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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Online DBS Checks

DBS Checks for Volunteers

Volunteers work with a broad range of industries and individuals, making it of utmost importance that volunteers are properly screened to safeguard the vulnerable groups they may work with.

In this blog, Care Check explores the regulation of volunteers in the UK, what level of DBS check they require for different industries, and what your options are if a volunteer has a criminal record.

Whether you’re a volunteer yourself or a hiring manager responsible for screening volunteers, this blog will provide you with valuable insights and information to help you navigate the world of volunteer DBS checks. So, let’s dive in and learn more about how to protect vulnerable individuals in our communities through proper screening of volunteers.

What Level of DBS Check is Required For Volunteers?

The level of DBS check required for a volunteer in the UK depends on the nature of their role and the level of contact they will have with children or vulnerable adults.

In general, most volunteers who work with children or vulnerable adults (or in regulated activity) will require Enhanced DBS checks, which include a check of the applicant’s criminal history (including both spent and unspent convictions), as well as any relevant information held by the police. In addition, the check will include a check of the applicant’s barred list status, which indicates whether they are barred from working with vulnerable individuals.

However, some volunteers may only require a Standard DBS check, which includes a check of the applicant’s criminal history (including both spent and unspent convictions) but does not include a check of the barred list.

It’s important to note that some voluntary positions are exempt from DBS checks, such as those that involve incidental contact with children or vulnerable adults, or those that are supervised at all times by a person who has been properly checked. You are also unlikely to find a voluntary position that requires just a Basic DBS check.

Ultimately, it’s up to the organisation responsible for managing volunteers to determine the appropriate level of volunteer DBS check required for each role.

DBS Checks & Criminal Record Checks

Who Regulates The Volunteer Industry In The UK?

The volunteer and charity industry in the UK is regulated by several bodies at both the national and local levels.

At the national level, the Charity Commission for England and Wales, the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR), and the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland are the main regulators of charities. These bodies are responsible for ensuring that charities in their respective regions are complying with the relevant laws and regulations and are operating in the best interests of their beneficiaries.

In addition, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is responsible for carrying out criminal record checks for individuals working or volunteering in certain roles with vulnerable individuals, such as children or adults at risk.

There are also a number of professional bodies and membership organisations that represent and provide support to charities and volunteers in the UK, such as the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO).

Finally, local authorities and other local organisations may also have a role in regulating and supporting charities and volunteers in their areas, such as providing funding, training, and other resources to support the work of these organisations.

What If A Volunteer Has A Criminal Record?

If one of your organisation’s volunteers has a criminal record that you were not aware of, it’s important to take appropriate action to protect the safety and well-being of those you serve. However, their having a DBS certificate that doesn’t quite come up to scratch doesn’t mean that they cannot serve in their work placement. This is dependent. Let’s find out more.

First, you should review your organisation’s policies and procedures for managing volunteers with criminal records to determine the appropriate course of action. This may include suspending or terminating the volunteer’s involvement with your organisation, depending on the nature and severity of their offence and the level of risk it poses to your service users.

You should also consider whether you have a duty to disclose the volunteer’s criminal record to relevant authorities, such as social services or the police if you believe there is a risk to the safety of vulnerable individuals.

It’s important to remember that volunteers with criminal records may still have valuable skills and experience to offer your organisation and that a criminal record alone does not necessarily disqualify someone from volunteering. However, it’s crucial to properly assess the risks and take appropriate measures to protect the safety of those you serve, particularly if the volunteer will come into direct contact with a vulnerable group.

Do Your Volunteers Need DBS Checks?

Applying for volunteer DBS checks is easy. Care Check has worked with a broad range of industries, from independent care homes, schools, and NHS trusts to construction companies and taxi firms. With over 20 years of experience behind us, we know exactly how to help you. So whether you require individual or bulk quantities, we can do a Basic DBS check, Standard DBS check, Enhanced DBS check, and more. Our online DBS checks portal makes the process easy and straightforward, and you’ll receive your DBS certificates in no time.

Get in touch with us today to find out more.

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