Why Do Dentists Need DBS Checks?
Many jobs and professions ask new employees to fill out a DBS check before starting work these days, including dentists. DBS checks are criminal record searches that highlight different types of offences, depending on the level of the check.
DBS checks are used for a number of reasons, the main one being to protect and safeguard children and vulnerable adults from potential wrongdoers. They can also be used to check people’s suitability for jobs where they need to be financially responsible.
In a similar way to teachers, accountants, and hospital workers, dentists are required to fill out a DBS check application form and get a certificate before starting work. But why is this and how do prospective dentists go about obtaining one?
How To Become A Dentist
Dentists are healthcare practitioners that work on patient’s teeth and help to encourage good oral hygiene.
To train as a dentist you need to follow this path:
- Undergraduate Degree in dentistry – usually 5 years.
- Postgraduate Training or Master’s Degree – 1 to 2 years
- Supervised Practice (alongside postgraduate training)
- Continued Professional Development (CPD)
As you can see, the training process takes several years, so it’s not something to be embarked on lightly. You need to be passionate about dentistry and working as a dentist to make it worthwhile.
Why Must Dentists Get A DBS Certificate?
Dentists spend time working with both children (although they will usually be accompanied by an adult) and vulnerable adults and therefore they need to be vetted to make sure that they don’t pose a risk. DBS checks reveal past offences and convictions, and people may be disqualified from practicing as a dentist if they have committed serious crimes involving children or vulnerable adults.
Health & Safety
Being a dentist is a responsible job as you are providing a healthcare service. Therefore, it’s important that people in the profession have a good character without recent criminal convictions. DBS checks will expose any recent wrongdoings.
What Type of DBS Check Do Dentists Need?
People that want to practice as a dentist need to have an Enhanced DBS Certificate. The Enhanced DBS Check covers spent and unspent convictions, warnings, cautions, and reprimands, as well as any other police notes that are considered relevant.
As the job of a dentist involves working frequently with children and vulnerable adults, a barred list check is also required. This means that the DBS will check your details against their list of people deemed too dangerous to work with those vulnerable groups. Anyone found to be on the barred list will automatically be disqualified from working as a dentist.
As the job of a dentist involves safeguarding issues and is considered to be a regulated activity by the DBS, it is law that anyone practicing the profession must hold a valid DBS certificate.
If you run a dental practice, it’s important that you make sure that you hold a DBS certificate, as well as anybody else working there who will be in close, frequent contact with vulnerable people. This includes dental nurses and hygienists.
Other staff, such as receptionists, should also get a DBS check carried out in case there is an incident and they are called upon to submit a report.
It is recommended that you build the DBS check process into your practice policy so that it doesn’t get overlooked and can be shown to inspectors if necessary.
Please note that receptionists and administrative staff do not require a full enhanced DBS check. A standard DBS check will suffice as they are not directly involved in treating or tending to patients.
How To Get A DBS Check
The only type of DBS check that you can apply for on your own is a Basic DBS Check. Standard and Enhanced DBS Checks need to be checked and submitted on your behalf by a third party to verify the details and ID documents.
As working at a dental practice requires either a standard or enhanced DBS check, it must be carried out by the employing agency or professional body.
Depending on the way the organisation processes the applications, you may be asked to fill in a paper form that will be posted or an online form which is automatically processed. It usually takes 4 to 6 weeks to receive a DBS certificate for standard and enhanced DBS checks.
Get A DBS Check To Become A Dentist
Dentistry involves working with children, adults, elderly, and vulnerable people. For this reason, all dentists are legally required to get an Enhanced DBS Certificate.
Hopefully this article has helped you to understand what to expect. For more information on DBS checks, please contact one of our experts today.