With the COVID-19 vaccine rollout now available to those under 18, it’s vital to ensure that everybody on your pharmaceutical staff has the appropriate level of DBS check and that these are up to date.
Some level of check is required for most people operating within a pharmacy environment, but precisely how in-depth that check goes depends on their responsibilities. Let’s explore.
DBS Check Levels
There are three different levels of DBS check available to pharmacy staff. While there are no criteria for a Basic background check to be carried out, there are for Standard and Enhanced level checks.
Here’s a quick reminder of what The Disclosure and Barring Service reveals for each check :
- A Basic DBS check will reveal unspent convictions or conditional cautions of an applicant.
- A Standard DBS check reveals any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings the applicant has.
- An Enhanced DBS check reveals the same information as a Standard check, but also information held by the applicant’s local police force. An Enhanced check can also include a review of the appropriate barred list (children’s or adult’s).
The barred lists are held by the DBS and feature details of individuals who are forbidden from working with children and adults. Their role must involve regulated activity with adults and/or children to be eligible for this check.
Do Pharmacists Work In Regulated Activity?
Regulated activity refers to a list of roles and responsibilities that involve contact with vulnerable adults or children.
We have a complete guide on what constitutes regulated activity for children. However, because they are operating within a healthcare position and may be providing guidance on a child’s wellbeing, pharmacists involved in the COVID vaccination scheme would be considered eligible for this highest level of DBS check.
If a pharmacist were found to be on that list, you mustn’t allow them to vaccinate children or be involved in any task that puts them in direct contact.
Are Pharmacists DBS Checked?
Outside of the COVID vaccination scheme, it’s essential that all pharmaceutical staff have the correct level of DBS checked against them and that these are updated regularly. As we’ve said before, the level of DBS check is entirely dependant on their role and responsibilities:
DBS Checks For Pharmacists And Pharmacy Technicians
For every person working as a pharmacist or pharmacy technician, it is an NHS regulatory requirement to register with the General Pharmaceutical Council. This means they are classed as a healthcare professional and therefore eligible for an Enhanced DBS check, including the adults’ and children’s barred lists.
Any person employed as a pharmacist or pharmacy technician will engage in regulated activity as they provide healthcare for adults and children.
DBS Checks For Pharmaceutical Delivery Drivers
A person employed by a pharmacy or volunteering for them as a medication delivery driver is under no requirement for any level of background check. With that said, it is good practice for pharmacies to request a basic level check.
The only exception would be if a driver were delivering controlled drugs. In this instance, they would be eligible for an Enhanced DBS check which must be done via the Security Watchdog. They would also be required to register to the Controlled Drugs Licensing System.
DBS Checks For Dispensers And General Pharmacy Assistants
When analysing dispenser and general pharmacy assistant roles and DBS checks, the picture becomes a little complicated.
Suppose a dispenser or general pharmacy assistant supervises someone completing regulated activity with children or vulnerable adults daily. In that case, they are eligible for the same type of check as the person they are supervising.
Dispensers and general pharmacy assistants who aren’t supervising staff but do provide advice for adults and children on their healthcare over three times in 30 days are eligible for an Enhanced check with a check on the children’s barred list only.
DBS Checks For Other Employees In Pharmacies
Anyone working in a pharmaceutical role that has the potential for regular contact with people receiving healthcare is eligible for a Standard DBS check.
Suppose an employee doesn’t have the opportunity for frequent contact with people receiving healthcare, and none of the situations above applies to their role. In that case, they can apply for a Basic check, which carries no eligibility requirements, and anyone over the age of 16 can apply for one.
It’s vital that you not only maintain the status of your employees DBS checks but also take relevant action based on the findings of the check.Care Check has been processing DBS checks of all levels since 2002 and advising companies on their requirements. If you require any additional information or advice, please get in touch.