What Are Adult First Checks?
An Adult First Check ensures that anybody named on the adults barred list is flagged up as being prohibited from contact with vulnerable adults within a workspace, prior to having a full DBS Check.
The Disclosure and Barring Service provides the DBS Adult First Check.
To save waiting for the DBS Check results, the Adult First Check allows the individual to begin working with adults, as long as they are supervised. Under the rules of the Department of Health, Adult First Checks are only allowable in very specific situations.
Which roles qualify for an Adult First Check?
The main candidates for Adult First Checks are people who work in roles that involve taking care of adults. In these adult care service jobs, DBS certificates are a legal requirement.
The Adult First Check is only relevant for roles that are eligible for an enhanced DBS check and adult’s barred list check. The DBS define these roles as “regulated activities” that involve working with vulnerable adults in direct contact, on a frequent basis. Organisations and workers such as care homes, elderly care services, domiciliary carers, social workers, and adult carers will qualify for Adult First Checks.
The Adult First Check cannot be requested unless an adults barred list check has been applied for.
What situations warrant an Adult First Check?
An Adult First Check is a last resort measure that should only be applied for when there is no option to wait for the full results of an enhanced DBS check. For example, if the organisation does not have enough staff to meet their statutory obligations and comply with regulations.
If an organisation or employer needs to use Adult First Checks they should submit the application at the same time as the DBS check application.
What does the Adult First Check reveal?
Adult First Checks reveals one of the following three results:
- No match for the individual on the adults barred list at the present time. This means that they can begin working with adults, but only under supervision.
- Potential match on the adults barred list. This means that the organisation must wait for the result of the full enhanced DBS check, as further investigation is needed.
- Certificate completed. This means that both the enhanced DBS check and barred list check have been completed and results will follow.
All three results are only the first stage of the overall criminal background check and the employer will need to wait for the full results before the individual can work unsupervised with vulnerable adults.
Checks for people who work with children and vulnerable adults
The rules are different for people that work in roles that involve working with both vulnerable adults and children. There is no way to fast-track a check of the childrens barred list. For roles that involve contact with children and are classed as a regulated activity, a full enhanced DBS certificate needs to be in place.
Adult First Checks are an important option for employers and organisations that need to fast-track applications due to staffing shortages or other urgent needs only.
An Adult First Check result enables people to take up a role before the full DBS certificate has been completed, as long as the adults barred list check comes back clear. In this case, the person can take up the role, but only under supervision.
If you want to find out more about Adult First Checks or anything else to do with DBS checks you can talk to one of our expert advisors today.