Do parent volunteers need DBS checks?

If parents volunteer within a school they may be required to complete a criminal record check. It is therefore crucial that the correct level of check is requested for each role. Below is our complete guide to DBS checks for those volunteering in a school.

What level of check does a volunteer require?

If the applicant has an opportunity for regular contact with children but is not engaging in regulated activity, an enhanced DBS certificate (without the childrens barred list check) is appropriate. Regular contact is defined by the DBS as working 4 days within a 30-day period in a specified establishment. If the applicant is volunteering as a one off, it is the discretion of the school as to whether a check is needed.

For some school volunteers, an enhanced DBS certificate, which includes childrens’ barred list information, will be required as the volunteer will be engaging in regulated activity. In summary, a person will be considered to be engaging in regulated activity if, as a result of their work, they:

  • will be responsible, on a regular basis in a school or college, for teaching, training instructing, caring for or supervising children
  • work regularly in a school or college where that work provides an opportunity for contact with children
  • engage in personal care or supervise the children overnight, even if this happens only once.

Does the applicant meet the volunteer criteria?

In order to be eligible for a volunteer check, the applicant must meet the criteria below. If the criteria below are met, the cost of the DBS check is voided and the applicant will only need to pay the administration fee.

  • The applicant does not benefit directly from the role – e.g. is not there to gain experience
  • Except for travel and out of pocket expenses, the applicant receives no payment
  • The applicant is not on a work placement
  • The applicant is not on a course that requires them to do this role
  • The applicant is not in a position that will lead to a full-time role/qualification.

When should the check be completed for a volunteer in a school?

An Enhanced DBS check should be completed at the pre-employment stage. If the DBS certificate is delayed, a separate barred list check must be obtained before the applicant begins work in school.

If your school requires DBS checks for your staff, we would be delighted to process your checks for you. Register here, it only takes a few minutes!

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