DBS News November 2018

November 9th, 2018 by Jonathan Bazely

A summary of the latest DBS news publication and what they mean for DDC clients.

Where should I apply for a basic criminal record check?

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) have issued a reminder that organisations should request their basic criminal record checks based upon the jurisdiction where the applicant is working and living. For Scottish applicants this is Disclosure Scotland and for English & Welsh applicants this is the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Northern Irish applicants should apply through Access Northern Ireland.

As an national Umbrella Body, Due Diligence Checking (DDC) is registered with all of these Authorities and can submit the relevant applications on your behalf. If you have applicants living and working in Scotland or Northern Ireland please ensure that the team are aware and that the correct job roles are available through your online area. We can easily add new roles if required, to ensure that you only need to assess the role once and that decision is applied to all subsequent roles.

Why are there different rules in Scotland and England & Wales?

In short there are different versions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act in place in each of these areas, together with some other variations in law. For example there is a different ‘age of criminal responsibility’ between the two areas. The Authority processing the application and issuing the certificate will apply their rules when delivering the results of the basic check. If the application is made to the incorrect Authority it may be the case that the recruiting organisation is exposed to information they are not entitled to view.

Updated identity checking guidelines

The DBS released information in August about some slight changes to identity checking guidelines for all levels of check. These were available to use from the 3rd September 2018 and required to be in place by the 3rd December 2018. The DDC systems have been updated to accommodate these changes and there should be no need to download any updates or restart any applications. If clients or applicants hold any outdated guidance notes, please visit our website for full information on the updated DBS document checking requirements page. The changes can be summarised as follows:

  • Checking by video – a live video link can now be used as an alternative to a face to face examination however the person checking the identity must still hold the original identity documents. In practice this means that clients of DDC using the online verification of documents can now use a video link to answer the questions relating to photographic ID and the true likeness of the applicant. Please note that this does not allow documents to be provided over video link.
  • Irish Passport Card – this is a new Group 2b document which can not be used in conjunction with an Irish Passport.
  • A Permanent Residence Card issued by the Home Office to the family member of a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland – new document for non-EEA applicants.
  • A Positive Verification Notice issued by the Home Office Employer Checking Service to the employer or prospective employer, which indicates that the named person may stay in the UK and is permitted to do the work in question – new document for non-EEA applicants.

A Passport is no longer required as an additional item with the following three documents:

  • A current Residence Card (including an Accession Residence Card or a Derivative Residence Card) issued by the Home Office to a non-European Economic Area national who is a family member of a national of a European Economic Area country or Switzerland or who has a derivative right of residence.
  • A current Immigration Status Document containing a photograph issued by the Home Office to the holder with a valid endorsement indicating that the named person may stay in the UK, and is allowed to do the type of work in question, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.
  • A current Immigration Status Document issued by the Home Office to the holder with an endorsement indicating that the named person is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK or has no time limit on their stay in the UK, together with an official document giving the person’s permanent National Insurance number and their name issued by a Government agency or a previous employer.

Eligibility guidance leaflets produced for NHS roles

The DBS have released some additional information in relation to eligibility and NHS roles. These are centered around the most common questions that the DBS receive, such as agency interpreters and contractor roles such as technicians, cleaners, plumbers, engineers and electricians. Agency interpreters and contractors within the NHS may be eligible for a DBS check if:

  • They work directly for a provider of the health service e.g. the Hospital Trust and have contact with patients, they are eligible for a standard DBS check.
  • They provide the service in a high security psychiatric hospital as part of their normal duties they are eligible for an enhanced DBS check.
  • They work in a children’s hospital and have contact with the patients more than once, they are eligible for an enhanced DBS check.
  • They undertake their work in a children’s hospital in Wales, however, they could be in Regulated Activity allowing a check of the children’s barred list if the following are met:
    • They work there on more than 3 days in a 30-day period or overnight between 2am and 6am with the opportunity for face to face contact with the children and
    • They have the opportunity, because of their job, to have contact with the children in the establishment and
    • They work there for the purpose of the establishment and
    • It is not temporary or occasional work and it is not a supervised volunteer role

Does Santa need a DBS check?

This is a common question received at this time of year and many recruiters think the role is eligible for a Enhanced level DBS check. Unfortunately there is no automatic eligibility and it will require further assessment to make the correct decision. Some important questions that recruiters/employers should ask themselves include the following:

  • Will the children visiting Santa be accompanied? – If the child is with a parent or suitable guardian then they would be responsible for supervising the child meaning the role would not be eligible for a standard or enhanced check.
  • Will Santa and his elves be visiting a Specified Place (such as a school) – if Santa is visiting a school then the recruiter should look at the relevant Regulated Activity guidance to decide if they are eligible.

It may be the case that Father Christmas would be more suitable with a Basic level check, which is available to all employers. For more information please see our basic criminal record checks page.

Please click here to read the full DBS News.

If you are interested in using DDC as an Umbrella Body to process your DBS checks please complete an enquiry form here and we will be in touch.

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