A Guide To DBS Checks For Private Tutors
If you work in education, but not as a teacher, teaching assistant, or lecturer, then it may not be clear as to what the DBS check rules are.
For teachers, the rules are clear as Ofsted, the governing body for schools, has a clear policy that all teaching staff are considered to be working in a regulated activity and need to get an Enhanced DBS Check and barred list check before working in the classroom.
Any role that involves working frequently with children and vulnerable adults requires a criminal background check to make sure that they are safe and suitable to do so.
Educational roles such as private tutors or private childminders or nursery supervisors should also get checks, although there isn’t necessarily a legal obligation to get one.
Some tutor agencies ask that all of their employed tutors get a valid DBS certificate before offering private tuition.
In this article, we’ll look at the rules surrounding DBS checks for private tutors and other roles involved in private education.
Which level of DBS check for private tutors?
There are three levels of DBS check – basic, standard and enhanced. Any of the three may be suitable for private tutors, depending on the type of tutoring and other factors, such as whether they will be working alone or supervised.
Any person over the age of 16 in the UK can apply for a Basic DBS Check without the approval or verification of a third party. However, this is a low level of check and only reveals unspent convictions and conditional cautions.
For higher levels of checks (standard and enhanced), an employer or DBS registered body will need to validate any applications before sending them to the DBS for processing.
Many tutoring agencies and companies will request that their tutors get an Enhanced DBS Check and barred list check to reassure parents and guardians that the tutors are safe to work with children.
If you work as a self-employed tutor or sole trader and you want to get a DBS check higher than a basic level, then you’ll need to go through a third-party DBS provider.
Alternatively, you can get something called a Subject Access Request (SAR).
Subject Access Requests (SAR)
SARs are a way to get information and data that is relevant to you from any company or organisation. It is related to ‘freedom of information’. It allows you to request access to your own data from your local police force. They are not as robust as a DBS check, but they can be used to reassure parents and guardians who are placing their trust in you as a private tutor.
How long do DBS checks take?
If you decide to get an enhanced DBS check, they normally complete within 2 to 10 working days. 80% complete within 5 working days. You can often get the results within 48 hours, especially if you apply online, but the certificate will take up to two weeks to arrive in the post.
Basic and standard DBS checks are much quicker on average, with a typical turnaround time of 48 hours.
If you are a private tutor or other educational professional and want more information on DBS checks, then contact us today to find out more.