Guide to DBS Checks for Online Workers
Online and remote working is becoming more and more popular, especially since the Covid pandemic.
We get quite a lot of enquiries about online workers, with questions such as “Do remote workers need a DBS Check?”. For that reason, we’ve compiled this brief guide to DBS checks for people who work in online roles.
Which online workers are eligible for DBS checks?
Let’s clarify an important point right off the bat – just because a role is online and not carried out in a real-world setting, doesn’t necessarily mean that a DBS check is not necessary. This may be surprising to many people, as it’s easy to assume that the remote nature of online work means that the role will not require a DBS certificate.
However, for many roles, the requirement for a DBS check remains the same whether it is carried out in real-life or online. For instance, someone who is teaching young people may still need a DBS check whether they are teaching face-to-face or through a video conferencing tool.
Online Roles and Basic DBS Checks
Basic DBS Checks can be applied for by anyone who is aged 16 years or more.
Any individual, working in any role, can apply for a Basic DBS Check for themselves. Therefore, any online worker is eligible to submit an application for a Basic DBS Check, either by post or online.
Basic DBS Checks do not need verification by an employer, agency, or other registered third party, as the person can apply on their own behalf.
Online Roles and Standard DBS Checks
The next level up from a Basic DBS Check is a Standard DBS Check. For a role to qualify for a Standard DBS Check it should be one that is featured in the list set out in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975.
Some examples of roles that appear in that list are accountants, lawyers, and vets. If somebody is doing one of those roles, either in the real world or online, then they can apply for a Standard DBS Check.
Online Roles and Enhanced DBS Checks
Enhanced DBS Checks are only available for roles that are featured in a list compiled in the ROA Exceptions Order and the Police Act 1997 documentation. In general, these roles involve working in contact with vulnerable adults or children.
Some roles are classified by the DBS as ‘regulated activities’ and these will also require a check of the barred list for working with children or adults. Anyone who works in a regulated activity role that takes place three or more times within a thirty day period, either in-person or online, will require an Enhanced DBS Check with a barred list check.
Here are a few examples of online roles that may meet the eligibility requirements for an Enhanced DBS Check with barred list check:
- Tutors for children who work online and connect with students through video calls
- Healthcare professionals who provide online advice and support
- Online therapists and counsellors
If any of these types of roles apply to you, then you may be wondering whether the “working at own address” rules apply also. The answer is no, as you are providing a remote service over the internet, which means that the child or vulnerable adult is not in attendance at your address.
Please note that if a person is involved in an online role that only takes place less than three times per thirty days, then the Enhanced Check may not be required.
You can check whether a specific activity is eligible for an Enhanced DBS Certificate by checking out the DBS eligibility guidance here.
If you have any questions related to online working safeguarding or anything else related to DBS Checks, then get in touch with one of our expert advisors today.