Changes to DBS Certificates – 31st May 2015

May 27th, 2015 by Jonathan Bazely

A sample of a DBS Certificate

DBS Fee to be displayed on Certificates

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)  have announced that the Certificates they issue will change from the 31st May 2015 . This is a relatively minor change to include whether the DBS fee was paid when the application was submitted. Applications for volunteer positions, meeting the DBS’s strict definition of a volunteer do not incur a DBS fee, however they may incur an administration fee from the Umbrella Body processing the application. The Certificate will not include any information on any administration charges made by an Umbrella Body. For a full lists of costs for applications processed by Due Diligence Checking Limited please see our DBS Costs & Prices page.

What this means for applicants:

From the 31st May 2015 any Certificate issued by the DBS will include additional information, either:

No DBS Fee Charged or DBS Fee Charged

This will make it easier for applicants with multiple Certificates, at different levels to identify if they can potentially re-use their Certificate (subject to new employers choosing to accept it). Certificates issued before the 31st May 2015 will not show this information and applicants are unable to obtain a reprint of the DBS Certificate unless the DBS have made an error on the Certificate.

  • I have lost my Disclosure Document, can I get another? 

    I have lost my Disclosure Document. Can I get another copy?

    In short, no. If you have received your Certificate and then lost it, you can not obtain a replacement. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS formerly CRB) will re-print a Disclosure Certificate if the original was lost in the post en-route to you and was never received. This must be reported within 90 days of the issue date. Under the current DBS system there is only one paper copy of the Disclosure Certificate that is issued direct to the applicant. We recommend that you keep this safe at all times as the only copy available for review.

    If you have not received your original DBS Certificate you can request a re-print by sending an email to including your name, date of birth, place of birth, address (with post code) and the date the Certificate was issued.

    Disclosure Scotland or PVG applications

    Disclosure Scotland will reprint a Basic or Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Certificate within 17 days. A reprint can only be requested if the original disclosure Certificate was never received. Disclosure Scotland can be contacted on 03000 200 040. We strongly recommend that you keep your Scheme Record secure to prevent the need for a full application for any future role.

    Access Northern Ireland applications

    AccessNI will reprint a lost or damaged certificate if this is requested within 90 days of the original issue date. To contact AccessNI call 03002 007 888.

    Get started todayRegistration is quick and easy

    Register Now or phone our team on 0845 644 3298

    Go To FAQ Page

What this means for employers:

For employers who make the decision to accept DBS Certificates obtained from another employer, they can check under what circumstances the previous Certificate was applied i.e. same level, workforce, barring lists and now volunteer status. If the employer is also accepting Certificates on the Update Service this will also allow the employer to comply with DBS requirements on running  Update Service Checks.

  • What is the DBS Update Service? 

    What is the DBS Update Service?

    The DBS Update Service was launched by the Disclosure and Barring Service on 17th June 2013. An applicant must join the service and pay an annual subscription fee direct to the DBS.* Once joined the applicant can potentially re-use a Disclosure Certificate by giving permission to a new employer to check online that the document is still current, or if additional information has been added since it’s issue. There is no requirement for an employer to accept a previous Certificate on the DBS Update Service, and each organisation should assess the risks before making their decision.

    The information provided by the online DBS Update Service Check will not confirm the information shown on the Certificate (the only way to view this is by looking at the Original Certificate presented by the applicant) but will return one of 4 results:

    The Results of an Update Service Check:

    1. This Certificate did not reveal any information and remains current as no further information has been identified since its issue – The certificate when issued was blank and no new information has been found since its issue.
    2. This Certificate remains current as no further information has been identified since its issue – the Certificate revealed information about the person and no new information has been found since its issue.
    3. This Certificate is no longer current. Please apply for a new DBS check to get the most up-to-date information – new information has come to light since the Certificate was issued and they will need to apply for a new DBS check to see this information.
    4. The details entered do not match those held on our system. Please check and try again – this means either the individual has not subscribed to the Update Service; or the Certificate has been removed from the Update Service by the individual; or the employer has not entered the correct information.

    Running an Update Service Check:

    Any organisation looking to take advantage of the DBS Update Service should make arrangements to ensure that:

    • The Certificate belongs to the Employee (ID Checks)
    • The Certificate is genuine (Document Security Checks)
    • The Certificate is at the correct level (Standard/Enhanced)
    • The Certificate checks the correct information (Vetting and Barring Lists, plus Workforce descriptions)
    • The volunteer status is the same as would be required
    • The ‘working at home’ status is the same as would be required
    • The individual has given their consent for the Update Service Check

    Once this information has been confirmed the employer can check online to see if that Certificate has changed since it was issued, with the results returned as above. For more information on how to do this please go to

    If an employer takes action based upon Certificate information that they are not eligible to view, they would be in breach of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. Please note that applicants can only join the DBS Update Service when they next complete a DBS application therefore any Disclosures issued before the 17th June 2013 would not be included in the DBS Update Service.

    Risk Assessment process:

    Each employer should follow an internal risk assessment process to fully understand the Update Service and ensure that it is suitable for the organisation. Some of the points that we recommend reviewing include:

    • Ensure that any recheck policy in place is consistent for all employees.
    • Ensure that information obtained/recorded meets with internal policies of the organisation, and does not breech the Data Protection Act/ Protection of Freedoms Act.
    • Ensure mechanisms are in place that accurately record the process followed, to ensure compliance under the current Update Service guidelines.
    • Ensure staff members are aware of your policies or any change in policies that arise due to the inclusion of the Update Service.
    • Seek/review guidance from any industry specific bodies (e.g. CQC) to ensure they endorse the use of the Update Service.
    • The Original Certificate was requested by a third party carrying out a set process for completing the application form and checking the ID of the applicant. By accepting an Existing Certificate the Employer is accepting that this process was completed diligently.
    • The DBS will be made aware of the Police National Computer details every 7 days and will update the ‘Approved Additional Information’ every 9 months.
    • An applicant can remove a Certificate from the Update Service, or cancel their subscription at any point. The DBS are not able to confirm why a Certificate has been removed from the service, or discuss this with an employer or Registered Body.
    • Home Based roles will not confirm any third party risks when using the Update Service.


    *For applications that are processed as volunteers this service is free.


    Go To FAQ Page

If an applicant has any queries with a Certificate they should be directed to the Umbrella Body that countersigned the application (as shown on the Certificate).


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