Do You Need a DBS Check When Parents are Present?

There are numerous job roles, volunteering positions and more where contact with children or vulnerable adults is an inescapable and essential part of the job description. Therefore, working in nurseries, hospitals, and other public locations require a DBS online application before an individual can undertake their responsibilities.

Whilst there aren’t many situations where this reasoning can be questioned, DBS providers such as Online DBS Checks often hear one particular query when parties are looking into applying for an Enhanced check.

“Are DBS checks still required if the contact with vulnerable people occurs when their parents or responsible adults are also there?”

If your job role is likely to involve a regulated activity, even whilst parents or guardians are present, there is some important information you’ll need to remember.

When are DBS Checks for Volunteers Required?

Due to the public nature of volunteering, many of these types of activities involve spending time with children and vulnerable adults. However, a DBS check is only required if any of the tasks you may be asked to do are categorised as regulated activities.

This fact doesn’t change depending on whether or not the parents or legal guardians of the vulnerable individuals are present.

If the specifics of your volunteering includes regulated activity, then a DBS check is required.

So the next question is: what specific responsibilities count as a regulated activity?

What is a Regulated Activity?

Unless you have previous experience in completing DBS checks for individuals, you probably have little understanding of what a regulated activity is. The easiest way to understand it is that you're probably undertaking regulated activities if you have regular unassisted contact with children or vulnerable adults.

However, if you want a specific list, the disclosure processing experts at Online DBS Checks have created a list of examples of regulated activities.

If your role includes any of the following, then a DBS check is required, whether or not parents or other responsible adults are around at the time:

  • Regular teaching, training or instruction of children.
  • Regular care or supervision of children, or a one-off occasion that includes any of the following tasks:
    • Relevant personal care.
    • Help with eating or drinking due to disability or illness.
    • Assisting the individual with the toilet, washing, or dressing due to illness, disability or age.
  • Day-to-day management of anyone completing the above tasks.
  • Providing any healthcare relating to the individual's physical or mental health.
  • Regular physical, emotional or educational advice or guidance for children.
  • Driving a vehicle that’s used for conveying children, carers or supervisors.
  • Child-minding (whether that’s for early years or older ages).

It’s important to note that for many of these examples, the tasks are only deemed as a regulated activity (and therefore require a DBS certificate) when they’re regularly completed.

For example, if you only need to teach a child as a one-off occurrence and their parents are present, you are not required to apply for an Enhanced or Standard DBS check. However, if this task became a regular occurrence, you would then need to apply for a DBS check.

Applying for an Enhanced DBS Check

Although Online DBS Checks also provide Standard and Basic DBS checks, it’s crucial for anyone who will be undertaking any form of regulated activity to know that an Enhanced DBS check is required, at minimum.

This type of check is the most detailed level of disclosure available (apart from when a Barred List check is also included) and will detail any spent or unspent convictions and cautions that an individual may have. Any other information that the police feel is relevant will also be included.

If nothing is found on your criminal record, your DBS certificate will state this fact.

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