge enhanced DBS check and a fast-tracked emergency Adults’ Barred List check because he is not being recruited to provide social care as a consequence of COVID-19. The care home can apply for an enhanced DBS check with a check of the Adults’ Barred List in the usual way. However, if Alex had been employed because the care home needed extra staff as a result of extra tasks resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, such as extra cleaning, or to cover for staff who are off sick with COVID-19 symptoms he would be eligible for a free-of-charge enhanced DBS check and a fast-track emergency Adults’ Barred List check. This is because he would have been employed to provide care because of COVID-19.
- Rupal has accepted a job as a care worker providing domiciliary care in the local community. She visits people in their homes and provides personal care, including washing, dressing and cooking meals. Rupal was employed to help meet the increased need for domiciliary care workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She is eligible for a free-of-charge enhanced DBS check and a fast-track emergency Adults’ Barred List check. This is because she has been employed to provide care because of COVID-19. However, if Rupal had been employed as part of a recruitment drive for other reasons, she would not be eligible for a free-of-charge enhanced DBS check and a fast-track emergency Adults’ Barred List check. This is because she would not be being recruited to provide care as a consequence of COVID-19.
- Eric is a school nurse. He has accepted a job in a new school and the school requires a new DBS check. Nurses working within a school are eligible for an enhanced DBS check with a check of the Children’s Barred List. The school cannot, however, apply for a free-of-charge check under the new COVID-19 legislation because he is not being registered specifically to assist with the current health emergency, and he is not providing a healthcare service connected to the care or treatment of someone with, or suspected of having COVID-19. They are also unable to access the fast-track emergency Barred List check as described above. The school can apply for an enhanced DBS check with a check of the Children’s Barred List in the usual way.
- Joseph is a cleaner working in a gym. Extra cleaners have been employed to make sure the facilities are thoroughly cleaned after each session and the gym is COVID safe. Joseph is not eligible for a standard or enhanced check. He can obtain a basic DBS check in the usual way.
- Elliot is a lifeguard and has been employed to cover for a member of staff who is absent having had COVID-19. Elliot will be expected to work 4 days a week supervising pool users including children and is eligible for an enhanced DBS check with a check of the Children’s Barred List. Even though he is being employed to cover for someone absent due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he is not eligible for a free-of-charge check or a fast-track emergency Barred List check because he is not a healthcare professional being registered specifically to assist with the current health emergency and he is not providing a healthcare service connected to the care or treatment of someone with, or suspected of having COVID-19.
- Emily works in a recruitment agency that supplies medical staff to hospitals. She has been working to make sure extra staff required in the local hospital have been registered and DBS checked before being deployed. Emily is not eligible for a standard or enhanced DBS check. She can apply for a Basic DBS check in the usual way.
- Yousaf is a director of a care home. He does not usually provide care to residents as part of his role. He is not eligible for a standard or enhanced DBS check but can apply for a basic DBS check in the usual way. However, if he is applying because he is taking on an operational role, providing care to residents to assist during the pandemic, he would be eligible for a free-of-charge enhanced DBS check with a fast-track emergency Adults’ Barred List check. This is because he is providing a social care service as a consequence of COVID-19. His application should reflect this in the job title, for instance ‘Care Assistant COVID19’.
- Monica volunteers for a local charity that has been providing community support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her role includes collecting and delivering prescriptions and doing people’s shopping while they are self-isolating or recovering from COVID-19. If she is handling someone else’s money, she will be eligible for an enhanced DBS check with a check of the Adults’ Barred List. Monica is eligible for a free-of-charge DBS check if she meets the definition of a volunteer. She is not eligible to use the fast-track emergency Barred List check.
If you have any questions regarding this topic, please do not hesitate to contact Care Check on 0333 777 8575 and we will be happy to help. Care Check is a registered Umbrella Body for the DBS. We get 60% of Enhanced DBS checks back within 24 hours and 85% within 5 days.