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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How Long Does A DBS Check Last?

Post updated Oct 2022

The most common question we get asked at Care Check is ‘how long does a DBS last?’ and the answer may surprise you. 

How long does a DBS last?

A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (also known as disclosure) doesn’t have an official expiry date. This is because the check’s information is valid only to the time it was carried out. 

Most authorities suggest that a DBS check should take place every three years, but there is no fixed answer to “how long do DBS checks last?”

Thus, it is up to employers to decide if or when a member of staff needs their DBS check to be renewed, to ensure they have the most accurate information on an employee. It’s also for you (the employer) to decide whether a recent DBS check from a new candidate will suffice, or if a new check is required

There is also a DBS update service that enables employees to keep their DBS check up to date, and you (employers) to check whether a DBS check is up to date. Note that the employee must first register with the DBS update service in order for an employer to carry out checks.

How often should a DBS check be renewed? 

Some DBS checks are an essential part of the safeguarding program, so employers must ensure all certificates are renewed regularly for best practice. If you are unsure whether your staff need their DBS checks renewed, you can refer to the issue date on the hard copy certificate for quick reference. Alternatively, when you use our system to request and store employee DBS certificates, you can quickly and easily check how long ago a DBS was renewed and plan accordingly.

While official recommendations suggest a DBS should be renewed every three years, some​ organisations have set policies surrounding when they request rechecks. This timescale can vary from six months to every two years.

If a company is regulated by a body such as the Care Quality Commission (CQC) or Ofsted, they would need to refer to them to see what timescales are in place.

Often employers will be required by law to carry out new checks for the child and adults barred lists depending on what type of job role the employee will be doing.

DBS Checks & Criminal Record Checks

Is a DBS valid for three years?

DBS checks do not have an official expiry date. It is recommended that DBS checks are updated every three years, but they do not become “invalidated” after this time.

Do I need a new DBS for each job?

It is generally up to the employer to decide whether a fresh DBS check is required for a new job. However, if the job requires you to undertake a different type or level of DBS check, then a new check may be required.

Checks you can make on someone’s record

As an employer, you can check the criminal record of candidates who have applied for a role within your business. For certain roles, such as healthcare and childcare, you can request a more detailed check.

The types of DBS checks you can request include:

  • A basic check: This shows unspent convictions and conditional cautions
  • A standard check: Which displays completed and uncompleted convictions and cautions
  • An enhanced check: This has all the information of a standard check, plus local police information that might be considered relevant to the role
  • An enhanced check with barred lists: Showing everything on an enhanced check, as well as whether or not the applicant is on the list of people barred from doing the role

Need to Request a DBS Check?

If you need any more information regarding DBS renewal periods, please call us on 03000 200 190 or contact us here, and we will be happy to help.

Need to apply for a DBS Check? Individuals can apply for a Basic DBS Check here, while organisations will need to get registered

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