A Guide To DBS Checks for Hairdressers
Hairdressers and hair stylists work with a wide range of people from all different walks of life and ages. They work with adults, children, and the elderly. Hairdressers may also find themselves working with vulnerable adults.
Therefore, a common question we get asked is – do hairdressers need a DBS check, and if so, what level of DBS check will suffice?
In this guide, we’ll take a look at the requirements for hairdressers to get a DBS check, including what level of DBS check they may need – basic, standard, or enhanced.
What is a DBS Check and what do they show?
A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is something that employers and organisations use to check the criminal background of their employees or volunteers. Self employed people and business owners (which hairdressers often are), may also need a DBS check to provide reassurance to their customers or clients and to meet any safeguarding legislation requirements.
There are three levels of DBS check – basic, standard, and enhanced, with each one revealing different types of convictions and offences.
Basic DBS Check
A basic DBS check is permitted for any individual aged 16 years or older. Basic DBS checks do not need verification from an employer or third party DBS-registered organisation. A basic DBS check reveals any unspent convictions or conditional cautions that are on an individual’s criminal record.
Standard DBS Check
A standard DBS check application needs to be submitted by an employer or DBS-registered body. A standard DBS check reveals unspent and spent convictions, cautions, warnings, and reprimands. These checks are typically requested for roles that involve a high degree of financial responsibility or some contact with vulnerable groups.
Enhanced DBS Check
The enhanced DBS check is the highest level of criminal background check that can be applied for. It reveals the same details as a standard DBS check, but it also includes any relevant notes or intelligence from local police forces. Enhanced DBS checks are typically for safeguarding-critical roles such as doctors, nurses, teachers, and other professionals who have direct, unsupervised and frequent contact with children or vulnerable adults. An employer or DBS-registered body must submit the application on behalf of the individual.
If the role is a regulated activity (one that involves frequent direct and unsupervised contact with children or vulnerable adults), then a barred list check will also be needed.
Do hairdressers need to get DBS checked?
The answer to this question isn’t straightforward. There are certain circumstances when a DBS check is required by law. In general, hairdressers are under no legal obligation to get a DBS check, as they conduct their business in a public setting. In other words, they are rarely on their own with vulnerable people.
For this reason, most hairdressers will get a basic DBS check to reassure their customers, but not a higher level check.
However, there are some instances where a higher level DBS check may be appropriate for hairdressers. For instance, those who work in retirement homes or care facilities.
Is a basic DBS check enough for hairdressers?
Hairdressers are often required to cut the hair of children or vulnerable adults. Does this make them eligible for a higher level DBS check? No. The reason is that, in most cases, the child or vulnerable adult will be accompanied by a parent or carer.
Even if a child under the age of 18 attends a hairdressing salon alone, the responsibility lies with the parent. The hairdresser is under no legal obligation to get a standard or enhanced DBS check.
Guidance on DBS checks for hairdressers working in care homes
If a hairdresser frequently visits a care facility for work, then they may need to get a higher level DBS check. A person who works unsupervised with children or vulnerable adults on a frequent basis (more than three times in a 30 day period) is doing a regulated activity. In this case they may need to get an enhanced DBS check with a barred list check.
A DBS barred list check involves cross-referencing the individual’s details with either the adult’s barred list or children’s barred list. If their name is on the relevant barred list, they cannot work in a regulated activity. In fact, it is illegal for them to knowingly do so or for an employer to allow it.
Hairdressers who visit a care facility less than three times in a month, or are never unsupervised with vulnerable adults or children, may only require a basic DBS check.
Most hairdressers will only need to get a basic DBS check. It helps to show their customers that they have a clean criminal background and are trustworthy individuals.
If they visit a care home for their hairdressing duties, then they may need a standard or enhanced DBS check. It depends on the frequency of their visits and whether the type of contact with vulnerable adults or children.
Hairdressers can apply for basic DBS checks easily online today using our convenient and fast online DBS check service.
If you would like to find out more about DBS checks, including how to apply online, then get in touch with one of our expert team members today.