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Most Common Questions about CRB Checks for Education

Apply for a DBS Check

In the education sector, safeguarding students is what most professionals will say is the most important responsibility of their role. DBS checks for staff and volunteers play an important part of meeting these safeguarding needs. However, going through the process of DBS checks can be confusing, especially when you’ve never done it before. In this blog, we'll address the five most commonly asked questions about DBS checks in the education sector.


1. What level of DBS check is required for working in schools or similar educational settings?

In schools and other childcare settings like nurseries or after-school clubs, managers must show that they are taking measures to ensure that those working with anyone under the age of 18 are trustworthy. This usually means them asking for an enhanced DBS check with barred list check. This thorough check gives a detailed report into an individual's criminal history, including spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands, and warnings if these are thought to be relevant to the position. It verifies eligibility to work with children or vulnerable adults by checking the Barred List, which is an official register of people who have been banned from taking up jobs.


2. Who needs to have a DBS check for a job in the education sector?

Anyone working with children or vulnerable adults in education will need a DBS check. This includes teachers, teaching assistants, administrative and office staff, governors, trustees, volunteers, and contractors with unsupervised access to students. Schools run DBS checks for staff members and volunteers regularly and will be aware of whether your role requires a DBS or not. Often, workers are not allowed to start until their DBS check is completed.


3. How often should DBS checks be renewed for people working in childcare or education?

DBS checks aren't indefinite, and regular renewal is essential to comply with rules around safeguarding. Renewal frequency varies, is typically set at every three to five years or with significant role changes. People who have had a DBS check can then enrol in the Update scheme which provides a real-time database for DBS information, and this can be cost-effective for people who find themselves applying for multiple DS checks in a short time period.


4. Can employers request DBS checks for volunteers?

If volunteers are going to be working closely with children and young people, they will need to get a DBS check. The level of DBS check depends on the role's nature and contact extent with children or vulnerable adults. Volunteers have their DBS checks processed free of charge. Depending on the role, you might not be able to start volunteering until your check has been completed.


5. How long does it take to process a DBS check?

DBS check processing time varies based on factors such as the level, geographical area, and system efficiency. Enhanced DBS checks with barred lists may take longer due to additional checks. Applicants can minimise any delays by competing forms without delay, and making sure they answer all of the questions asked.