DBS Checks for People Who Work With Animals
A common question we get asked is whether people who work with animals need DBS Checks. It may not seem obvious, but for some roles that involve working with animals, DBS Checks are appropriate.
In this brief guide, we’ll look at some of the different jobs and roles that involve working with animals, whether they are eligible for DBS Checks, and if so, what level of check is applicable.
Veterinary surgeons (vet)
We won’t make any jokes about vetting a vet. OK, we just did!
But seriously, when you think of a role involving working with animals, vet is the one that springs to mind.
A veterinary surgeon is in charge of providing medical care to pets and other animals, including treatments for injury and disease and performing surgical operations.
Due to the high responsibility level of the job, vets are often required to get a DBS Check to make sure that they don’t have any relevant criminal convictions that would prevent them from working in the role. In fact, to get licensed as a vet in the UK, the legislation requires that people get a Standard DBS Check before entering the profession.
A Standard DBS Check reveals spent and unspent convictions, and cautions, warnings, and reprimands.
Therapy animal handlers
Therapy animals are animals that are taken into visit patients or residents in hospitals, hospices, care homes, etc. Therefore, the handlers are often people who work in these car environments.
In general, therapy animal handlers should get at least a Standard DBS Check, as it is likely they will be in contact with vulnerable people on a frequent basis.
Pet setting is a fairly common job these days as people prefer to leave their pets with somebody to look after while they work long hours or they are away travelling.
A pet sitter role doesn’t usually require a higher level DBS Check. Most pet sitters get a Basic DBS Check, to demonstrate their trustworthiness to potential clients. A higher level check isn’t usually necessary, for both pet sitters who work from home or visit other people’s homes.
A Basic DBS Check reveals unspent convictions and conditional cautions only and is mainly used for lower responsibility roles.
Summary of DBS Checks for people who work with animals
DBS Checks are often required for people that work with animals and form part of the recruitment process.
The type of DBS Check that should be applied for depends on the role in question. Vets will usually require a higher level check – either standard or enhanced.
Other roles such as pet-sitters and therapy animal handlers may require a basic or standard check.
If you’d like to find out more about DBS Checks and how to apply for one online using our convenient portal, get in touch here.