Update Service from the DBS

July 17th, 2013 by Jonathan Bazely

As you have probably read the DBS are launching an Update Service for applicants to subscribe to. We are currently looking into how to incorporate this into our process as there are a number of considerations.

From 17th June, when applicants receive their Disclosure they can subscribe online and pay an annual £13 a year fee. This will allow the applicant to show future employers their current Disclosure and allow them to check this is up to date using an online portal on the DBS website. The Disclosure can then potentially be accepted by the employer providing it is at the same level, workforce, vetting and barring lists and volunteer status as the Disclosure that the new employer would normally request. A new employer should not view any information they would not normally be entitled to see e.g. if an employer normally requests a Standard level check then they would be in breach of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act if they viewed an Enhanced level Certificate.

DDC have developed a solution to the problem and are currently building and testing this, to ensure a smooth transition period. The notification of change and details provided have made this particularly challenging as most people will probably agree.

Even though applicants may be subscribed to the Update Service, we recommend that your recheck policy should be consistent across all employees whether on the Update Service of not.

Some initial considerations:

  1. Applicants have to register for the Update Service within 14 days of the issue date of new Disclosure.
  2. The fee to join the Update Service is £13 per year (free for volunteers) which must be paid by a debit/credit card via the DBS website.
  3. To ensure that the Certificiate belongs to the applicant, checks must be run to confirm the ID of the applicant, in accordence with DBS guidelines.
  4. The Disclosure level on the original Certificate must match the Disclosure level the employer is entitled to view and would normally request.
  5. The Vetting and Barring Lists must also match.
  6. The Workforce details must also match.
  7. If any of these details do not match a new Certificate should be requested by the new employer, however the applicant can register any new Certificates on to the Update Service under the same account.
  8. A Certificate applied for under a volunteer application can not be used for a paid role. A new application must be made.
  9. A new employer should acurately record their processes to ensure any potential future compliance issues can resolved.
  10. Employers should maintain their Data Protection principles relating to employee’s personal information and Disclosure documents.
  11. Employers should have a system in place to run an Update Service Check accurately, and intepret the results correctly.
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