Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS)

DBS Checks:- Information for Families and Candidates

We require candidates to have a clear, Enhanced DBS certificate, ideally registered with DBS update service or issued within last 12 months or positions that involve sole charge or supervision of children and domestic positions that involve contact with children or vulnerable adults

If the Enhanced DBS certificate is issued outside of the 12-month period, the candidate will be required to apply for a new Enhanced DBS and we will inform you that the DBS certificate is ‘in progress’ or that the candidate is happy to renew their DBS upon acceptance of Offer of Engagement.

We encourage all of our candidates to register with the DBS Update Service. The DBS Update service means that the DBS is checked regularly. Consent to view is given by the candidate. 

For more information on DBS checks please follow the link DBS information


The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) have merged to become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). CRB checks are now called DBS checks.

Enhanced Disclosure

• Any person employed to look after children and sourced through Home Organisers will hold/apply for an enhanced DBS check.
• This is the highest level of check available to anyone involved in regularly caring for, training, supervising or being in sole charge of children.
• This includes checking whether someone is included in the DBS ‘barred list’ (previously called ISA barred lists) of individuals who are unsuitable for working with children or adults (vulnerable persons)
• It’s against the law for employers to employ someone or allow them to volunteer for this kind of work if they know they are on the barred list.
• A DBS check has no official expiry date. Any information included will be accurate at the time the check was carried out. It is up to an employer to decide if and when a new check is needed.
• As from 17th June 2013 DBS now only issue one paper certificate which they send to the applicant. Employers will have to request to see the certificate from the applicant.
• Applicants and employers can use the DBS update service to keep a certificate up to date or carry out checks on a potential employee’s certificate.

Who can apply for a DBS?

• An applicant is unable to apply for an Enhanced DBS check on their own.
• A family hirer is also unable to apply for a DBS check for their potential new nanny. To apply for a DBS, there must be eligibility to ask ‘an exempted question’ For DBS checking an exempted question is a valid request for a person to reveal their full criminal history subject to filtering. The family hirer does not have this eligibility as a private individual.
• Home Organisers is registered to apply for an Enhanced DBS through Care Check. 

What is the Update Service?

• The Update Service is a facility where an individual may choose to have their DBS Certificate kept up-to-date and take it with them from role to role (within the same workforce) where the same type and level of check is required.
• The online status check will detail if any new information/or changes have happened since the DBS certificate was issued. If there is no change in status, the employer can accept the certificate presented instead of requesting the undertaking of a new DBS application.
• Any applicant applying for a DBS certificate should subscribe to the DBS Update Service within 19 days of receiving the certificate.
• DBS will regularly check to see if new information has come to light. This means that once a week, criminal record convictions and barring information will be checked, and non-conviction information will be checked every 9 months.

Reusing a DBS check

A DBS certificate only contains information from a DBS check on a certain date and for a particular purpose.
Employers can accept a previously issued certificate but must:

• check the applicant’s identity matches the details on the certificate
• check the certificate is of the right level and type for the role applied for
• CRB-branded certificates should be treated the same as DBS-branded certificates.
• If the applicant has registered for the DBS update service, carry out a free-of-charge status check to see if new information has come to light since the certificate’s issue; the applicant must have already joined the DBS update service
• Employers can accept a previously issued certificate without a status check but at their own risk.

Security features

Certificates have security features to prove they’re genuine, including:

• a ‘crown seal’ watermark repeated down the right side, visible both on the surface and when held up to the light
• a background design featuring the word ‘Disclosure’, which appears in a wave-like pattern across both sides of a certificate; the pattern’s colour alternates between blue and green on the reverse
• ink and paper that change colour when wet
• The security features for a CRB certificate issued before 1 December 2012 are the same as for the DBS certificate.

Overseas applicants and UK applicants who lived abroad

• Employers can ask applicants from overseas to get a criminal records check, or ‘Certificate of Good Character’, from their country of origin.
• It may also be possible for employers to get such a check through the relevant embassy in the UK but the applicant must give their permission.
• Processes for getting criminal records checks abroad vary between countries.

Referring someone to DBS

Employers must refer someone to DBS if they:
• terminated employment  because they harmed a child or adult
• removed them from working in regulated activity because they might have harmed a child or adult otherwise
• were planning on terminating employment for either of these reasons, but the person resigned first

For more information please visit: DBS