What is Regulated Activity?

What is regulated activity and how does it relate to DBS checks? Can you request the DBS Barring lists to be checked?

Regulated Activity

In short, regulated activity is work that a barred person must not do.

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) uses the term “Regulated Activity” to describe certain job functions carried out by an employee. These requirements are important as they determine eligibility for an Enhanced Level DBS check and a check of the DBS Barred Lists.

Regulated Activity is broken down into two separate groups ‘Activity with Children’ and ‘Activity with Adults’ (formerly termed Vulnerable Adults).

What roles are included?

Unfortunately, the DBS does not provide a list of roles or positions with the corresponding levels of check that should be requested, such a list does not exist. Instead, the responsibility lies with employers or organisations to decide whether their employees or volunteers are carrying out Regulated Activities.

With assistance from the Home Office, the Department of Education, and the Department for Health, the DBS provides guidance that describes the types of activity, as well as certain frequency tests which determine if the role can be classed as Regulated Activity. Furthermore, these pages are designed to give greater depth into what Regulated Activity is. They aim to assist you in determining whether the roles your employees are carrying out are classified as Regulated Activity by the DBS.

How to determine if someone is carrying out regulated activity with children

The main aspects of this decision should be centered around two key questions relating to places of work and work being done:

  1. What work will the role involve?
  2. Where will the work be carried out?

Each organisation should assess their applicants against guidance for themselves.

How to determine if someone is carrying out regulated activity with Adults?

When making this decision you should focus on the type of work being done with vulnerable adults. Eligibility for requesting an adults barred list check can be broadly broken down into 6 categories:

  1. Providing Health Care
  2. Providing Personal Care
  3. Providing Social Work
  4. Assistance with General Household Matters
  5. Assistance in the Conduct of a Person’s own Affair
  6. Conveying

Please check our page to find a detailed breakdown of what is involved in these categories.

Non-Regulated Activity

Carrying out roles for unofficial activities, such as babysitting a friend’s child, visiting a nursing home, working in a gym or store, does not fit eligibility standards for a barred list check.

Further guidance 

For anyone uncertain, please try the helpful DBS checking tool on the government website.

It is also important to be aware of the Pre-September 2012 definition of Regulated Activity. This old definition allows for an Enhanced Level DBS check, without a check of the DBS Barred Lists. For more information on each type of activity, please follow the links above.

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