DBS Checks for Volunteers: A Guide

If your organisation is recruiting for volunteers who will be working with vulnerable people and children, it is your responsibility to conduct a more thorough safeguarding policy. A DBS check for volunteers, while not a solution to ensure foolproof protection, can still serve as a more comprehensive and effective safeguarding measure.

Who are qualified to be volunteers?

According to the DBS definition of a volunteer defined in the Police Act 1997 (criminal records) Regulations 2002, they are ‘Any person engaged in an activity which involves spending time, unpaid (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses), doing something which aims to benefit some third party and not a close relative.’

The applicant must not benefit from the volunteer position and receive payment except for travel and other approved expenses. Additionally, the applicant must not use the position as training to land a full-time post.

What are some examples of eligible and ineligible roles?

Some examples of eligible volunteer roles are parent helpers in schools, scouts and adoptive parents or other household members over 18 years old, as these positions are unpaid and provide service to a third party.

Examples of ineligible volunteer roles are foster carers and persons working abroad on volunteering projects as these positions receive payments even if they provide a service to a third party. Medical, teaching and social work students who are on a work placement as training is also considered ineligible because they are usually paid and the position benefits the student.

Are people with past convictions eligible for being a volunteer?

Ex-offenders often worry that they might not be able to take volunteer activities because of their record, but it is important to provide a fair recruitment to all applicants. Usually, individuals who are banned to work with children and vulnerable adults are informed about their status. If the volunteer position is suited to the person regardless of the criminal record, consider the application first and decide with the organisation.

If your organisation is in need of an efficient online system to process DBS checks of volunteers, Care Check can provide you with what you need and can also tailor a company account to suit specific requirements. Since DBS checks for volunteers are free, we do not charge for the check itself, however, there is a small admin fee plus VAT which ranges from £5.00 – £10.00 depending on application volumes.

Register now and take full advantage of Care Check’s online system. If you have any enquiries, call us on 0333 777 8575 or email us at info@carecheck.co.uk and a member of our friendly team will reach out to you promptly.