Social Care News
Every healthcare worker knows that they might need a new DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check carried out every time they start a new role, simply because safety is the top priority in carer roles.
It is now the norm for employers to cover the cost of a DBS check for applicants, but this isn’t the case for every company, agency or role, and in some cases, applicants will be expected to pay for their own. The DBS Update Service can help lessen this financial outlay.
What Is A DBS Check?
A DBS check is a check run against an individual’s criminal and safety record with the government and gives disclosure of any details of any spent or unspent convictions, cautions or safety concerns. These can’t be requested by an individual, but instead by employers or companies with a vested interest in the individual if they can prove that their personal safety status is imperative to the role within which they will be working. In the case of carers and social care workers, this is usually to ensure the safety of the vulnerable people that they will be working for and with.
Lots of professions, such as security work, taxi driving, childcare and working with vulnerable people, require a DBS check to be carried out and passed as a requirement of obtaining the role. However, few jobs require as many regular DBS checks as care work.
What Is The DBS Update Service?
The DBS Update Service is a specialist service for those in industries that require lots of repeated checks. It is a subscription service that removes the effort and continued financial expense from repeated DBS checks every time the person involved switches to a new shift, venue or role.
The DBS Update Service costs £13 a year (*2020) for an individual subscription and offers the subscriber:
- The facility to check a current DBS certificate and the information on it at any time
- The ability to add or remove a certificate at any time
- The ability to give an employer (or potential employer) permission to view their DBS certificate/s.
If a social care worker or carer is moving to a new role, they can simply give the employer access to their existing DBS certificate om the update service without the need to complete a new check. This allows for quick and easy employee vetting, although a fresh check will need to be run if disciplines or industries are changing (ie. if a carer is moving from adult social care to childcare or if a healthcare worker is moving from a dentist surgery to a intensive care ward).
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Why Is The DBS Update Service Important For Carers and Social Care Workers?
Those working in care often have to move between venues and service users quickly, and in times of pandemic or other crises, may be called upon to adapt their working practices quickly and efficiently. Having to regularly halt work to wait for DBS checks to complete can lead to extended periods out of work, clients and patients receiving substandard care and staff shortages.
Being a member of the DBS Update Service gives competitive advantage to those looking for roles without a subscription and demonstrates a willingness to work and ownership over your own career and work.
How Often Should You Have A New DBS Check Completed?
Any information included within a DBS check is correct at the time of issue, so technically there’s no expiration date on it, as it acts as a snapshot for a point in time. That said, of course, people don’t sit still and not do anything else with their lives once a check has been carried out, so it should be done regularly, even if an individual doesn’t change jobs, roles or responsibilities. There’s no set time for this to happen but the industry standard for most social care sectors is every one to three years.
How Do I Sign Up For The DBS Check Update Service?
Anyone can apply to sign up for the DBS Check Update Service online through the Gov.UK website. This is for those with standard or enhanced DBS checks. When the check is requested, the application form reference number can be input into the site to link up the record with an individual to allow full service access. Remember it needs to be completed within the first 14 days of receiving your new DBS!
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