Do You Need A DBS Check To Work At A Youth Club?
Anyone who works with under 18’s frequently as part of their job or voluntary work, needs to get a criminal background check (DBS check) to meet child safeguarding requirements. As youth club workers will be in contact with young people, often in an unsupervised capacity, they will definitely need to get a DBS certificate.
But it’s not obvious which level of DBS check is required for your club workers or volunteers, as a lot depends on the nature and responsibility of the role. There are 3 levels of DBS check – basic, standard, and enhanced.
To meet child safeguarding requirements, people working with children need to get either a standard or enhanced DBS check.
Do Youth Club Workers Need A Standard or Enhanced DBS Check?
To help you work out whether you need a standard DBS check, or an enhanced DBS check, we’ve listed the requirements of each below
Standard DBS Check
A standard DBS check can only be submitted by an employer or registered agency on behalf of the employee or job applicant/candidate. In other words, the individual cannot apply for the DBS check by themselves. At this level, the person’s criminal record is checked for spent and unspent convictions, warnings, reprimands, and cautions.
The standard DBS check is usually used for jobs that have a moderate to high level of responsibility such as financial advisors, accountants, and lawyers. In terms of youth club workers, the standard DBS check would apply to workers that are not left in charge of children, i.e. they are never, or very rarely, left unsupervised with children. It also applies to auxiliary staff such as cooks, cleaners, administrators, support staff, etc.
Enhanced DBS Check
An enhanced DBS check, in a similar way to the standard DBS check, can only be submitted by an employer or registered agency on behalf of the individual. The enhanced DBS check searches a person’s criminal record for spent and unspent convictions, warnings, reprimands, and cautions, as well as any relevant notes that are held on file by the police.
If requested, the enhanced DBS check also includes a search of the Children’s or Adult’s Barred List, which is a database that contains details of people that are barred from working with children or vulnerable adult
The enhanced DBS check is compulsory for jobs and roles that are defined as “regulated activities” by the DBS, which applies to youth club workers that work frequently with children in an unsupervised capacity.
What is the difference between youth centres and youth clubs?
There is often confusion when it comes to youth clubs and youth centres and they commonly get mixed up. To clear things up, here is a definition of each type:
- Youth Centre – A youth centre is a safe space that is provided for under 18’s to access support from counsellors and mentors. Young people can also meet with each other socially at youth centres and enjoy recreational activities. Workers at a youth centre tend to be paid, or a mixture of paid and voluntary staff. DBS checks will be requested and arranged by the youth centre manager or management team.
- Youth Club – A youth club is similar in terms of providing a place for young people to meet, socialise, and take part in activities, but they don’t offer access to counselling and mentoring. Also, they don’t necessarily take place at a designated centre, and are often held in school buildings, community centres, or church halls. Youth clubs are usually operated and run by volunteers. Youth club workers need to get a standard or enhanced DBS check, which can be obtained by going through the local authority or using a third-party registered agency.
A Note On Regulated Activities
Regulated activities are those defined by the DBS as involving direct unsupervised contact with children or vulnerable adults, on a regular basis. Regulated activities will always require an enhanced DBS check and barred list check. Some examples of regulated activities include:
- Sports coaches
- Child carers
- Tutors or instructors
- Medical staff
- Vehicle drivers that carry children or vulnerable adults only
- Mentors that work directly with children.
Youth club workers can be considered to be mentors and child carers and work frequently with children while unsupervised which means they will need to get an enhanced DBS check along with a children’s barred list check. “Frequently” is defined by the DBS as carrying out regulated activities more than three times per month over a 30-day period.
Apply for DBS checks online
These days, you can apply for DBS checks online rather than by post. Using our service is much more reliable and faster. To find out more about DBS checks for youth club workers, then get in touch today.