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Which DBS check do I need? – Psychotherapist

To work as a psychotherapist in the UK you will need to take a statutory DBS check due to the close contact you will have with the public in role.

DBS checks are formal criminal record checks carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service on behalf of the Home Office. The purpose of these background checks is to keep the public, particularly children and vulnerable adults, safe.

A DBS check for a psychotherapist is an enhanced DBS check with barring lists. This is the strongest type of DBS check, necessary because of the influential role you will have as a psychotherapist and the level of unsupervised interaction you will have with the public on a regular basis.

What is an enhanced DBS check?

Since 1974, under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act of 1974, all those who engage in unsupervised contact with the public, in particular, children and adults, must undergo an enhanced DBS check with barring lists.

This type of CRB check involves a search for any unspent or spent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings.

The DBS will also verify whether there is any other non-conviction information in existence with relevant police forces and if there are any entries in the children’s and/ or the vulnerable adults barred lists.

Any information found will be displayed on the DBS certificate. If no information is uncovered, the DBS certificate will be blank. Your employer and professional bodies will require the certificate as evidence you are suitable to work as a psychotherapist in the UK.

For further information about DBS checks for psychotherapists, visit the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.