The role of the DBS is to help employers in England and Wales make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. The DBS was established under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and carries out the functions previously undertaken by the CRB and ISA. It is a non-departmental public body and provides a joined up service that combines criminal records
and barring functions. The service and processes previously provided by the CRB have not changed. In addition, the DBS maintains the barring lists previously managed by the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). When someone applies for a DBS check, the DBS checks the police national computer to see if there are any convictions,
cautions, warnings or reprimands listed for the applicant. DBS may also ask the police to consider if they have any local police information about the person that is relevant to disclose. In certain circumstances, and when it is applied for, the DBS will provide information about whether the person is barred from working with vulnerable groups, including children. From 17 June 2013, the DBS only sends the certificate to the person applying for the check (the applicant). Before this date, they also sent a copy of the certificate to the person who countersigned the application.
The DBS also has duties and powers to share information with professional bodies such as CQC, the General Medical Council and other organisations.
DBS checks help to keep those who are known to pose a risk to people. However, DBS checks are only one aspect of ensuring effective and safe recruitment practices and should not be used in isolation. Providers should also use other mechanisms, such as checking employment history and any gaps, reviewing references, etc. to assure themselves as far as possible that all employees are of good character and are fit to work in their health or adult social care service.
A criminal record check will reveal information relating to a person’s criminal record. This includes convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings. When an enhanced check is applied for, the police may also disclose relevant local police information. A barred list check will show if a person is barred, that is prevented, from working in a regulated activity either with children, adults, or both. To knowingly employ a person who is barred by the DBS to perform a regulated activity is a criminal offence.
Everyone applying to be registered persons (individuals, all
partners and registered managers) must obtain an enhanced DBS check with barring information before
submitting an application to register with us. This is because people in these roles will have statutory responsibility for the service to the extent that they may be expected, at any time, to step in and undertake the hands-on delivery of, for example, personal care, or day-to-day management and oversight of the service being delivered – both of which are regulated activities.