In response to COVID-19, as of Monday 30 March 2020, the Home Office and the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) will be putting temporary arrangements in place, to provide DBS checks and fast-track emergency checks of the Adults’ and Children’s Barred Lists free-of-charge. This will apply to healthcare and social care workers being recruited in connection with the provision of care and treatment of coronavirus (COVID-19) in England and Wales.
Please note, the roles eligible for fast-track emergency checks are different to those defined as ‘key workers’ for the purposes of childcare etc.
These arrangements will provide employers with the option to appoint new recruits into regulated activity with adults and/or children, as long as the individuals are not barred and appropriate measures are put in place to manage the individual until the full DBS check is received.
Misuse of this emergency fast-track COVID-19 provision will delay the urgent deployment of health and social care personnel, and therefore undermine the national effort to fight coronavirus.
As advised above, this service will be available from Monday 30 March 2020. Applications received before this date will not benefit from the service.
The fast-track service will provide a check of both Barred Lists.
For the check to be processed free-of-charge, please ensure that it is submitted as a volunteer application. We are unable to refund fees if applications are not completed as detailed above.
What will DBS do, and how results are returned?
DBS will check all the relevant applications against the Adults’ and Children’s Barred Lists, and will email the results to the Registered Body or Umbrella Body via the address held for the Countersignatory, or to an alternative address as agreed specifically for this service.
DBS aim to provide results to Registered Bodies by the end of the next working day.
The results provided to Registered Bodies or Umbrella Bodies will state that no match has been found, or that they should await the full completed DBS check before making a recruitment decision.
When to apply for fast-track Barred List checks
This service must only be used where organisations are recruiting staff that fall within the definition provided in the ‘Fast-track service: eligible roles’ document (PLEASE CONTACT TOTALCRB FOR CLARITY). All other appointments that are eligible for an enhanced with barred list(s) DBS check must be processed in the usual way. This is to ensure that emergency checks can be processed without delay.
Employers are reminded that they may accept previously-issued DBS checks. Any decision to use previously-issued checks should be made at a local level, as part of a wider risk assessment. Employers should also establish whether potential staff are subscribed to the DBS Update Service which may allow recruitment to take place more quickly.
Using the Adult First Service
Where applications are submitted using the guidance above, you should not submit a separate Adult First check.
Joining the Update Service
Applicants should not subscribe to the Update Service using a check submitted according to the process described above. These checks should also not be added to an existing subscription.
Any free-of-charge fast-track checks that are added to an Update Service subscription will be de-linked and subscriptions cancelled where appropriate.