A Guide To DBS Checks for Pharmacies
In the UK, pharmacies are shops that dispense pharmaceutical drugs and medicines. Some of the drugs and medication needs to be prescribed by a doctor, whilst others can be bought over the counter, such as cough and cold remedies and mild painkillers.
Due to the nature of their business and operations, pharmacies must ensure that they employ responsible and trustworthy people. One way to find out whether an applicant is trustworthy is to run a criminal background check on them known as a DBS Check.
In this brief guide, we’ll describe which employees and applicants should get a DBS Check and what level of DBS Check they should be requested.
The 3 Levels of DBS Check
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Checks are available in three different levels – basic, standard, and enhanced. Each level of check involves searching through an individual’s criminal record on the Police National Computer (PNC). Let’s take a brief look at what each level reveals:
- Basic DBS Check – reveals only unspent convictions and conditional cautions.
- Standard DBS Check – reveals spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands, and warnings.
- Enhanced DBS Check – reveals all the same information as the standard check, but also provides details of any extra relevant notes or info held by local police forces. The enhanced check may also include a search of the adult’s or children’s barred list.
All DBS Checks are available for people aged 16 years or over. The Basic DBS Check application can be submitted by the applicant themselves, but standard and enhanced checks must be submitted by the employer or registered third party in order to verify the information and ID documents.
Special Note on Barred Lists and Regulated Activities
As mentioned above, an Enhanced DBS Check may also require a check of the adult’s barred list, the children’s barred list, or both. The barred lists contain details of individuals that are prohibited from working with children or vulnerable adults indefinitely due to the severity of their past crimes.
In order to qualify for a barred list check, the role must include a “regulated activity” which involves direct contact or supervision of children or vulnerable adults on a frequent basis.
You may be wondering whether pharmacy work is defined as a regulated activity. The answer is that it depends on the role being carried out, which we’ll look at in more detail in the next section.
Which Pharmacy Employees Qualify for DBS Checks?
There are a variety of different roles involved in pharmacy work. In this section we’ll take a look at the different types and what level of DBS Check they need.
Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians
Both pharmacists and pharmacy technicians must register with a professional body called the General Pharmaceutical Council. Both roles are classified as healthcare professionals and are defined by the DBS as regulated activities, which means that they both require an Enhanced DBS Check, as well as check of both the children’s and adult’s barred lists.
Dispensers and General Pharmacy Assistants
The situation for dispensing staff and general assistants is not as straightforward as for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. The level of DBS check required depends on what duties they carry out in their everyday work.
If the staff member is required to engage in a regulated activity with vulnerable adults or children, then they will need an Enhanced DBS Check. If they provide advice or support to children or vulnerable adults at least three times within a 30-day period, then they will need an Enhanced DBS Check with barred list check.
Dispensers and assistants that are not involved in a regulated activity or supervisory role, may only require a Standard DBS Check or Basic DBS Check, depending on their level of responsibility.
Other Pharmacy Employees
Other staff that are employed in a pharmacy may require a Standard or Basic DBS Check, depending on the type of work they are performing.
Summary of DBS Checks for Pharmacy Workers
Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians require an Enhanced DBS Check. If they perform a regulated activity on three or more occasions in a 30-day period, they will need a barred list check too.
Other pharmacy employees may also need Enhanced, Standard, or Basic DBS Checks, depending on the duties they carry out.
You can apply for a DBS Check using our online portal, which is fast and secure.
To find out more about DBS Checks for pharmacists, get in touch today.