What Is Meant By “Limited Range of Establishments” In DBS Checks?
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are criminal background checks that are used to vet people for both voluntary and paid employment. They are often used for roles that involve working directly with vulnerable adults or children.
One of the main deciding factors on the level of DBS check that is needed is the working environment and place of work.
For applicants that are involved in the teaching, instruction, care, and supervision of children (or transporting unaccompanied children), then the role is considered to be a ‘regulated activity’, which requires an enhanced DBS check, as well as a check of the children’s barred list.
For roles that are not considered to be regulated activities, the eligibility criteria for a DBS check varies. The decision is influenced by the work setting. One of the considerations is whether the role involves working in a ‘limited range of establishments’ that may present situations where the applicant is in contact with children.
In this article, we’ll define what is meant by ‘limited range of establishments’ and how it affects DBS applications.
What Is Meant By ‘Limited Range of Establishments’?
Limited range of establishments is sometimes referred to as a ‘specified places’. A loose definition of a specified place is an institution or working environment that puts people in contact with children frequently enough to warrant an enhanced DBS check.
A few examples of places that fall under the ‘limited range of establishments’ include schools, childcare facilities, nurseries, child healthcare facilities, colleges, etc. A full list of qualifying establishments can be found on page eight of this DfE document.
Within the definition of ‘limited range of establishments’ places of work that include vulnerable adults are generally excluded. This doesn’t mean that people who work there are not required to get DBS checks however. Employees at care homes, hospitals, prisons, etc. will often be required to get a DBS check.
Frequency of Work Within Limited Range of Establishments
For people that work within an organisation or institution that comes under the definition of ‘limited range of establishments’, there is guidance that sets out the frequency of working with children that would make them eligible for a DBS check.
- Frequency of once per week or more, or three or more occasions within a 30-day timeframe.
- At any time during an overnight period (between 2am and 6am), that may involve supervision of and direct contact with children.
For instance, a teacher or administrator at a school would need an enhanced DBS check as they meet this frequency, but a contractor that only works in a school for one day per month may not.
For instance, a maintenance engineer who comes in to fix the boiler at a school will not be eligible for an enhanced DBS check. However, a maintenance engineer that visits the school every week to perform a task may satisfy the criteria as they may come into contact with children more than three times per month.
Verify Eligibility with A Regulatory Body
The best way to determine whether a DBS check is required and what level of check is appropriate, employers should check with the relevant regulatory body.
For instance, educational settings such as schools and nurseries can verify DBS check eligibility with Ofsted. It is mandatory that schools and colleges have safeguarding policies in place that comply with regulations, so these can be checked as a first port of call.
Businesses and contractors that are working within a ‘limited range of establishments’, should contact the organisation or institution in question and ask what policies are in place regarding DBS checks.
‘Limited range of establishments’ refers to places of work that involve contact with children or vulnerable adults and thus require employees to get a DBS check carried out.
In order to find out whether your place of work qualifies you can check with DBS guidelines and other regulatory bodies such as Ofsted or the CQC (Care Quality Commission).
To find out more about DBS checks and the guidance and regulations that surround them, you can contact us today.