DBS check eligibility tool

Points to remember

  • Not all NHS positions will be eligible for a DBS check.
  • Employers must only request criminal record information they are legally entitled to have under the Exceptions Order of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (as amended).
  • The need and level of check required depends on the activities and type of patient access the person will have in any given role.
  • You will need to identify if the person in that role will be engaging with children, adults or both.
  • Employment and work are terms used in legislation underpinning DBS checks. We would advise that this refers to anyone who has a contract or agreement with an NHS organisation to provide activities or services for/or on behalf of that organisation which is eligible for a DBS check. For example, directly paid staff, temporary workers (e.g. supplied through a trust bank, agency or third party contractor), trainees, students, and volunteers.
Next

1. Is the applicant aged 16 or over?

Outcome

Employing organisations are not legally permitted to obtain a DBS check for individuals under the age of 16.

Where considering appointing a person under the age of 16, for example, for work experience, it is important that the individual is fully supervised at all times by an appropriately trained health care professional. They must only undertake activities that they are qualified and/or skilled to do.

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2. Will the individual be providing a health service that enables them to have access to patients as part of their normal duties?

NOTE: Employers should refer to the Exceptions Order under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 which lists the types of work, activity, employment or professions for which an employer can legally obtain a DBS check.

Providing a health service relates to the provision of care concerned with maintaining the physical or mental health of patients. It may also include other non-clinical services/activities which support the provision of care and where, individuals carrying out those services/activities have access to patients as part of their normal duties. For example, receptionists, porters, cleaners, domestics, and key holders (in high secure services). This excludes roles that would only involve limited or no access to patients.

Help with this question:

See a range of scenario-based examples which demonstrate the type of roles which would be eligible for a standard DBS check.

Still unsure? – Further information about legal requirements and eligibility for DBS checks, can be found in the criminal record check standard on the NHS Employers website.

You may also find it useful to refer to the DBS eligibility guide which can be found on the www.gov.uk website.

Outcome

This position is eligible for a standard DBS check.

To find out whether the position may be eligible for a higher level of DBS check, continue to step four.

Outcome

This position is not eligible for a standard DBS check.

To find out whether the position may be eligible for a basic disclosure, continue to step three.

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Step 3
Step 4

3. Is the appointment you are making regarded as a position of trust?

NOTE: Positions of trust refer to non-clinical roles which are not concerned with providing health services, access to patients, or providing/managing someone in a regulated activity. It is where there is an element of risk associated with the role that would require the employer to seek additional assurances about a person’s suitability for the role. This may include, directors and senior managers who have responsibilities and accountability for corporate functions such as HR, IT or finance, those with responsibilities for managing patient identifiable data, budgets or handling cash.

Help with this question:

See a range of scenario-based examples which demonstrate the type of roles that may be considered against eligibility for a basic disclosure

Still unsure? – For information about the wider range of checks required when considering making appointments in the NHS, go to the NHS Employers employment checks section.

Outcome

This position is not eligible for a standard or enhanced DBS check.

Employers may wish to consider whether a basic disclosure would be appropriate.

For director level positions that are not eligible for a standard or enhanced DBS check, employers will need to carry a check against the Companies House registerThis check can be used to seek assurances that individuals have not been disqualified and/or are not subject to restrictions which would prevent them from being considered for a director level position, in order to meet the Care Quality Commission’s fit and proper person’s requirements.

NOTE: Employers in England and Wales may require individuals to obtain basic disclosures only through Disclosure Scotland. This check provides information about unspent convictions and cautions only. The DBS is extending its services to include basic disclosures from 2017. Further updates will be published on the NHS Employers website in due course.

Outcome

This position is not eligible for any level of DBS or other form of police check.

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4. Will the individual be carrying out, or will they be managing individuals carrying out, any of the following regulated activities with adults?

