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Transferring DBS Checks Between Employers

Apply for a DBS Check

It’s more common than it was a generation ago to regularly swap employers, even though you are staying in the same broad industry sector. Moving jobs regularly can involve some administration tasks, not just applying for jobs and form filling, but making sure your bank details are right, and that your new employer is taxing you properly too. If the sector in which you work is one where DBS checks are a standard part of recruitment, then you might be faced with applying for multiple DBS checks over the course of just a few months. It’s hardly surprising therefore that many workers ask about whether they can take a DBS certificate obtained for one job and use it for another position.

When considering whether to accept a DBS check from another employer, there are several things which your new boss has to think about. DBS checks aren’t always transferrable and whether you can avoid getting a new DBS check will depend on the individual circumstances.

 

Accepting a DBS Check from Another Employer

For a DBS check to be transferable between jobs, the following criteria must be met:

  • Matching Job Positions: The new role must be broadly similar to the position specified on the DBS certificate from the previous employer.
  • Same Level of Check: The level of check required for the new position must be identical to that of the previous role.

This second point is the most important, and one which catches many people out. For example, someone who has worked as a carer for vulnerable people of all ages will have an enhanced DBS check, which involves a search of the Barred List database for both adults and children. If that person then moves into a similar caring role but is only dealing with adults, they will need a new DBS check which looks at their suitability to work with vulnerable adults only.

 

Do Employers Have to Accept an Old DBS Check?

Many employers are happy to accept a DBS certificate from an old employer, especially if it means that a new worker can start right away. But legally they don’t have to, and they are within their rights to ask you to complete a new check. This is also due to the fact that with a standard DBS check, no new information is added to the certificate after it is issued. Over time the reliability of the information therefore decreases, and many employers prefer to get a new check for every new employee.

 

DBS Update

One way around this is to enrol into the DBS Update scheme. This allows users to give employers access to an online database with constantly updated DBS information. The same rules apply about the jobs being broadly similar, but it is a useful system for people who switch jobs regularly within the same industry sector. The annual subscription cost for the service is less than paying for repeated checks, or losing out on wages which you wait for paperwork to be processed.