Do First Aiders Need To Get A DBS Check?
People trained in first aid form a vital part of many organisations and businesses. But we are often asked the question “do first aiders need a DBS Check?”.
The fact that first aiders are required to treat people when they are injured or unwell means that they are providing care to vulnerable people and potentially to children too. So, this would suggest that some kind of background checks are needed.
In this article, we’ll dig a little deeper and find out whether DBS Checks are needed for first aiders or not, and if so, what level of DBS Check is appropriate.
What is the DBS guidance regarding first aiders?
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in the UK is in charge of processing criminal background check applications and issuing certificates. The DBS guidance sets out and defines the type of roles that need criminal record checks, but it doesn’t cover each role individually.
Therefore, when it comes to DBS Checks for first aiders, the DBS guidance is slightly confusing. The guidance talks a lot about healthcare provision, which is considered to be a ‘regulated activity’, which means that it is covered by the highest possible level of DBS Check – an Enhanced DBS Check.
In the case of first aiders, it is unclear whether they are considered to be healthcare providers or not. In certain situations, they may be considered to be carrying out a ‘regulated activity’, but in other cases not.
The defining characteristic of a first aider role that would make it appropriate to call it a regulated activity, is if the sole purpose of the person’s role is to administer first aid when needed. For instance, working as a St John’s Ambulance volunteer would be considered a regulated activity, but working as an administrator in an office who is the designated first aider would not.
In other words, if the person is employed in another role and has first aid training that is secondary to their main job, it is not usually considered to be a regulated activity.
What level of DBS Check does a first aider need?
As explained in the previous section, if the role of first aider is primary to the job, then it may be considered to be a regulated activity, which means that an Enhanced DBS Check should be carried out, as well as a check of the relevant barred list.
But what about situations where the role of first aider is not the primary purpose of the job? In that case, a higher level check may still be warranted, but it is not as clear. The best way to decide is to use the DBS eligibility tool on their website or contact an advisor.
In some cases a Standard DBS Check may be needed, for instance if the role involves administering first aid fairly frequently, but not all the time, such as a sports coach or event steward. A Basic DBS Check may be enough to cover some first aider roles in other environments, such as office workers.
Summary of DBS checks for first aiders
First aiders typically fall into one of two categories:
- the primary role is as a first aider, such as a St John’s Ambulance volunteer,
- or, the first aid role is secondary to a primary job role, such as an office worker, engineer, shop assistant, etc.
When the first aider role is the primary one, then the individual will usually be eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check. If it is secondary to a main job role, then a lower level check may be suitable.
To find out more about DBS Checks, including eligibility for first aiders or other job roles, then get in touch with one of our expert advisors today.