  • Healthcare, including all forms of health care relating to physical or mental health and palliative care, carried out by/or under supervision from, a regulated healthcare professional.
  • Personal care, providing physical assistance with washing, toileting, dressing, eating and drinking or prompting then supervising/ training/instructing/giving guidance to an adult to do any of these tasks because their age, illness or disability prevents them from doing so for themselves.
  • Social work, including assessing the need for health or social care services and ongoing support.
  • Day-to-day assistance with managing cash, bills or shopping, where due to their age, illness or disability, they cannot do so for themselves.
  • Assistance with the conduct of personal affairs under formal appointment.
  • Transporting, e.g. by vehicle, trolley or wheelchair, an adult because of their age, illness or disability to/from/between places where they are receiving or have received any of the above. Includes drivers and their assistants, and where the adult is accompanied by a carer. Excludes taxis for public use.

NOTE: All activities described above only have to be performed once by an individual to be regarded as a regulated activity.

Regulated activity does not include where activities are carried out under family or personal relationships, peer exemption e.g. providing advice and support based on life experience such as recovery from alcohol or drug addiction.

Help with this question:

See a range of scenario-based examples which demonstrate the type of roles which would be eligible for an enhanced check with adults barred list information.

Still unsure? – See the Department of Health factsheet on regulated activity with adults which is available on the gov.uk website.

Outcome

This position is eligible for an enhanced check with adults barred list information.

You will need to indicate that the role involves regulated activity with adults on the DBS application form.

To check whether the position is also eligible for a check against the children’s barred list, continue to step six.

Outcome

This position is not eligible for an enhanced with adults barred list check.

To find out if the position is eligible for a different type of enhanced DBS check, continue to step five.

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Step 6
Step 5

5. Will the individual be carrying out, or will they be managing individuals carrying out, any of the following activities with adults?

  • Care, supervision, treatment or therapy, this excludes personal care, carried out by/or under the supervision from, a regulated healthcare professional.

  • Teaching, training, instruction, assistance, advice or guidance where wholly or mainly for adults on any of the above activities.

  • Moderating a chat room which is wholly or mainly for adults where this involves interaction with users and responsibility for monitoring and controlling content and access to the service.

  • Advocacy provided on behalf of a statutory service which involves direct contact with adults.
  • Transporting, e.g. by vehicle, trolley or wheelchair, an adult because of their age, illness or disability to/from places where they are receiving or have received any of the above. Includes drivers and their assistants, and where the adult is accompanied by a carer. Excludes taxis for public use.
  • Any other employment or volunteering which is normally carried out in a hospital used only for the provision of high security psychiatric services.

NOTE: All activities described above must be performed by the same person in the same establishment - at least once a month on an ongoing basis, anytime on more than three days in any 30 day period, or overnight where there is face-to-face contact with adults between the hours of 2am and 6am.

Activities carried out under family or personal relationships are not eligible for an enhanced check without barred list information.

Help with this question:

See a range of scenario-based examples which demonstrate the type of roles which would be eligible for an enhanced without barred list check under work with adults.

Still unsure? – Regulations 5 (b) of the Police Act define the type of work with adults which would be eligible for an enhanced DBS check. Although legislation specifically refers to work, the eligibility criteria would apply to someone carrying out the same role as a volunteer.

Information about DBS eligibility can be found in the criminal record check standard.

You may find it useful to refer to DBS eligibility guide which can be found on the www.gov.uk website.

Outcome

This position is eligible for an enhanced without barred list check.

You will need to indicate that the role involves work with adults on the DBS application form.

To find out whether the role involves work with children, continue to step seven.

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Step 7

6. Will the individual be carrying out, or be managing individuals carrying out, any of the following regulated activities with children?

