How do I make my DBS check portable between employers?

What is the Update Service?

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) offer the Update Service to anyone who is waiting for their DBS check to come back. You can also apply for the Update Service if you have had a DBS certificate issued within the last 30 days.

The Update Service automatically renews your current DBS certificate for an annual fee of £13.00. You pay this directly to the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Once you have signed up, you can give future employers your Update Service details so that they can check the status of your DBS certificate online.

Can I join the Update Service under a COVID19 DBS check?

Unfortunately, no. The DBS will de-link any COVID19 fast track applications that were free of charge from the Update Service.

Can I use an old DBS certificate during the COVID 19 Crisis?

Recruiters should ask their employees, or potential employees, whether they have signed up to the Update Service. If they have, recruiters can use the information from the Update Service instead of applying for new certificates. Recruiters can also ask whether the employees have recently had a DBS check within the last 3 years. As long as the old DBS checks were for the correct workforce(s) and have the correct barred list(s), recruiters can accept the old certificates.

The DBS have advised that recruiters can also temporarily accept volunteer DBS check certificates. This is only if the person is being recruited for an emergency fast track role.

I have a basic DBS check; can I sign up to the Update Service?

Unfortunately, the Update Service is only for standard or enhanced DBS checks. You cannot make basic DBS checks portable between employers.

How do I sign up to the Update Service?

You will need to go to the government website to sign up here. Please have your DBS reference number that begins with an E or an F, and all your personal details, to hand.

Do I have to pay, or should my employer pay for the Update Service?

Anyone can pay for the Update Service! However, the £13.00 must be paid every year otherwise the subscription will stop.

Can I upgrade my DBS check that is on the Update Service?

Unfortunately, the DBS do not currently allow certificates to be ‘upgraded’ to include other checks. The certificate you received is registered with the DBS Update Service for the level of check that was requested for you at the time.

You might be in a situation where, because of your new job, you are now eligible for a different workforce or barred list checks. In this case, your new employer or organisation can carry out a new DBS check under the correct level.

Can I have multiple DBS certificates on the Update Service?

Yes, you can add as many certificates to the Update Service as you wish . One certificate does not cancel out another.

How do I contact the DBS about the Update Service?

You can call the DBS phone number on 0300 0200 190, or you can check out their website here for more information.

Do APCS offer the Update Service?

No, the Update Service is not provided by any umbrella body. The Disclosure and Barring Service are the only organisation that provide it.

You must have a DBS check in progress, or have had a check done within the last 30 days to sign up to the Update Service.

Why not register with us today to get your DBS check?

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