What Is Regulated Activity?

What is regulated activity and how does it relate to DBS checks? Find which roles include regulated activity and which level of check is required.


Regulated Activity

What is classed as ‘Regulated Activity’?

Regulated activity is a term related to certain roles that involve working with children or vulnerable adults, including care work and teaching. Any individual listed on the Disclose and Barring Service (DBS) barred lists cannot work in such roles. Any organisation that recruits for roles involving regulated activities have a legal responsibility to carry out an Enhanced DBS check to ensure a job applicant is not barred from working in these roles.

All regulated activities are eligible for Enhanced DBS checks which will look at children’s and/or adult’s barred lists. This will uncover whether or not the applicant has committed a criminal offence that makes them unsuitable for working with children or vulnerable adults

Regulated activity with children

Working in regulated activity with children includes:

  • Working unsupervised with children
  • Overseeing or supervising an individual who is working in regulated activity with children
  • Providing advice or guidance on a child’s well being
  • Fostering/adopting a child
  • Driving a vehicle for children i.e. school bus
  • Supervising children

Job roles that fall into this category include:

  • Teachers
  • Nursery assistant
  • School counsellor
  • Foster carer
  • Probation officer

Some activities are regulated with children regardless of how often they occur. These activities involve personal healthcare and job roles include:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Care assistants

Regulated activity with adults

To determine if a job role is regulated with adults, the employer must look at the activity the individual will be undertaking and decide if this is deemed regulatory.

Eligibility for regulated activity is broken down into six categories:

  • Providing healthcare: Including healthcare work, which is undertaken by (or supervised by) a healthcare professional and incorporates all form of health care relating to physical or mental health.

  • Providing personal care: Involving hands-on physical assistance with washing, dressing, toileting and eating due to an adult’s age, illness or disability; teaching/ supervising someone to do these tasks is also included.
  • Providing social work: Provision by a social care worker or a form of social work, which is required in connection with social services or any health services.
  • Assistance with general household matters such as dealing with an adult’s cash, bills or shopping due to their age, illness or disability, but arranged via a third party.
  • Supporting the conduct of an adult’s own affairs under a formal appointment i.e. lasting power of attorney under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
  • Conveying adults for reasons of age, illness or disability. This includes drivers or assistants who drive individuals to and from places where they have received or will be receiving health care, personal care or social work. Job roles include hospital porters and patient service transport drivers.

The frequency of the activity does not determine whether it is regulated or not; a person only needs to have carried out a task once to categorise it as ‘regulated’.

There are, however, exceptions that have been omitted from the above list, for example, driving a family friend to the hospital or helping a sick relative.

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