The Importance of DBS Checks for Safeguarding
DBS checks are there to ensure that companies recruit individuals who are not only safe to work for them, but that they are compliant with safeguarding procedures. Whether you’re applying as an individual or using our fast-track service to process multiple applications, DBS checks are more than just a certificate of compliance.
DBS checks are required for people working in schools, healthcare settings and anywhere that looks after vulnerable adults or children. DBS checks demonstrate that organisations are following safeguarding regulations correctly and most people understand why this is important. However, there are some other facts about safeguarding you may not be aware of, which we’ll cover in this article.
What Is Safeguarding?
Safeguarding refers to the steps taken to ensure the welfare of children or vulnerable adults. It protects them from abuse, harm or neglect. It’s the responsibility of an employer to have safeguarding policies and procedures in place if they work with or have contact with these vulnerable groups .
There’s some confusion over the terms “child protection” and “safeguarding”, they’re often seen as the same thing but they refer to completely different concepts. Child protection is a part of safeguarding, but it’s defined as “protecting individual children who are identified as suffering or likely to suffer significant harm”.
For example, in schools, safeguarding refers to the policies and procedures that the school has in place. It helps to ensure the safety and well-being of the children in their care. Schools must create a safe environment for their pupils and make sure that their buildings are secure. Child protection is part of safeguarding. However, it is more specific to individual children who are at a higher risk of harm.
What DBS Checks Are There?
Someone who works closely with vulnerable adults or children either as a volunteer or an employee often requires a DBS check. These checks ensure that the individuals they recruit are safe. It means they can work with vulnerable groups of people and are not prohibited from doing so.
There are three types of DBS checks that an employer can request, which are:
- Basic DBS check
- Standard DBS check
- Enhanced DBS check
Enhanced DBS checks are the most detailed. They show someone’s complete criminal history (except offences that are eligible for filtering). It shows both spent and unspent convictions, cautions, warnings and reprimands. They can also include a barred list check too.
After an offer of employment, the employer applies for an enhanced DBS check. This meets their legal, as well as their safeguarding, obligations. They usually take 7 days to arrive unless you use our fast-track service, in which case you can expect a certificate in as little as 48 hours.
Which DBS Check Do I Need?
The Protection of Freedoms Act (2012) says that anyone who carries out a regulated activity with vulnerable adults or children must not be on the barred list. For instance, it is a criminal offence to employ anyone working in a school on the children’s barred list.
Ofsted requires that enhanced DBS checks and a barred list check are carried out in educational settings. DBS checks a legal requirement and prevent unsuitable people from working with children. As part of the recruitment process the applicant’s details are also checked with the Department for Education.
DBS Checks and Safeguarding – A Summary
It’s obvious that to enable an employer to make safe recruitment decisions, they need to apply for DBS checks for their candidates.
Once an applicant has applied for an enhanced DBS check they’ll need to comply with their employer’s safeguarding policies and procedures too. New employees can sometimes transfer an existing DBS certificate from their current employer, which makes changing jobs a lot simpler.
Our self-administered system makes the whole process easier. All you need to do is register with us and you can securely process multiple applications.
If you’d like to find out more about safeguarding or ask any other questions regarding DBS checks, then get in touch with one of our expert advisors today.