DBS checks for volunteers - a guide

Key takeaways

  • A DBS check is a criminal record check that provides information on an individual's criminal history, including convictions, cautions, reprimands, and warnings held on the Police National Computer as well as the Children's and Vulnerable Adults' Barred Lists.
  • DBS checks are essential for volunteering, particularly when working with children, vulnerable adults, and in positions of trust, as they help organisations identify any potential risks and make informed decisions about who to appoint as a volunteer.
  • Charities are responsible for paying for the DBS checks of their volunteers, but some umbrella bodies may offer discounted DBS checks for charities.
  • There are three types of DBS checks: Basic, Standard, and Enhanced, with the type required depending on the role and responsibilities of the volunteer.
DBS Check Volunteers

Okay, let's talk about something important - DBS checks. You might also know them as Disclosure and Barring Service checks. These checks are a key part of managing volunteers and making sure everyone is safe. Here at Volunteero we understand just how important it is to keep everyone involved in volunteering secure. That's why we think DBS checks are so important - they play a huge role in making sure everyone is protected. So, let's dive in! In this blog, we'll take you on a tour of everything you need to know about DBS checks for volunteering, covering it all from what they are to how they work and everything in between.

What is a DBS check?

A DBS check is a criminal record check that provides information on an individual's criminal history. It includes details on any convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings held on the Police National Computer (PNC) as well as the Children's and Vulnerable Adults' Barred Lists.

Why are DBS checks important for volunteering?

Not only are they important, DBS checks are essential for volunteering; particularly when working with children, vulnerable adults and in positions of trust. By performing a DBS check, organisations can identify any potential risks and make informed decisions about who to appoint as a volunteer.

Who actually needs a DBS check?

It's up to each organisation to determine who requires a DBS check, depending on their specific needs and requirements. It’s recommended that all volunteers in positions of trust as well as those working with children or vulnerable adults undergo a DBS check.

Do charity volunteers need a DBS check?

The answer to this question depends on the nature of the work the charity volunteer will be performing. If the volunteer will be working with children, vulnerable adults, or in positions of trust, it is recommended that they undergo a DBS check. It is up to each charity to determine who requires a DBS check, depending on their specific needs and requirements

Do charities Have to pay for DBS checks for volunteers?

It is the responsibility of the charity to pay for the DBS checks of its volunteers. Some umbrella bodies however do offer discounted DBS checks for charities, so it's worth checking with them in case there are any savings that can be made.

What type of DBS check does a volunteer need?

There are three types of DBS checks: Basic, Standard, and Enhanced. The type of DBS check required depends on the role and responsibilities of the volunteer:

  • A Basic DBS check provides information on unspent convictions only
  • A Standard DBS check includes information on spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands, and warnings
  • An Enhanced DBS check is the most comprehensive and includes the same information as a Standard DBS check, along with any additional information that is deemed relevant to the role.

How long does a DBS check take?

The processing time for a DBS check varies, but on average, it takes around two weeks to receive the results. In some cases it may take longer, especially if additional information is required.

In conclusion, DBS checks are an important aspect of volunteer management, helping to ensure the safety and security of those involved in volunteering. We hope this guide has provided you with a comprehensive understanding of DBS checks for volunteering and the importance they play in this field.

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