Do Contractors Working In Schools Need DBS Checks?
Most people that are permanently employed in schools are required to get an Enhanced DBS Certificate, including teachers, teaching assistants, and some of the support workers.
When it comes to people that are employed only temporarily within a school, the rules are not so clear cut. It can be confusing to work out whether individuals need to get a DBS check, and if so, what level of DBS check do they need?
That’s why we’ve put together this brief guide, to help clarify the rules around DBS checks for temporary staff in school, including contractors.
What are the different levels of DBS check?
Before looking at how DBS checks affect contractors working in schools, let’s first define what the three different levels of DBS checks are.
- Basic DBS Check – reveals any unspent convictions and conditional cautions on a person’s criminal record.
- Standard DBS Check – reveals any unspent or spent convictions, reprimands, cautions, and warnings.
- Enhanced DBS Check – reveals the same details as the standard check, as well as any notes or information held by the local police force that are relevant to the application.
Any role that is defined as a “regulated activity” by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) will also require a check of either the adult or child barred list.
What is a regulated activity?
A regulated activity is a role that involves frequent, direct, unsupervised contact with children or vulnerable adults.
When it comes to working with children, a regulated activities include:
- Teaching, instructing, coaching, or training children
- Caring or providing personal support for children
- Advising or counselling children
- Transporting children while unsupervised
Here are some examples of environments that commonly have regulated activities:
- Child healthcare facilities
- Children’s care homes
- Childcare providers
When talking about regulated activities, the word ‘frequent’ means activities that are done regularly, which is defined as 3 or more times in a 30-day timeframe.
Please note, that care and support for children that is provided by a healthcare professional is always considered to be a regulated activity, regardless of frequency (in other words, it only needs to be done once). This includes personal care for children such as:
- Assisting with eating and drinking
- Physical assistance, e.g. dressing or washing
- Help using the toilet
- Supervising or directing children in any of the above tasks due to issues of illness, age, or disability
- Teaching children how to do one or more of the above tasks
Other people that carry out regulated activities include childminders and foster-carers that have been registered with the UK state. Also, managers who oversee people that carry out a regulated activity are also required to get an Enhanced DBS Check and a barred list check.
What level of DBS check should school contractors get?
Contractors who work in a school and come into contact with children frequently, i.e. 3 times or more during a 30-day period, fit the criteria of a regulated activity, which means they need to get an Enhanced DBS Check with a children’s barred list check.
A contractor that doesn’t work with children 3 or more times per 30-day period, but is involved in any of the roles that would make it a regulated activity, then they should get an Enhanced DBS Check with children’s barred list too.
If in doubt as to what level of DBS check they need, the contractor company (or individual) should contact the school to find out. Most schools will have a policy for employing outside contractors and it should be stipulated there.
Contractors can apply for DBS checks online these days. For standard and enhanced DBS checks, you’re not allowed to apply as an individual and must get your application verified by a third party organisation.
Contractors that work in schools may need to get an Enhanced DBS Check if they work directly with children on more than 3 occasions within 30-days. If they don’t then the school may request a lower level of DBS check, or none at all.
The easiest way to get a DBS check done is to apply through our online platform. To get started you can click below, or if you need more help with the process then contact us now.