Understanding DBS Workforce Types
When applying for an Enhanced DBS Check or a Standard DBS Check, the application form asks for a workforce type. It’s not obvious what is meant by “workforce” type and if it is filled in wrongly it can lead to a delay with the application being processed.
That’s why it’s important to understand what is meant by a workforce on DBS applications and make sure you get it right.
This article will give you clear definitions of the three main DBS workforce types.
DBS Workforce Types
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) defines three different workforce types: Adult, Child, and Other.
The Child Workforce
A job role is considered to be part of the child workforce if the position involves working with or alongside children. This covers a multitude of job roles and positions, from being a caretaker in a school to being a classroom teacher, for instance.
The term “child workforce” can also be applied to jobs that are considered to be a regulated activity in the eyes of the DBS. In general, a regulated activity is a role that involves frequent, direct contact with children (e.g. teaching or training) or supervision of children (childcare, bus driver, etc.). This includes people that work temporarily in an environment with children, such as a building contractor.
Another thing to note is that any person aged 16 years or above who lives in a home where childcare takes place are also required to get a DBS check and tick the child workforce option.
The Adult Workforce
If you work with vulnerable adults in a role that fits the definition of a regulated activity, you’ll need to tick the adult workforce option on the DBS check application form.
The following types of role are considered to be regulated activity with adults:
- Providing personal care, such as help with bathing or dressing, mobility assistance, etc.
- Managing the finances of a vulnerable adult
- Transporting vulnerable adults
- Providing healthcare or social services to vulnerable adults.
As an indicator as to whether the role is a regulated activity with adults or not is to consider whether it involves frequently being left alone or unsupervised with a vulnerable adult.
This may include carrying out contracted work in an environment with vulnerable adults, such as an elderly care home.
The “Other” Workforce
Another option on the DBS check application form is to identify the work as “other”. The “other” category covers a wide range of roles and activities. It basically includes any work that involves activities that can possibly pose a danger to people.
There are too many roles and activities to list in full, but here is a brief list of examples:
- Taxi and bus drivers
- Uber and Lyft drivers
- Croupiers and other people working in gambling establishments
- Firearms handlers
- People handling or using explosives
- Nuclear power plant workers
Special cases – Child and Adult Workforce
As well as the three workforce categories detailed above, there is a fourth “special case” which is referred to as “child and adult workforce”. If you work with, or regularly come into contact, with both vulnerable adults and children as a regulated activity, then you should tick the relevant option on the DBS application form.
Some examples of the roles that may fall into the category of child and adult workforce are as follows:
- General Practitioners (GP), nurses, or other medical professionals
- Clinicians and therapists
- Gym trainers
If the role falls into the category of child and adult workforce, it is likely that the highest level of DBS check will be required, which is an enhanced DBS check with a barred list check for both adults and children.