What is a DBS and How to apply for a DBS check for your staff

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What is a DBS?

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks help employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevents unsuitable people from working with children or other vulnerable people. It replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).

A DBS check allows employers to see the criminal record of a potential employer or volunteer and whether their name is on the barred list- the list of people who are not allowed by law to work with vulnerable people, including children, due to criminal offences they have committed. It is against the law for employers to employ or allow someone to volunteer with children if their name is in the barred list.

DBS applicants must be 16 year old or over. Hence younger people are not allowed to be employed or to volunteer with children unsupervised by another DBS checked adult.

There are 3 types of DBS checks:

  • Standard
  • Enhanced
  • Enhanced with a barred list check

The Standard check is not relevant to Madrassahs because it does not involve checks that are required on people who will be working with children.

The Enhanced check is relevant for employees who have a regular but supervised contact that can involve caring for, training, supervising or being in sole charge of children or vulnerable adults.

The Enhanced with a barred list check is required for any manager, employee or volunteer who has a regular and unsupervised contact with children.

Although DBS checks are free for volunteers, they or their employers have to pay a handling charge, levied by the Umbrella bodies for processing the application forms. A volunteer is somebody who spends time helping people and does not get paid for it. This excludes money to cover subsistence and travel expenses.

A DBS certificate roughly takes around 4-6 weeks to be processed.

How to apply for DBS checks for your staff?

  • Request application forms.
  • Ask your employees or volunteers to complete the application forms, make the payment and provide two types of ID and a proof of address.
  • Photocopy ID and return original documents to the employee or volunteer.
  • Send forms, copy of ID, money to Faith Associates.
  • DBSsends a certificate to the employer
  • The employer must ask the applicant to see the certificate

For the employer or volunteer to keep their DBS up to date and to avoid the need to renew it after a certain number of years or when switching jobs, it is advisable to register it with the Update Service. It costs an annual fee of £13 but is free for a volunteer.

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