How do DBS Checks work around animals?
Keeping animals safe is a very important job. However, it is not always clear whether jobs that include animal care require a DBS Check.
In this article, we will explore how DBS Checks work around different animal care environments and other roles involving animals. Read on to find out more.
What about therapy animals?
People who work with therapy animals that are taken into care homes on a frequent basis, would require an Enhanced Check . According to the DBS, “frequent” or “regular” basis means that you are doing it three times or more within 30 days.
However, there is an exception if the role includes working within places that provide healthcare. For instance, if the animals are taken into a Children’s Hospital then an Enhanced DBS Check may be suitable, regardless of frequency.
How do DBS Checks work when it comes to “regulated activities”?
If a role requires a person to engage in a regulated activity and work with animals, then an Enhanced DBS Check will be needed. But what, exactly, is meant by regulated activity?
Regulated activities are a list of activities that involve interaction between a worker and a child or vulnerable adult, like guiding, advising or teaching children. It could also be something like providing healthcare or transport to and from a place of healthcare.
Depending on the case, there may be different lists or checks that are more suitable for one role than another. Hence there are different barred lists that check different things; each list will show details of individuals that are not suitable to work with either children or adults.
Someone who works with animals and carries out a regulated activity would need to get an Enhanced DBS Check.
For example, if they are a therapist and they work alongside a therapy animal, they would be eligible for an Enhanced Check and also a check of the barred list depending on who the individual works with. If they work with children, they will receive a check of the children’s barred list, if they work with adults, they will receive a check of the adult’s barred list.
Other examples could include people like teachers, trainers, carers, instructors, who would all require a DBS Check and the according barred list depending on who they are working with.
If you are still unsure, then you can check the government’s DBS workforce guidelines.
What about pet sitters and dog walkers?
These jobs do not require a DBS Check. However, if an individual would like an extra layer of safety for the clients and pets then they can obtain a Basic DBS Check if they like, since a higher level is not required.
What about veterinary surgeons?
Veterinary surgeons are suitable for a Standard DBS Check. This is taken from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 which clarifies the jobs for which a Standard DBS Checks is suitable.
Conclusion – DBS Checks for working around animals
Many jobs that include an element of working with animals require a DBS Check because of the activity and nature of the role. Depending on the type of activity involved, you will get a higher level or basic level of DBS Check.
But working with animals itself does not automatically make you eligible for a high level of DBS Check.
If you are still unsure about DBS check rules surrounding working with animals or have any remaining questions, please feel free to get in touch – one of our expert advisors will be happy to help.