Can You Transfer or Update DBS Checks?
A question that we get asked a lot is “Can you reuse a DBS Check when you change jobs or companies?”
It’s a good question, as transferring a DBS Check may save you both time and money. But is it possible and if so, how can you do it?
What is a DBS Check?
DBS Checks are criminal background checks that are processed by the Disclosure and Barring Service in England and Wales and Disclosure Scotland. You may be requested to apply for a DBS Check from your employer, agency, or other organisation..
When you receive a DBS Certificate, it will have the name of the body that verified the check and submitted – e.g. your employer or agency. Due to the fact that the DBS certificate has the name of a company or organisation on it, most new employers will not accept it for a new role.
In some instances, a new employer may not be allowed to accept an existing DBS Check due to regulatory requirements or internal company policy. In these cases they will request that a new disclosure application is made before starting in the role.
Do DBS Checks expire?
DBS Checks have no official expiry date. However, they are technically only valid on the day of issue, as that is the only time that they are 100% accurate. After the issue date, any convictions or cautions that occur after that time will not be present on the certificate.
Therefore, most employers will ask for a new DBS Check for new candidates in the role and will not rely on old ones. It is also common for employers to request a new DBS Check from their employees every one to three years, depending on the responsibility of the role.
Who sets DBS Check requirements?
It depends on the type of role. People who work in education are regulated by Ofsted and in healthcare the Care Quality Commission (CQC), both of which have guidance in place regarding DBS Checks.
What is the DBS Update Service?
Some employers, organisation, and regulatory bodies allow the use of the DBS Update Service to renew DBS Checks, which involves paying a subscription to update DBS checks without the need for submitting a full new application form.
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Update Service allows people to keep their DBS Check certificates up-to-date easily if they change company or organisation, but keeping the same job role with the same workplace and workforce type. In other words, the establishment may change, but the role is the same.
The Update Service is particularly useful for people who work as subcontractors, temporary workers, and self-employed contractors, e.g. supply teachers.
The DBS Update Service is relatively cheap and only costs £13 a year (at the time of writing). It is free for volunteers working in unpaid roles.
To benefit from the DBS Update Service, all you need to do is provide a reference number and sign up for the service online. You are allowed to register for the DBS Update Service within 19 days of the DBS Check issue date.
When individuals join the DBS Update Service, their employer can simply visit our website and request a new DBS Check without filling out another form or providing ID documents.
There are three main benefits to using the DBS Update Service:
- Less expensive – the DBS Update Service costs just £13 per year and there are no other fees payable, as long as the same level of check is being requested, i.e. basic, standard, or enhanced.
- Time-saving – the DBS Update Service saves a lot of time, as there is no requirement to fill in a lengthy application form or verify ID documents. The process of requesting a DBS update is very quick and can be done in under a minute.
- Convenient – everything can be done online and a renewed DBS Check request submitted through our online platform.
Things to consider when accepting old DBS Checks
If you are an employer and you’re thinking about accepting an existing DBS Check from an applicant, then you need to consider a few important factors:
- Is the existing DBS certificate the correct level for the role in question?
- Have the individual’s circumstances changed since the issue date?
- How long ago was the DBS certificate issued?
- Do the details on the DBS certificate match those of the individual?
Can you request a certificate reprint from the DBS?
Yes, in certain circumstances individuals or employers can request a reprint of an existing DBS certificate. However, in the following cases, a reprint will not be processed by the DBS:
- if the certificate has been lost, destroyed, or damaged after already receiving it in the post
- if the certificate was issued more than 93 days ago
- if a reprint of the certificate has already been issued and sent out, and the copy has yet to be received in the post.
If any of those situations apply, then a new DBS Check application needs to be made.
Summary of Transferring or Updating DBS Checks
The answer is yes, DBS Checks can be transferred between roles and they can be updated by using the DBS Update Service.
The specifics of when DBS Check can be reused are complicated, but in general if the role is the same, but the individual is moving between companies or organisations, then a DBS Check can be transferred at the employer’s discretion.
The DBS Update Service costs £13 per year and make it easy for people to update or renew their DBS certificate.
If you would like to discuss DBS Checks and how they can be transferred or renewed, then get in touch with one of our expert advisors today.