DBS Update Service – The Basics

We totally understand how confusing the whole topic of police checks can be. Not only are there different organisations in different parts of the UK, there are different levels of checking too. People still use old terminology like CRB, and the government constantly tweak the eligibility criteria. It’s all very confusing. It is important to understand how it all works though. That’s definitely the case with the DBS Update service, which could have real benefits to many people who need to apply for a DBS check.

Why do we need a DBS Update Service?

Let’s think for a minute about how the DBS service usually works. When you apply for a check, the police search their records and put all the relevant information on your certificate. Once the certificate is sent to you in the post, the process is finished. If you are convicted of a serious crime the following day, there is no way of reflecting that on your DBS certificate. As certificates are only current on the day they’re printed, you need new checks each time you move jobs. All these checks – often on the same people – clog up the system.

So how does DBS Update work?

The whole idea behind DBS Update is that the system is dynamic. Think of it as your own personal access to the DBS database. Your records are held online, and you can log back into the system at any time. Employers can log in immediately too and verify your status. This means you don’t have to complete repeated DBS applications, with the form-filling and proof of identity each time. It’s quicker, simpler and means that you’re not frustrated by lengthy waits to have police checks completed.

Becoming a DBS Update Member

Becoming a member of the DBS Update service doesn’t happen automatically. If you’re the sort of person who is only applying for a DBS check once every few years, it’s probably not worth it. If however you move jobs frequently or take on lots of voluntary roles which need a DBS check, it probably is. Joining the service is easy. When you apply for your DBS check, just tick the box on the form to join the scheme. There is an annual fee to be a member, but this is less than a whole new DBS check. Membership lasts for 12 months and if you want to be a member for another year, just pay the subscription again.

DBS Update – Things to be aware of

On the whole, DBS Update is a great service and is well worth considering for most people who are applying for several DBS checks over the course of a couple of years. However, there are some things to bear in mind. The main issue around DBS Update is the level of checking. If you have an enhanced check and enrol in DBS Update, you can then only use the update service for other checks at enhanced level. This could cause issues if you’re doing lots of different types of work. Similarly, you also have to remember to renew your subscription annually to remain a member.