Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is a UK Government department of health which owns the safeguarding policy for vulnerable groups. DBS (formerly known as CRB) is a criminal records check to prevent unsuitable people from working with children, the elderly and other vulnerable groups such as the mental health service providers and the NHS. DBS checks are a mandatory requirement by many employers and organisations that help make safe recruitment decisions.
There are four levels of the criminal record checks available from the Basic Disclosure Check (called a basic DBS check) and a Standard DBS. These two checks can be done by anyone, and don’t necessarily need to be completed by a registered organisation.
The two types of checks an individual or a self-employed person cannot apply for without being a registered organisation are the Enhanced DBS Checks (excluding barred list check) and the Enhanced DBS Check (including child and/or adult barred list checks). For more information on processes and the documentations required, please visit the UK Gov website here.
Anyone working with vulnerable people need to have the enhanced level checks and the approval for this may take longer to process if it needs to be sent to the Metropolitan Police for further investigations.
If you are self-employed working for yourself full-time, part-time, on a voluntary basis or an occasional basis with vulnerable groups as a counsellor, psychotherapists, psychologists, coach, NLP practitioner, massage therapist, nutritionists etc. you will need an enhanced DBS if you don’t already have your clearance.
In addition, you may want to check with your professional indemnity and public liability insurer to check if your policy requires a DBS certificate. Some insurers like Holistic Therapy Insurance and Towergate Insurers require you to have a DBS.
The benefits of having a DBS:
- Promote your services as DBS cleared
- Clear proof that you don’t have a criminal record that could hinder your practice
- Safe guard your practice against potential threats
- Promotes security and trust to your clients
- Records updated yearly and current
- You meet the government’s safe guarding policy
- You meet your liabilities insurer’s conditions, if applicable
You can contact Vanessa Emile if you have further questions via email on at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To complete your DBS application, please contact the following organisations that can carry out all checks and certify you.