Can You Use A Single DBS Check For Different Jobs? A Guide To The DBS Update Service.
Can You Use A Single DBS Check For Different Jobs?
Or, in other words – are DBS check certificates transferable?
Unfortunately its not a simple “yes or no” answer. Whether a DBS check certificate can be transferred from one job to another depends on different factors, including whether you have signed up for the update service.
In this article, we’ll explore the complexities of DBS checks for different roles and the ins and outs of the DBS update service.
How DBS checks work
A DBS check involves checking an individual’s criminal record on the Police National Computer (PNC) or sometimes on barred lists. Individuals can apply for a basic check on themselves, or an employer or recruiter can request a basic, standard or enhanced DBS check on behalf of an individual. The application process can all be carried out really easily online these days.
If a DBS check is required for the role, the employer will ask permission to perform a basic, standard or enhanced DBS check. You will then be requested to fill out the form, either by hand or online. Most employers prefer to use an online service as it reduces the chance of mistakes being made and it is faster, with results often coming through within 48 hours of application.
In some cases it is a legal requirement to have a valid DBS certificate before starting work, especially roles that involve working with children or vulnerable adults.
When are DBS check certificates transferable?
In general, the only DBS check certificates that are transferable are in cases where the applicant or organisation has signed up for the DBS Update Service. The DBS Update Service is an optional extra that must be signed up for within 14 days of receiving the original DBS certificate.
Basically, the DBS Update Service enables you to transfer your DBS check between roles and jobs. Under the terms of this service, you are asked to frequently keep your details updated and your employer can check the results of the DBS check whenever they require.
Pros and cons of the DBS Update Service
The main two benefits to signing up for the DBS update service are:
- Transferable between jobs – No need to apply for a new DBS check certificate every time you change jobs and your employer can check your record for changes to your criminal record at any time.
- Saves time and money – You don’t need to keep filling out fresh forms and paying for new applications. All you need to do is edit your details online to inform the DBS of any new information.
However, there is a downside to the DBS update service. Namely, it doesn’t count if you are applying for a new job that requires a higher level of DBS check. If you move from a role that needed a standard DBS check to one that requires an enhanced DBS check, for instance.
For the update service to work when transferring to a new job or role, the DBS check certificate you hold must match the DBS requirement of the one you’re applying for.
The most common jobs that request a higher level DBS check are Teachers, Caregivers, Doctors, Nurses, Childminders, Social Workers, Police, etc.
More details on the DBS Update Service
In order to sign up for the update service, you must request to join within 14 days of receiving your original certificate. An annual subscription fee of £13 is payable.
To decide whether this is economical, you should work out how much you would spend on applying for a new DBS check with every job move and compare that to the annual fee.
It should also be noted that not all employers accept DBS checks through the update service. This could be for one of the following reasons:
- Company policy – some companies and organisations simply follow a strict policy that states a brand new DBS check must be carried out before appointment and at specified intervals during employment.
- Regulated activity roles – regulated activities are typically those involving working unsupervised with children or vulnerable adults. The requirements are often stricter for these roles than others and may require an up-to-date new certificate.
- Specified renewal timeframes – some businesses and organisations specify that the DBS check must be fully renewed every one to three years. Please note that there is no “official” time period for expiry of DBS certificates, but many companies have a policy in place to ensure that they are kept up-to-date.
Check with your present employer and potential new employer
If you’re in the process of moving from one employer to another, in a role that requires a DBS check, it’s a good idea to check with your current employer to see whether you are signed up to the update service, and whether your new employer will accept the transferral of an existing DBS check.
Don’t make assumptions, as it may slow down the progress of your job transfer, or sabotage it altogether.
To discover how we can help you apply for a DBS check online, get in touch with one of our expert team today.