A Guide To DBS Checks for Care Home Staff
Working in a care home means that you will be in direct contact with vulnerable adults or children on a frequent basis. Therefore, safeguarding is an important consideration for care home staff.
As a part of safeguarding policy, most employers request DBS Checks and in the case of care homes, it is a legal requirement. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulates care homes in the UK, and their safeguarding guidance says that care homes must ensure that all relevant background checks must take place before an applicant can start working in a care home.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the rules surrounding DBS Checks for care home workers, including the level of DBS Check that is required which depends on the care home role in question.
Care home employees engaged in a regulated activity
Most care home staff will be involved in direct care and supervision of vulnerable adults or children on a frequent basis. In the eyes of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), these roles will be classed as regulated activities.
By now, you may be thinking, “What is a regulated activity?”
A regulated activity is defined as a role that involves direct, unsupervised contact with children or vulnerable adults on three or more occasions in a thirty day period.
Therefore, the following types of roles within a care home are considered to be regulated activities:
- Healthcare providers
- Personal care providers – e.g. assisting with eating and drinking, using the toilet, and personal hygiene
- Transporting vulnerable people
- Assisting with household care – e.g. paying bills, cooking, cleaning
- Social work
Any of the above roles are regulated activities, which means any individual applying for, or already working in, the role will need to apply for an Enhanced DBS Check plus a check of the adult’s or children’s barred list.
The Enhanced DBS Check will list any spent or unspent convictions on the applicant’s criminal record, plus any cautions, warnings, or reprimands that they have received.
The Enhanced DBS Check also reveals any additional relevant information that local police forces hold on the applicant. The barred list check involves searching through either the children’s or adult’s barred list (or both, if necessary) to find out whether the applicant has been permanently banned from working with vulnerable people for safeguarding reasons.
Some examples of the types of roles within a care home that would qualify as a regulated activity are:
- Healthcare assistants
- Bus drivers
Care home employees NOT engaged in a regulated activity
In addition to the more care-focused roles, there are other jobs in a care home that may require a DBS Check.
The eligibility criteria for these roles is based on the frequency of the work. For instance, a person that works in a care home on a minimum of two days within a thirty day period, is eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check. This may include contractors that are only working on the care home site temporarily.
Other people that may be working in the care home, but are not carrying out a regulated activity, include maintenance staff, cleaners, kitchen staff, and administrators.
Employees in these roles will not usually need a barred list check, but may still require an Enhanced DBS Check, depending on how often they are engaged in the role.
If you want to find out more about DBS Checks, including how to apply online for one, then contact us today.