Frequently Asked Questions about DBS Eligibility
A worker who does not meet the Regulated Activity criteria is still likely to be eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check (without a check of the barred lists) – especially if they are working with children. Not eligible for a check against the barred lists (regulated activity) does not mean not eligible for an Enhanced check. Your insurance company and charity regulator will expect you to process DBS checks for all your workers that are eligible, whether or not they are working in Regulated Activity.
If you receive adult referrals from the NHS / Health Care Professional then your counsellors will be in Regulated Activity with adults and only need to work on one occasion or more to legally require this check – this comes under the ‘Providing Healthcare’ category. This would also include counselling over the telephone. Social Services referrals should be treated as referrals from a health care professional if they are doing counselling
Yes. These workers would be in Regulated Activity as they are providing physical assistance with the adult going to the toilet. This only needs to take place on one occasion or more to mean that the worker MUST have a check of the barred lists via an Enhanced Disclosure – there is no requirement for it to occur regularly.
Volunteer drivers who transport vulnerable adults to various social events will be in Regulated Activity if they ever transport them to or from a place where they receive medical care, even if this is only once (for example hospital, care home, GP surgery). If your drivers transport adults who need help because of their age, illness or disability and they are in receipt of health or social care services purely for social reasons they will still be eligible for an Enhanced Disclosure if this is done frequently i.e. at least four times a month. If your drivers do not meet this criteria, you may wish to consider a Basic Check.
Workers who are serving food and refreshment and chatting with vulnerable adults will not be in Regulated Activity and probably not eligible for an Enhanced Disclosure. Under these circumstances, you may wish to consider the Basic Disclosure option. If the workers are visiting/helping the club members in their homes as part of a service offered by your club/church to the housebound to help with shopping and/or bills – then they fall within Regulated Activity. If, however, they are doing this on a purely personal basis as a result of friendship (even if that friendship was formed via your club) then this is a private arrangement and you cannot check them. However, if a worker is visiting people at home on a personal basis but as a result of the club then this could raise serious safeguarding concerns as the worker is stepping outside of the boundaries of their job role. If this happens then we would advise that you speak to our Safeguarding Advisors for guidance.
As trustees of a registered charity that works with children (and/or vulnerable adults) they are all eligible for a check. When deciding whether or not to check all trustees remember that the charity commission says “(we) take the view that whenever there is a legal entitlement to obtain a DBS check in respect of such a trustee, a check should be carried out”. Please also bear in mind the requirement(s) of your church insurers. Our advice is always to check any eligible worker.
Churchwardens should be checked in their capacity as a trustee (PCC member).
It is not possible to say generically whether a role is always eligible, or not eligible. It entirely depends on the duties a worker carries out (and sometimes also how often). Always look at the job role and match that against the eligibility criteria. Seek further advice if unsure.
As long as you make sure you apply for the correct Disclosure. Please remember that you can only request an Enhanced check for an eligible worker. Whilst we have a duty of care to those who are vulnerable within our churches – we must remain within legal guidelines. If eligibility doesn’t exist for an Enhanced check, you may wish to consider a Basic Disclosure. Please contact our disclosure teams for more information.
You cannot request a DBS check if your worker is not legally eligible BUT you can ask the applicant to apply for a Basic Disclosure - you can register with thirtyone:eight to process these - but remember this will only show unspent convictions. Please contact our disclosure team for more details.
Consider asking them to apply for a Basic Disclosure. These are useful where a role is not eligible for an Enhanced check but where the role requires (or publicly indicates) a certain level of trust by the church or organisation. This could include roles such worship leaders, those offering transport to/from events, administrators, welcomers, preachers, caretakers, finance workers, refreshment team etc.