Signature Staff

DBS & the Update Service

We often get asked about the DBS update service and the different types of DBS certificates available.

So we’ve compiled a few important facts which will hopefully answer some of your questions and clear up any misconceptions:

Types of DBS Checks

  • There are two types of DBS, a basic and an enhanced version. An enhanced DBS check includes all the information included as part of a standard check, plus any information held locally by police forces that is considered relevant to the child workforce and post applied for.
    A standard DBS only shows current open convictions.
  • There is an online application for the Basic certificate; however this will not be sufficient when working with children, childcare is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and you are obliged to disclose all pending prosecutions or convictions that you may have and no convictions will be considered “spent”.) Please do not apply for a Basic DBS check.
  • In order to apply for an Enhanced certificate, you need to have a registered umbrella body apply on your behalf. This could be an agency or school for example. You cannot apply for an Enhanced certificate yourself online – so get in touch with your agency about this.
  • Despite common belief, your DBS certificate is not valid for 3 years. It is recommended that you get a new certificate each time you change jobs – however this is no longer necessary if you sign up for the update service.

How does The Update Service work?

  • The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) body will regularly check to see if new information has come to light about you. 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. Agencies and future employers who have your permission can check this on the update service website – and can get up to date information on your status.

The Update Service – how to join;

  • Once your Enhanced DBS Certificate has been issued, you have a small window (30 days) in which to apply to the update service.
  • This service costs £13 per year.
  • You will get an option when signing up for the update service to either:
    • Renew via auto renewal, this option must be selected when you first register
    • OR renew up to 30 days before your certificate expires.
  • If you miss the 30 day window, you will have to apply for a new DBS certificate and then start the update service process again; therefore it is advised that you use the auto renewal option.
  • Agencies or new employers can log in to the service and check your status. You will need to give permission for them to do so and you will be notified when it is checked and by whom.
  • Your certificate should arrive at the address you entered with the application. The agency/school does not get a copy of your certificate, only a notification that it has been completed. You should send a copy of your certificate to the agency/school and/or your employer and let them know you are on the update service.
  • If you lose your certificate, you will have to apply for another DBS entirely; incurring another fee. There is no additional copy of your certificate, you get the only one.
  • For additional details on the update service please see the link below:

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