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DBS Checks in Care: A Guide

Updated: Jul 16, 2021

Safer recruitment is at the heart of any care home’s, or home care provider’s, hiring and onboarding processes. A major part of that process is completing all the appropriate pre-employment checks, such as DBS checks for each employee. Here is a quick guide on the DBS service and the care sector.

The Appropriate Checks

Due to the nature of roles in the care sector, involving unsupervised time with vulnerable adults, care staff must have an Enhanced Check with Adult Barred Lists conducted on them before they start. The Adult Barred List check is a check for an individual against a list of people banned from working with vulnerable adults. If the Adult Barred Lists check comes back negative (this check only takes about 72 hours to complete), then the individual can start work with vulnerable while under supervision.

For those working in care homes who do not have direct contact with vulnerable adults, such as cleaning and administrative staff or other behind-the-scenes roles, then only an Enhanced DBS Check would be required, as they would be ineligible for an Adult Barred Lists check. There are other pre-employment checks that care homes should request for new starters:

  • Academic Reference: It is possible to check the validity of an individual’s qualifications with verification from a wide range of academic institutions.

  • HCPC Registration Check: We check against regulatory standards for training, skills & behaviour & store details within your compliance record.

  • SWE Registration Check: We check a social worker is registered with SWE & store the register details as part of your compliance record.

  • Identity Verification: Biometric & facial recognition technology allows instant & accurate identity verification.

  • Right to Work Check: We can help assess your candidate’s right to work in the U.K.

Is it possible to fail a DBS Check?

DBS Check Results do not give a definitive ‘pass’ or ‘fail’. They simply display any past convictions and cautions that the individual has, or if the individual is on a Barred List. If the Check returns no previous unspent convictions or cautions, then there should be no issue with the individual proceeding to the next stage of the compliance process. By the same token, if the individual is on a barred list, then that individual will be removed from the hiring process.

If checks reveal minor convictions, then it is up to individual care homes to make a decision based on their safeguarding policy. In a sector where safeguarding and safe recruitment are so important, tightly regulated and at the forefront of so many decisions, it is unlikely that many risks will be taken where those with prior convictions are concerned.

If you have any more questions on DBS Checks in the education sector, please visit our FAQs page. If you want your recruitment and compliance process to be more streamlined through remote onboarding, then you can request a demo here.

Main photo by Georg Arthur Pflueger on Unsplash.



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