Registered Body – What Does it Mean?

The phrase “registered body” is one you’re going to come across when you’re asked to apply for a DBS check. If you’re not sure exactly what a registered body is, then you’re not alone. There’s a lot of jargon connected with DBS checks. Don’t worry – you’re not expected to understand all of it. To add to the confusion, you’ll see other similar terms like “umbrella body” used on some websites. So what does it all mean, and how does it affect your DBS application?

Registered Body for Enhanced and Standard Checks

The only way of getting a standard or enhanced check is to go through an approved organisation. The law states that only certain jobs need DBS checks, and having to go through a third party means that it’s easier to keep track of who is applying. It also lessens the possibility of fraudulent applications and stops people applying for checks on themselves. There are lots of different types of organisations who the DBS have registered as checking organisations. Large employers such as the NHS are registered, as are local authorities which recruit teachers and nursery workers. Your local swimming club might not be registered, but will probably be affiliated to the national swimming association, which will be.

Similarly, youth organisations like Scouts or Brownies are registered on a national level. Finally, there are lots of private companies which help people get their DBS checks quickly and without fuss. This sort of third party organisation qualifies as an umbrella body too. There is a searchable list of umbrella bodies online.

What do these organisations actually do?

The role of the umbrella organisation really comes into play at the start of the DBS application process. Before police checks start, you need to prove your address and identity. Usually, you just turn up at the local office of an umbrella organisation with your passport, photographic ID and other bills to prove who you are. A named representative will then check your ID, take copies and complete their section of the form. There is lots of information online about what types of documents you can use when applying for a DBS check.

This doesn’t change from body to body. The government sets the rules centrally and  they apply to everyone. There are many different combinations of documents which you can provide. Sometimes you can send your documents through the post if you can’t attend in person. You might be able to arrange a Skype call so the authorised person can check you match your photograph. If you’re dealing with a sports organisation or local school, usually the leader or Head Teacher is the person who will countersign your form.

Privacy and Data Protection

It’s natural to worry about handing over personal documents to someone you don’t know. There are however strict laws about how umbrella organisations store your data. They have to make sure that if they take copies, they’re kept under lock and key. Similarly, when your DBS certificate arrives in post, they should return it to you for safe keeping.