Guide To Enhanced DBS Eligibility – What Is A Regulated Activity
Whether a job role is eligible for a DBS check depends on the type of activities that the job entails and whether they are classified as a regulated activity or not.
Trying to decide whether a job role is eligible for DBS checks can be a headache for employers or recruitment agencies. This article will help to clear things up, with a detailed definition of the different types of regulated activity and how they relate to the DBS check system.
What is a regulated activity?
A regulated activity is a job role, or part of a job role, that involves working with vulnerable adults or children. This can mean direct contact or indirectly working in the vicinity of those vulnerable groups.
A regulated activity is used to determine whether an enhanced DBS check is required. If the activity is deemed to be regulated, then an enhanced check is required, if not then a standard or basic DBS check may be acceptable instead.
Enhanced DBS checks are the highest level of background check (criminal record search) in the UK. An enhanced check reveals whether the individual has any spent or unspent convictions on their criminal record, as well as details of cautions, reprimands, and warnings.
Any job applicants, employees, or volunteers, that will be involved in a regulated activity should also be subject to a barred list check, alongside the enhanced DBS check. The barred list check makes sure that the individual is not listed on the DBS barred list which bans certain individuals from working with vulnerable adults and children.
The DBS has defined two types of regulated activity:
- A Regulated Activity with Children
- A Regulated Activity with Vulnerable Adults.
Regulated Activity With Children
The definition of a regulated activity with children is broken down into two further sub-categories:
- Activities that involve working directly with children
- Activities that involve regular contact with children.
Examples of jobs and positions that would be classified as regulated activities are:
- Childcare workers
- Nursery staff
- Social workers
- Child healthcare practitioners
- Anybody working in an environment where children are present, in an unsupervised capacity.
Anyone working in these, or similar, roles that fit the description of a regulated activity will require an enhanced DBS check with barred list check.
Note: Short-term workers or contractors that will be working in an environment where children are present, e.g. a tradesperson working on a project in a school during term-time, are considered eligible for a DBS check, especially if they will be present more than three times over a 30-day window.
Regulated Activity With Vulnerable Adults
The definition of a regulated activity with vulnerable adults is divided up into six main sub-categories:
- Adult healthcare practitioners or providers
- Adult personal care workers (e.g. elderly or disabled carers)
- Social workers
- Adult personal assistants
- Household helpers
- Transporting vulnerable adults
For more information on the types of roles that are classified as regulated activities with vulnerable adults, check out this document on the Department of Health website.
It’s important to note the requirement for a DBS check is only applicable to formal employment or official volunteer work. In other words, informal or family arrangements such as babysitting a child for an evening would not come under the definition of a regulated activity.
Here is a list of some other common activities or roles that do not fit the definition of a regulated activity:
- Visiting a resident of a nursing home or children’s home
- Working in a public environment such as a store or gym, unless contact is regularly unsupervised
- Occasional supervision, unexpected supervision of children or of vulnerable adults, for instance if an adult brings their child to an office environment for the day.
How to get an online DBS check
If you decide that the role you are offering or involved with requires a DBS check, the easiest and fastest way is to apply online.
Enhanced DBS checks for regulated activities cannot be applied for individually, but must go through a registered employer or an agency (we are a registered DBS agency).
If you want to discuss anything related to regulated activities or DBS checks, we’re happy to help. Contact us today.