DBS checks for online roles

May 6th, 2021 by Jake Waddingham

We are receiving more and more enquiries asking about DBS checks for online roles. Especially questions regarding eligibility for online roles. With remote working continuing to increase throughout 2021, we have provided your answers to your DBS checking questions for individuals performing their role online.

Which online roles require a DBS check?

Although an individual may be performing their role online, the legislation describing who is eligible for which level of DBS check, does not distinguish between roles that are online or face to face. More importantly, the tasks and responsibilities of the individual will determine the level of check.

You will need to assess the roles that you offer under some key principles. The most important term here will be ‘Regulated Activity’ which should be mentioned in any risk assessment you use. There are three levels of DBS check available:

The enhanced check has an additional barred list (Children’s and/or Adult’s) for those in ‘Regulated Activity’.

Basic DBS checks for online roles

You can request a basic level check on any online role. Basic Certificates confirm an applicant’s unspent criminal convictions and can be included in general safeguarding policies.

Basic DBS checks are particularly useful where employers have some roles that are not eligible for a Standard (e.g. Financial Services positions) or Enhanced (e.g. working with children) check, but wish to set a policy that all staff or volunteers should be pre-employment checked at some level. Requesting a basic DBS check also ensures your organisation adheres to the government standard – Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS).

Standard DBS checks for online roles

A standard DBS check can be requested on employees/volunteers who perform a role exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974) by way of being listed in the Exceptions Order (1975). You may wish to request a standard check for individuals performing the following roles:

  • Finance
  • Solicitors or Barristers

You may also want to consider a standard level check for volunteers who would ordinarily be in ‘work with adults’ but do not perform the role often enough.A Standard Disclosure contains details of all spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings.

Enhanced DBS checks for online roles

The Enhanced check is for roles included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 plus the Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) Regulations. The enhanced check is designed for organisations placing individuals in a position of trust with children and/or adults. If the role does not fall within these requirements, then an employing/recruiting organisation must not request an enhanced level check but may wish to opt for a standard or basic level check. Common online roles eligible for an enhanced DBS check include:

  • Online tutoring for children
  • Online counselling
  • Online healthcare advice

An enhanced check contains the same information as the standard check but also includes a check of police records held locally.

Can I request the barred list for online roles?

To be eligible to request either the children’s or adult’s barred list, the individual must be in ‘Regulated Activity’. There are specific requirements for the work to be considered ‘Regulated Activity’ and every role will be different. Our guides are designed to help each employer assess the role before deciding on the level of check to request.

Children’s barred list – Several questions should be asked to establish whether a role is in ‘Regulated Activity’ with children. The first being, Will the work involve teaching, training or supervising children? ‘Regulated Activity’ also depends on the frequency the individual performs the role. For more detailed information please read our web pages specific to regulated activity with children.

Adults barred list – Adults are classed as being ‘vulnerable’ if they are in receipt of certain types of care, broken down into six categories. These are health care, personal care, social work, assistance with general household matters, assistance in the conduct of a person’s own affairs and conveying. For more information, please read the pages relating to regulated activity with vulnerable adults.

Can I get a DBS check as a self-employed individual offering an online service?

If you are self-employed, the only level of check you can request on yourself is a basic DBS check. You can request a basic DBS check for yourself directly with the DBS.

If your role is eligible for an enhanced DBS check, for example, you tutor children online. You may be able to obtain the correct level check through a society or membership organisation that governs your profession. If you are part of a society or membership organisation it is always worth asking them.

How long does a DBS check take?

The processing time for each level of check varies, and the DBS do not take priority for any application or Umbrella Body. DDC cannot guarantee turnaround time but have additional processes in place to ensure speedy results.

A basic DBS check takes on average 24 hours, with some checks returning in one hour.

A standard DBS check takes on average 48 hours, with 48% taking 24 hours or less.

An enhanced DBS check on average is returned within 7 days, with 73% being returned within less than five working days.

How do I start processing DBS checks for my remote workers?

As an established Umbrella Body, DDC has an advanced online platform to allow you to initiate, manage and receive results for your DBS checks. Registration and set-up are free and all you pay for is the checks you add to the system. Once registered you will be provided access to your ‘Client Area’ and to start the process all we require is basic details of the applicant.

Get started todayRegistration is quick, easy and FREE

Register Now or phone our team on 0116 260 3055

Contact us

If you have any further questions before making your final decision, speak to one of our friendly Customer Service Team on

0116 260 3055 | 0845 644 3298


The team will talk you through the eligibility criteria and ensure that you request a legal and compliant DBS check.


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