Why Join the DBS Update Service

Why Join the DBS Update Service

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All nurses and healthcare professionals in the UK know that each new role they apply for and move into will require an updated DBS check to be performed. The main reason for the service is to help employers make safe decisions when it comes to employing staff, many of whom will have vulnerable individuals in their care.

The DBS is responsible for processing criminal record checks and placing or removing people from the barring lists. Checks can be carried out at three different levels: basic, standard or enhanced depending on the role a person is employed in.

If you are a nurse or healthcare worker who changes jobs regularly, carrying out a DBS check every time you swop roles can be time-consuming and expensive. This is where the DBS Update Service comes in – it allows applicants to keep their certificates current and also gives potential employers the opportunity to check relevant details online saving time and also money. The DBS Update Service is used for standard and enhanced checks only.

How Often is a New DBS Needed?

This can vary from employer to employer and is often an annual process. If you are changing jobs or moving to a more enhanced DBS certificate requirement, you are most likely to need a check. Many employers will have a sector-specific policy when it comes to periodic checks which means making sure that your certificate is up to date is important.

The Benefits of the DBS Update Service

The DBS Update Service launched in 2013 and is used by many nursing and healthcare employers to keep track of new and existing staff certificates. According the Royal College of Nursing:

“The service reduces the need for repeated checks every time an applicant changes jobs, provided the same type and level of check is required, within the same workforce.”

The main benefit to nurses and carers is that the service is quick and easy to use and helps minimise costs when it comes to DBS checks. The majority of employees have their DBS fees reimbursed by their employer but some don’t. For these, there is limited tax relief available if the employee has subscribed to the DBS Update Service. If you are thinking of moving jobs or change jobs regularly, the DBS Update Service makes life a lot easier for both you and your new employer. It costs just £13 a year to subscribe to and offers a number of immediate benefits:

  • You can immediately check the details that are provided for your DBS certificate.
  • You can add or remove a certificate and give employers permission to view your details.
  • You can see who has checked your certificate.

You can normally take your DBS certificate with the update service into your next job as long as you are not switching to a new area of employment. For example, if you were previously a nurse working in adult services you will generally be required to undertake a new DBS check if you move into children’s services, depending on the type of check that was performed. For example if you currently have a standard certificate but need an enhanced one, you will most likely be required to have a new check.

Any employer can check DBS online via the Update Service as long as they are legally entitled to do so and have the employee’s permission. You can register for the DBS Update Service here.


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