Become a member Donate


Applicants can now subscribe to the DBS Update Service with a new Certificate. Once subscribed the individual can take their Certificate with them from role to role where the same level and type of check are required. The status can be regularly checked by the employer so there will also be no further need to apply for fresh disclosures when renewing them. With the individual’s permission, employers can go online for a free and instant check to find out whether the Certificate is still up to date.

Care should be taken however as you can only use a like-for-like check in this situation. This is because the employer / recruiting body is not legally entitled to know any subsequent information relating to a different workforce or level of regulated / non-regulated activity. For example, a nurse who has been checked for working with children and vulnerable adults can’t then use that check for working just with children in a youth activity. Similarly, a volunteer check can’t be used for a paid role.

The Update Service will only check for new information which relates to the applicant and not individuals connected with the home address if the applicant carries out some or all of their work from home. If your organisation is part of a diocese/organisation group, please first check with them if their policy to allow the DBS Update Service to be accepted'. If your organisation is part of a diocese/organisation group, please first check with them to ensure that use of the DBS Update Service is acceptable.

How much will it cost?

There will be a £13 annual subscription fee for paid workers or free for volunteers.

How can an applicant register?

The easiest way for a worker to subscribe is to join online at DBS up to 30 days from the date of issue of their DBS Certificate.

Do I have to join the Update Service to carry out a Status check of a DBS Certificate?

No, this is a free service for Recruiters/employers.

Do I need to see the actual DBS Certificate when I carry out a Status check?

Yes, you must see the original DBS Certificate to ensure that it is of the right type and level that you need and that you are legally entitled to, for example, Enhanced with an Adults’ Barred List check.

How will recruiters/employers make a Status check?

Having obtained the applicant’s permission, employers can go to DBS and enter their name and organisation together with the applicant’s name, date of birth and Certificate number. They do not have to register or subscribe to carry out a Status check.

They must:

  • Check the DBS Certificate is exactly the same type and level as needed
  • Check the individual’s identity
  • Check the name on the DBS Certificate matches this identity
  • Obtain the individual’s consent to carry out a status check (DBS Update Service Check List)
  • Take a note of the DBS Certificate reference number and the individual’s name and date of birth
  • Comply with the DBS Code of Practice which includes having a policy on the Recruitment of Ex-offenders and make this available to the individual. A sample policy on the Recruitment of ex-offenders is available from us or via the DBS.

Can an individual stop me carrying out a Status check on their DBS Certificate?

Yes, if the individual leaves your organisation, moves to a position which is not eligible for a DBS check, or withdraws their consent you must stop carrying out any further checks. If you continue to carry out Status checks on their certificate you would be breaking the law by accessing data you were not entitled to see. Please note that the applicant will be able to see an audit detailing who has checked their status and the dates that this occurred.

What information will I see when I carry out a Status check?

You will see the following details:

  • The individual’s name
  • The individual’s date of birth and one of the following results:
  • This DBS Certificate did not reveal any information and remains current as no further information has been identified since its issue
  • This DBS Certificate remains current as no further information has been identified since its issue
  • This DBS Certificate is no longer current. Please apply for a new DBS check to get the most up-to-date information
  • The details entered do not match those held on our system. Please check and try again.

Please refer to the DBS Update Service Flowchart to help you interpret the above.

What is likely to cause a change to someone’s status, so their DBS Certificate is no longer current?

 The status will change if:

  • any new convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings are recorded; or
  • any amendment or change to a current conviction, caution, warning or reprimand For Enhanced DBS Certificates:
  • any new, relevant police information is recorded For Enhanced Certificates with a Barred List check(s):
  • if the individual becomes barred for that list(s) checked on the Enhanced Certificate

What should I do if an individual’s Status check reveals a change?

You should have a discussion with the individual about the reasons why there is a change. For safeguarding measures a new DBS check should be undertaken but any action you take before you find out the new information is a matter for your organisation.

After I have completed a Status check, will the DBS notify me if the information revealed on the DBS Certificate subsequently changes?

No, if you want to check if the DBS Certificate remains current you will have to carry out periodic Status checks with the individual’s consent.

Can I share the results of the Status check with anyone?

No, if you are carrying out Status checks you must comply with the DBS Code of Practice which sets out when, and with whom, you can share the results with.

What Happens if Applicants Personal Details Change?

The applicant can log in to their DBS subscription to advise of a change of email, postal address or phone no; however, if their name has changed they must apply for a new certificate.


DBS Update Service Check List

DBS Update Service Flowchart

Change Cookie Choices