DBS (Disclosure and Barring Services) checks are sometimes a legal requirement when going through the hiring process. If you are a small business owner looking at recruiting for your business, you will need to familiarise yourself with DBS checks, if they are relevant. DBS checks, previously known as CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) checks, may be essential to working in certain places and positions.
Here is an explanation of what DBS checks are and who might need them. When recruiting you will need to consider whether it’s relevant to you and your small business, and decide if you want any potential employees to provide a DBS check. You might also want to consider offering to cover the fees of a DBS check for a particularly excellent candidate.
What is a DBS check?
The DBS checks the barred lists and police records in order to award DBS check certificates. Once a DBS check is completed, the certificate is sent to the applicant – which can then be shown to employers for around three years. When the three years are up, a DBS check will have to be renewed. The process itself is straightforward, you can apply for a DBS check online, there is a fee of £25 and you have to be over the age of 16. It usually will take around 14 days to come through.
Only registered employers can access the DBS checking system, this is to make sure that only those who DBS is relevant to are given access. For example, if you are working in an office as a marketer, it is highly unlikely that you would require a DBS check.
Who does it apply to?
If you are working in certain fields such as healthcare or education then you will more often than not need to have a DBS check before being able to work. Employers will usually ask you for this, and it may be something that you are expected to fund yourself.
If a role involves working with children, in healthcare, caring for the elderly or working with people with disabilities then it is likely that the role will require a DBS check.
Do my employees need to have it?
If you are running a business that involves working with vulnerable people, whether that is the elderly, children, or people with disabilities, your employees will need to have DBS checks. It’s different for every business, but if you are running a nursery business for example, then you will have to follow rules and regulations that apply to this type of business, which includes your employees requiring DBS checks. You need to make sure that you are hiring the right people, and a DBS check provides an extra layer of security that certain employers need to have when hiring.
You should seek assistance from an HR professional if you don’t have an in-house HR team or department. Alternatively, you can visit the DBS page on gov.co.uk for further information.