All You Need to Know about DBS Checks for Cleaners

Since its creation in 2012, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) has existed to help organisations across the UK make safer recruitment decisions. This is done by using DBS checks, which use a combination of public, police and criminal records to identify whether potential candidates (in England and Wales) are unsuitable for work involving children or vulnerable adults in a regulated activity (in accordance with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act).

When thinking of the roles that DBS checks are commonly used for, many people think of options such as teachers and doctors. However, many other career paths could require a DBS certificate to undertake safely, one of which is being a cleaner.

To learn why cleaners may need to complete a DBS check application and the rules for each specific type of cleaner, continue reading this blog post from Online DBS Checks.

Why Should Cleaners Apply for a DBS Check?

It’s recommended that cleaners and cleaning companies complete one of the three levels of DBS checks available, which are known as:

By ensuring that this step is taken, professional organisations will be going a long way to ensure all parties’ safety.

Which DBS Check Does Each Type of Cleaner Require?

Being a cleaner means that you may be asked to work in a wide variety of locations, some of which will involve being in the presence of children or vulnerable adults. Possible situations where this could occur include entering people’s homes, commercial offices, schools and any other place of education. When this situation occurs, providing relevant safeguarding documentation to clients is vital to maintaining public safety.

The rules regarding DBS checks for cleaners differ depending on each specific role. Continue reading to learn about the documentation that five types of cleaners may require.

The job application process is an already stressful situation, and no one should have to deal with the added stress caused by a lost DBS certificate. Although this is an unlikely scenario to happen, the Disclosure and Barring Service have created a solution to resolve any lost certificates.

DBS Checks for Self-Employed Cleaners

Any self-employed cleaner will typically need to apply for a Basic DBS check for themselves, which will disclose any unspent convictions they may have. They need to complete the application themselves because other parties cannot complete a Basic DBS application on someone else’s behalf.

The one way for self-employed cleaners to be able to apply for more in-depth DBS checks is if they’re asked to complete other duties that involve children or vulnerable people. In this case, the cleaner will be eligible for a Standard or Enhanced disclosure check, which their agency will need to apply for on their behalf.


Cleaners for Care Homes

Given the strong likelihood of coming into vulnerable people whilst cleaning a care home, Enhanced checks are typically required to work in this environment. As defined by the Department of Health, a vulnerable adult is someone ‘who needs community care services because of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of themselves, or unable to protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation'.

Cleaners in Schools

Cleaning within a school means you’re likely to come into contact with children. If the cleaner in question is barred from working with children, the school must be made aware of this. Therefore, anyone looking to be hired for this position is eligible for an Enhanced DBS check. In addition, this may include a Barred List check, which will only be performed if requested explicitly by the school.

Cleaners in Hospitals

Depending on the specific hospital, the type of DBS check required to clean one can change. There are examples of both Enhanced and Standard DBS checks being requested for hospital cleaners, with Barred List checks also being requested when relevant.

Overseas Cleaners Working in the UK

If a cleaner moves to the UK from abroad to undertake a cleaning job, overseas rules will need to be followed. Usually, this involves the cleaner contacting the police force that operates in their country of origin to obtain a police certificate, which is legally equivalent to a DBS certificate. The timeline for collating these documents differs per country, so this should be considered when hiring for a cleaning role.

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