COVID-19 DBS checks in the Care Sector

Following the outbreak of coronavirus, the DBS have put new measures in place. These measures ensure fast track barred list checks and free DBS checks for specific COVID-19 related roles. More information on this is available on our blog here. CQC have also provided their up to date guidance on COVID-19 checks for health and social care services, this can be found here. Since the implementation of these changes, care sector organisations have asked us how this will affect their DBS checks. We have created this blog post with up to date DBS guidance specific to the care sector.

Are the COVID-19 checks only available to individuals providing care or treatment to those with coronavirus?

The COVID-19 checks are available to both healthcare and social care workers in England and Wales with the following roles:

  • Individuals recruited for the provision of care and treatment of coronavirus.
  • Individuals recruited to backfill roles due to the impact of the pandemic.

Please note that individuals being recruited to backfill roles are eligible for the COVID 19 checks. This applies regardless of whether they are working directly working with COVID-19 patients. For more information on this, please click here.

Is the DBS eligibility the same for COVID-19 checks?

With regards to eligibility for the COVID-19 checks, the DBS guidance around eligibility has not changed. When applying for barred list checks, the applicant must be conducting regulated activity with children or vulnerable adults in order to be eligible. More information regarding eligibility is available here.

Can I request a children’s barred list check for care workers who are going into people’s homes where children will be present?

If a care worker is carrying out regulated activity with vulnerable adults and a child happens to be in the household, the care worker is not responsible for the child. As a result, legally you are not allowed to carry out a check of the children’s barred list.

Can I employ an individual once I have received the Barred List check results, or do I need to wait for the full certificate?

If the Barred List check is completed and there is no match, as an employer you can employ the individual while waiting for the full DBS certificate. The DBS recommends that appropriate measures are put in place to manage the individual while waiting for the certificate.

Do I need to request a new DBS check for an applicant applying for a COVID-19 role if they already have a valid DBS check?

If the current check has the correct workforce for the role and has an issue date within the last 3 years then a new check is not compulsory. It is important to remember that DBS checks are correct as of the day they are completed. A conviction could have been committed since the issue date. If the candidate is subscribed to the DBS Update Service, an employer can ask to conduct a status check. That will inform the employer if there have been any changes to the certificate since the issue date. The employer can then make an informed recruitment decision based on this information.

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