  • Healthcare, including all forms of health care relating to physical or mental health and palliative care, carried out by/or under supervision from, a regulated healthcare professional.*
  • Personal care, involving physical assistance with washing, toileting, dressing, eating and drinking or prompting/supervising/training or instructing a child to do any of these tasks because their age, illness or disability prevents them from doing so for themselves.**
  • Teaching, training, instruction, assistance, advice or guidance provided wholly or mainly for children on any of the above, where this is provided in an unsupervised capacity.**
  • Driving a vehicle for the sole purpose of transporting children to/from places where they are receiving or have received any of the above. Includes drivers and their assistants, and where children are accompanied by carers/guardians. Excludes taxis for public use.**
  • Any employment or volunteering where undertaken in a specified establishment which permits access to children (including schools, pupil referral units, nursery schools, institutions for the detention of children, children’s homes or children centres in England, childcare premises. Excludes children’s hospitals).

NOTE:

*These activities are a regulated activity irrespective of how many times the individual performs them in their role.


** These activities must be performed by the same person in the same establishment - at least once a month on an ongoing basis/anytime on more than three days in any 30 day period/or overnight where there is face-to-face contact with children between the hours of 2am and 6am.

Activities carried out under family or personal relationships, peer exemption (i.e. a person within a group assisting another member of the group) or where activities are carried out in the presence of children but the activity is not being provided to children is not regulated activity.

Help with this question:

See a range of scenario-based examples which demonstrate the type of roles which would be eligible for an enhanced check with children’s barred list information.

Still unsure? – See the Department of Education factsheet on regulated activity with children: scope and supervision which is available on the www.gov.uk website.

Outcome

This position is eligible for an enhanced check with children’s barred list information.

You will need to indicate that the role involves regulated activity with children on the DBS application form.

If you have also answered yes to step four, you will need to indicate that the role will involve regulated activity with both adults and children on the DBS application form.

Outcome

This position is not eligible for an enhanced with children’s barred list check.

To find out if the position is eligible for an enhanced check without barred list information under work with children, continue to step seven.

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Step 7

7. Will the individual be carrying out, or will they be managing individuals carrying out, any of the following activities with children?

  • Care, supervision, treatment or therapy (this excludes personal care) carried out by or under the supervision from, a registered healthcare professional.*

  • Teaching, training, instructing, assisting, or giving advice or guidance on any of the above, where this activity is provided wholly or mainly for children in a supervised capacity.*

  • Moderating a chat room which is wholly or mainly for children where this involves interaction with users and responsibility for monitoring and controlling content and access to services.*

  • Driving a vehicle for the sole purpose of transporting children to/from places where they are receiving or have received any of the above. Includes drivers and their assistants, and where children are accompanied by carers/guardians. Excludes taxis for public use.*
  • Any other employment or volunteering which is normally carried out in a specified establishment (including dedicated children’s hospitals, schools, pupil referral units, nursery schools, institutions for the detention of children, children’s homes or children centres in England, childcare premises)

NOTE: All activities described above must be performed by the same person in the same establishment - at least once a month on an ongoing basis/anytime on more than three days in any 30 day period/or overnight where there is face-to-face contact with children between the hours of 2am and 6am.

Activities carried out as part of a family or personal relationship, or in the presence of children but not provided to children are not eligible for an enhanced check without barred list information.

Help with this question:

See a range of scenario based examples which demonstrate the type of work with children which would be eligible for an enhanced without barred list check.

Regulations 5 (c) of the Police Act defines the type of work with children which would be eligible for an enhanced DBS check. Although legislation specifically refers to work, the eligibility criteria would apply to someone carrying out the same role as a volunteer.

Information about DBS eligibility can be found on the criminal record check standard. You may also find it useful to refer to the DBS eligibility guide.

Still unsure? – Regulations 5 (c) of the Police Act defines the type of work with children which would be eligible for an enhanced DBS check. Although legislation specifically refers to work, the eligibility criteria would apply to someone carrying out the same role as a volunteer.

Outcome

This position is eligible for an enhanced without barred list check.

You will need to indicate that the role involves work with children on the DBS application form.

If you have also answered yes to step five, you will need to indicate that the role involves work with both adults and children on the DBS application form.

Outcome

This position is not eligible for an enhanced without barred list check.

If you have answered yes to any of the previous steps, the role may be eligible for a different level of DBS check or a basic disclosure.

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