DBS News Mar / Apr 2014

March 26th, 2014 by Jonathan Bazely

DDC News

Volunteer Applications and recharging

As part of their auditing process, the Disclosure and Barring Service will regularly review the applications that have been submitted under the definition of a ‘volunteer’ role. This is due to the strict requirements to meet the criteria of ‘volunteer’ and the fact that these applications are not subject to the DBS application fee. The DBS definition of a volunteer is defined in the Police Act 1997 (criminal records) Regulations 2002 as:

“Any person engaged in an activity which involves spending, unpaid (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses), doing something which aims to benefit some third party and not a close relative.”

To qualify for a free-of-charge criminal record check, the applicant must not benefit directly from the position the DBS application is being submitted for. The applicant must not:

  • benefit directly from the position for which the DBS application is being submitted
  • receive any payment (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses)
  • be on a work placement
  • be on a course that requires them to do this job role
  • be in a trainee position that will lead to a full time role/qualification

As part of the DBS commitment to providing a zero fee service to volunteers they have recently uncovered an attempt at fraud, by a registered body, who attempted to submit applications costing £61,000 as free-of-charge volunteer positions. The individual found responsible for this fraud has now been sentenced to a 12 month prison sentence, suspended for two years and ordered to undertake 200 hours of Community Service.

As a Service Provider, DDC Ltd will regularly seek clarification on volunteer applications that we submit to ensure they meet this criteria. If you are not sure if your applications would be classed as a volunteer role you can contact one of the team on 0845 644 3298.

The Update Service

The DBS have reported that knowledge of the Update Service is increasing, with applicants and employers becoming more aware of the service that was launched in June 2013. You can view our DBS Update Service webpage for more information and help with running an Risk Assessment process for your organisation. As an Umbrella Body, DDC Ltd are currently undertaking a consultation process with the DBS, to provide a service to help Clients use the service securely and to assist those applicants wishing to join.

The Certificate Number

The Disclosure and Barring Service have reported that they are receiving an increasing number of queries from applicants wishing to obtain their DBS Certificate number. This is a 12 digit number unique to every Certificate and can be found in the top right of every Certificate posted to the applicant’s home address.

The feedback from these applicants is that employers are happy to commence employment once they have this number, without viewing the actual Certificate.  Please note that a Certificate is issued to the applicant for every application submitted to the DBS. Obtaining the Certificate number does not indicate if there is content on the Certificate that needs to be reviewed by the employer.

As an eBulk user, DDC Ltd will be informed if a Certificate is issued containing content or clear, although we are not made aware of what that content may be. As a Service Provider, DDC Ltd will inform Clients when a Certificate has been issued with content, and then ask them to obtain this from the applicant.  The only way to confirm the content on a Disclosure is by viewing the original Certificate issued by the DBS.  DDC offer a service to collect the Disclosure Certificate from the applicant on behalf of our Clients and relay the content to them directly to save them obtaining Disclosure Certificates.

If an applicant loses their Certificate they will need to make a new application to the DBS. If the applicant wants to receive a reminder about the information that was one their previous Certificate they can make a Subject Access Request, to the DBS. Please note that this will only confirm what was included on the previous Certificate and not any new information that may have been added since the original issue date.


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