DBS Checks for Adult Social Care Roles

The Disclosure and Barring Service released a new DBS checks leaflet to discuss adult social care roles on 12 February 2020. The leaflet has been published to address DBS check eligibility within the adult social care sector, and applies to both paid and voluntary positions undertaken by employees.

If duties for a particular job within social care change, even in terms of a minor adjustment to the role, this can affect the type of check that is required. It’s therefore important to use these guidelines in relation to which criminal record checks are needed within England for adult social care roles.

How Do the Checks Differ from Child Workforce DBS Checks?

A different guidance is in place for child workforce DBS checks, and it is designed to cover DBS checks for social care roles that relate to working solely with children.

So, unless an employee works across social care services that directly involve children as well as adults, checks for adult social care jobs would be submitted under the adult workforce guidelines.

How Many DBS Check Levels Are There?

In the UK, there are four different types of DBS checks available.

The main three categories are basic, standard and enhanced DBS checks. Each check requires a different degree of information about the applicant to be disclosed, and there will be distinct eligibility criteria for each type of check as well.

However, there are two different levels of enhanced DBS checks, as they can either include or exclude a barred list check.

When Should Enhanced DBS Checks Include an Adults’ Barred List Check?

If an individual’s role involves ‘regulated activity with adults’, as defined in the Regulated Activity With Adults in England guide, then the individual concerned will automatically be deemed eligible for an Enhanced DBS background check that includes an Adults’ Barred List check.

For the purpose of DBS checks, the term ‘adults’ is used to define people who are 18 or over and are disabled, ill and/or elderly. 

Regulated activity with adults is considered to be of an employee’s role if their work involves carrying out one of the 6 regulated activities as discussed in the above guide. Activities not included within the above guide, do not count as regulated activity and only gives eligibility for an Enhanced DBS check without the barred list as per the DBS adult workforce guide. So, one occurrence of regulated activity with adults is sufficient to warrant the inclusion of a barred list check.

Even individuals whose roles do not directly meet this criteria may still be considered to be in regulated activity with adults if they have managerial duties towards someone who is deemed to be in regulated activity with adults.

What are Regulated Activity Providers?

Regulated activity providers is the collective term for organisations whose employees are required to carry out regulated activity. All regulated activity providers are therefore expected to ensure that every staff member who completes regulated activity with adults undergoes the relevant DBS check.

They should also ensure that none of the individuals  working in regulated activity are included on the relevant barred list(s), as such lists determine which applicants are prohibited from working with children and vulnerable adults. It is deemed a criminal offence for anyone who is on the adults’ barred list to either accept or try to obtain work which involves regulated activity with adults.

If an individual is aware that someone is barred from such activity, or has reason to believe that this is the case, then they too would commit a criminal offence if they facilitated such engagement.

Which Social Care Roles May Require a DBS Check?

Adult social care roles which usually require an Enhanced DBS Check with an Adults’ Barred List check include healthcare professionals, care workers and social workers who work with adults as part of their role. 

Settings in which adult social care duties are carried out may also require DBS checks for other staff members, due to the nature of the environment in which they work. 

The adult care settings legislation within the leaflet helps to establish whether DBS checks are needed for cleaners or maintenance workers when such roles take place within day centres, care homes or supported living facilities, for example.

When is a Home-Based Check Needed?

A home-based check is needed if an applicant works with either children or adults at their own home address. It enables the police to decide if they need to disclose relevant information in relation to other people who are associated with the applicant’s address, in addition to the applicant themself. This type of check is not required if the regulated activity is completed at the address of anyone other than the applicant, such as the home of the adult they work with.

For further guidance regarding DBS checks and how to arrange them for your prospective employees, please contact us today.