What is the DBS Update Service?

The Update Service is an online subscription service provided by the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS). The Update Service automatically keeps your DBS certificate up to date and allows new employers to check your certificate online. Sometimes this is referred to as having a ‘portable’ or ‘transferrable’ DBS.

Can anyone apply for the Update Service?

If you have applied for a Standard or Enhanced DBS check via your employer, you can register for the Update Service whilst your current DBS check in progress, or within 30 days of the certificate issue date. Once this time frame has passed, you will not be able to sign up to the Update Service unless you apply for a new DBS certificate.

Unfortunately, a Basic DBS check cannot be registered with the Update Service.

Who can see my Update Service account?

Once registered, you will be able to give potential employers permission to check your current certificate and you will able to see who has checked it from your online account.

How do I get onto the DBS Update Service?

You can register with the Update Service here using your application reference number (beginning with an ‘E’) or DBS certificate number.

How do I renew my Update Service Subscription?

When you first register with the Update Service you will have the option to automatically renew your subscription for a yearly fee of £13.00. Alternatively, you can renew your subscription up to 30 days before your current subscription expires. Registration fees for the Update Service do not apply if you are a volunteer.

I’m on the Update Service, does this mean I don’t have to apply for another DBS check?

If the level of DBS check on your updated certificate is the same as your new employer is requesting, you do not need to reapply for a new DBS certificate unless your employer specifically asks you to. You can provide your new employer with your details and they will be able to perform a ‘status check’ on your certificate here.

However, if you currently have a Standard DBS check on the Update Service and your employer requires you have an Enhanced DBS check, they can ask you to apply for a new DBS certificate which you will then be able to put on the Update Service.

The above also applies if your Enhanced certificate says a different ‘workforce’ to the one required by your employer.

If you require further advice on portable DBS checks please call us on 0151 638 6158 or email us at [email protected].

If you’re an employer requiring 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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