Do You Need A DBS Check To Volunteer At A School?
Are you thinking of volunteering at a school? Maybe you have a skill such as woodworking, art, or embroidery and want to share it with youngsters. Or perhaps you just want to get involved in helping with the day to day running of the school without putting a strain on the school budget.
If you’re thinking of doing some voluntary work in a school, you may be wondering whether or not you need to get a DBS certificate. The truth is, it very much depends on what you’re going to be doing. In most cases, yes, you will need a DBS check, but the level of check will vary depending on the nature of the role.
What activities are considered as voluntary work?
The DBS defines a volunteer as (using the Police Act of 1997 as a guide):
“Any person engaged in an activity which involves spending time, unpaid, doing something which aims to benefit a third party and not a close relative.”
However, there is more to it than that. Even if you are in unpaid work for a cause that doesn’t benefit you or your family, that still doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be classified as volunteer work.
The DBS also states that the following criteria helps to define whether a role is considered voluntary or not. The person must not:
- Benefit directly from the position
- Receive payment or remuneration (other than travel or out-of-pocket expenses)
- Stand to get full-time paid employment as a result of the voluntary work
- Be on a training course or work placement
Which voluntary positions need a DBS check?
If the volunteer comes into direct contact with children or vulnerable adults (including elderly people), then you will definitely need a DBS check. Volunteering in a school obviously meets this criteria. Therefore, to meet safeguarding requirements all volunteer staff in a school should get a DBS check carried out.
The law states that a DBS check is needed if the voluntary role is:
- Specified in the Police Act of 199 as one that requires a criminal record check.
- Mentioned in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
- Considered a regulated activity by the DBS.
This includes any volunteer role in a school that includes training, supervision, teaching, or caring for children. It also covers any role that involves unsupervised contact with children such as sports instruction or maintenance work.
What is the cost of a DBS check?
A DBS check normally costs between £25 to £44, depending on the level required. Fortunately, for voluntary work, the DBS waive most of the fee, apart from a small administration fee.
Get a DBS check done online
You can apply for DBS checks online through our safe and secure portal. To find out more about DBS checks, including whether you qualify for and how to get a volunteer check, contact us today.