Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS previously CRBs) –
Guidance - August 2015
Who needs a DBS?
DBS Eligibility criteria is strictly regulated by law and can only be obtained for certain roles. Please check by referring to – DBS Website and the NHS Employers DBS Eligibility Tool.
Types of check
- A Standard DBS check will detail every conviction (including spent convictions), caution, warning and reprimand which is recorded in central records or it will state that there is no information held.
- An Enhanced DBS check is the highest level of criminal record check and is available for those carrying out certain activities; working with children or adults
DBS Checks for General Practitioners
NHS England are no longer re-checking GPs DBS status every 3 years, they will only be completed once when a doctor joins the Performers List.
Therefore when a new GP begins working for you, you must be able to provide sufficient evidence of seeking appropriate assurances from NHS England that a check has been undertaken and if offered a DBS certificate then take a copy or at least record the number. It is up to the Practice to decide if they wish to request a new DBS check - for Somerset GPs these are handled by Avon LMC who are the buying groups provider of this service, please visit Avon LMC website.
New Partner - CQC DBS
GP partners were accepted onto CQC registration pre April 2013 with their GMC number, post this date the CQC have asked that any new partner now has a CQC endorsed DBS check, this is not the case for salaried GPs, please see the following information : Link
Link to Post Office website Provider application: Add a partner
DBS Checks for Locum GPs
For Somerset Locum GPs/Practice Nurses they can apply on the Somerset LMC website
Outcome 12 of the CQC Regulations refers to the checking of DBS status before commencing employment, so according to the letter of the Regulations practices should ask for a new check every time a locum comes to the practice as each certificate is technically only valid at the time it is issued. This is clearly impractical and we think the best solution is for Sessional GPs to apply for an up to date DBS check and then join the update service (see below).
Trained Nursing staff and HCAs
Enhanced DBS checks will need to be applied for all these staff.
Non Clinical Staff
For all Non-clinical employees it will depend on whether the employee is engaged in a ‘regulated activity’, there is no blanket requirement for all reception or administrative applicants to have DBS checks. Having access to medical records alone does not mean that an employee is eligible for an enhanced DBS check. You may decide to obtain a standard check for these staff but that would need to be an individual practice decision.
If a receptionist is to act as a chaperone at the practice then it IS recommended that an enhanced check is applied for as they will fulfil the eligibility criteria.
What is the DBS Update Service? Link to website
The DBS Update service lets applicants keep their DBS certificates up to date online and allows employers to check a certificate online.
The DBS update service is a yearly subscription service provided directly by the DBS for applicants. Currently the service costs £13 per year. The applicant must apply with the DBS form reference number or within 30 days of receiving the Certificate. This route is recommended for Locum GPs and Nurses as the service is fully portable - allowing applicants to carry their certificate between different employments, providing the new employment is in the same workforce and requires the same level of check.
Can I sign up my employee for the Update Service?
No, the applicant must decide for themselves whether they would like to use the update service.
How do I check applicants DBS if they use the Update Service
Log on to the Update Service and enter your details, once you click through, you will be prompted to provide the information for the DBS certificate you wish to check.
The DBS Form
Please ensure the form is completed correctly. Further information on completing the form can be found on the LMC website please share with the individual as this gives checklists and guidance - it is important to read the front page of the form. An example of a completed form can be found here
Three pieces of valid ID must be certified and returned with the form and must be from the DBS acceptable documents. Link
You cannot be your own evidence checker.
'Child and Adult Workforce': You must now include the relevant workforce(s) on each DBS application. This is currently written on the forms you receive, the form should be amended if position does not meet both criteria.
How long does it take to receive certificate and what happens if not received?
Usually it is within 2 weeks however it could be up to 6 weeks. If the application has multiple addresses this may also take longer. If the Certificate has not been received within 6 weeks the LMC can check on the status.
From June 2013 only the applicant, not the Practice or Somerset LMC, will receive the DBS certificate. Practice Managers will need to ask the applicant to show them the certificate once received. Somerset LMC recommend PMs to make a note of the certificate number and date of issue within the personnel file of the member of staff.
Who are they sent to
Certificates are now only sent to the applicant. Practices need to request to see the certificate and keep a note of the details.
- The date of issue of the check.
- The full name and date of birth of the subject.
- The type of check requested.
- Whether the children's and/or adults barred list was checked and the outcome.
- The position for which the check was requested.
- The unique reference number of the check.
- The details of the employment decision taken, and any additional information that may require periodic checks to be made
How long does a DBS Certificate last
A DBS certificate is only truly accurate on the day it was issued. As such, there is no official expiration or renewal date for a DBS (CRB) check.
The applicant has not received their DBS Certificate, even though it has been issued
The DBS will only accept request for re-issue of a certificate from individual applicant and only if the DBS certificate was not received, if it was lost then it will not be re-issued – time limit of 3 months after issuance. Reprint Guide
Accepting a previously issued DBS check
Ultimately it is for the employer to determine whether to accept previously-issued CRB/DBS checks. You should consider the following before making a decision, the applicant’s criminal record may have changed since its issue, and the position that the previous check was undertaken for may have changed, the ID validation was also done by another person.
Don’t forget to ask if they are using the "DBS Update Service" as you can check the status at that date.
Link to DBS website for further information.