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DBS Checks and What to do…your easy guide!

  • Publish Date: Posted over 3 years ago
  • Author: Leah Baker

Are you new to Education or working with children?

What does DBS even mean?

DBS stands for Disclosure and Barring Service and was established in 2012 with the aim to help employers make safer recruitment decisions.

And what with us working in the world of Education; it is so important that Teachers, Teaching Assistants, Support Staff, and anyone who is working with children, have been DBS checked.

This is a mandatory process, and we can understand sometimes the frustrations of going through these checks, especially if you have worked with children for a very long time. But the safety of children is so important (as we are aware you must know, wanting to work in education!)So if you are placed in a school without the employer chasing one we would recommend you question the school or agency you are working with. If the agency does not check your compliance beforehand, this id a concern. This will also only cause YOU complications down the line.

We would recommend you work with a trustworthy team (That’s us -Dunbar Education!)We are so pleased that you have arrived on our website and our blog page, you have ended up in the right place! Hopefully, you’ll find this a helpful read…

Is this your first time?

If this is your first time teaching, you will undergo the initial DBS check through the employer or agency you are working with. They will apply for an enhanced check on your behalf.

There are a few options available for DBS checking:


basic DBS check is for any purpose, including employment. The certificate will contain details of convictions and conditional cautions that are considered to be unspent under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974.

An individual can apply for a basic check directly through DBS, or we can apply for a basic check on an individual’s behalf if we have consent.

Standard check:

A standard DBS check is suitable for certain roles, such as a security guard. The certificate will contain details of both spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands, and warnings that are held on the Police National Computer, which is not subject to filtering.

An individual cannot apply for a standard check by themselves. There must be a recruiting organisation that needs the applicant to get the check. This is then sent to DBS through a registered body.

The service is free for volunteers but not very suitable if you are a teacher working with children every day.

Enhanced check:

An enhanced DBS check is suitable for people working with children or adults in certain circumstances such as those in receipt of healthcare or personal care.

So if you are going to be entering schools and working as a Teacher or a Supply Teacher, this is the DBS you will need.

The certificate will contain the same details as a standard certificate and, if the role is eligible, an employer can request that one or both of the DBS barred lists are checked.

The certificate may also contain non-conviction information supplied by relevant police forces if it is deemed relevant and ought to be contained in the certificate.

An individual cannot apply for an enhanced check by themselves. There must be a recruiting organisation that needs the applicant to get the check. This is then sent to DBS through a registered body.

Here is where we can help you with this. If your DBS is also up for renewal, our compliance team would be happy to go through the options to ensure you are fully compliant and we will not place you into your next role until this is all up to date - we will make it as simple as possible and ensure you are ready to work.

Please note, we are eligible and legally authorised to ask you questions regarding your DBS check to ensure our candidates working for us are safe for our schools.

If you would like some further information regarding this, you can read more here.

If you plan on working in the education system for a long time (which we hope you do – we are biased to say, but it is the best!) you will need to ensure your DBS is up to date and viewable online by employers.

The DBS Update Service is the simplest and only way to do this.

What is the DBS Update Service?

So, the Update Service only works for Standard and Enhance DBS checks and is an annual online subscription that allows any employer the ability to check that your certificate is valid. It’s pretty useful to have as it allows you to keep your DBS up to date. It is recommended that a DBS is renewed every time you change jobs and the Update Service ensures safeguarding standards are maintained. This will also save lots of time during the recruitment process and ensures a smooth route into your next role. It is vital if you are a teacher or working with children.

Why should I sign up for the DBS Update Service?

Do I really need to? You do not have to, however, many education employers have policies to renew DBS checks with every new staff member they employ. If you are on the Update Service, the employer can log into the portal online and check every candidate’s certificate. This will save time and money and put you in a better position to get you into your next role with ease.

“But I have been working with children for years!” I hear you cry. Well, that’s perfect – did you know the Update Service is going to save you money? Teaching staff with no criminal records and who have had no changes of record from one job to the next one; the Update Service will allow you to no longer have to complete a further DBS disclosure. This currently costs £51.64 through Dunbar Education for an enhanced application every time!

The Update Service, however, is a subscription that costs £13 per year; you can pay by debit or credit card and this can be renewed automatically.

If you would like further information; our wonderful compliance team is friendly and helpful and would be happy to speak to you about it in more detail.

Where do I sign up?

This can be completed on the DBS government website – but why not let us do the hard work for you?

If you would like to apply for a DBS then please get in contact with our compliance team here, we have a knowledgeable team who complete this process for our teachers and support staff working with us every day.

A candidate must register for the Update Service within 28 days of receiving their DBS.

Unfortunately, anything after that you will need to apply for a new DBS.

Don’t worry, if you think this service is going to benefit you and your DBS needed renewing anyway, we can also help you with this process!

When a candidate is applying for a new DBS with us, the member of the compliance team that has been assigned to you will need to see a copy of your Passport and two forms of ID  to set you up.

If your passport is valid, then you will also need to a provide a copy of a Driving Licence/Birth Cert/Adoption Cert.

If your passport is not valid, then you will need to provide a copy of your Birth Certificate/Marriage Certificate, Driving Licence and Proof of address.

Then you will receive an email link to complete an application.

Your subscription to the update service will last for one year, however, you can select the ‘automatic renewal’ option. That way, you do not have to worry about forgetting about your DBS check and remembering dates or missing out on the Update Service time frame again! The £13 is deducted from your account automatically each year.

If you would rather update it every year yourself; remember you need to update it up to 30 days before your DBS is due to end – an email reminder will be sent to you. If your subscription ends and you need a new DBS check – you will need to apply for a new DBS again.

How can we support you?

If you are an NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher) or are looking for your next teaching role; why not let our dedicated consultants help you? They have built great relationships with local schools and can give expert guidance and interview tips. Dunbar Education can make your job-search an easy and enjoyable experience.

With safeguarding and general advice to give, we can offer you support through the whole process – why not register today and experience the expert guidance yourself.