The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) offer criminal record checks to those who work with vulnerable groups. Here at Online DBS Checks, we receive numerous questions regarding the DBS check renewal process, expiry dates, and the best time to renew a DBS certificate.
If you’re concerned about any of the above, the guide below should clarify any confusion.
How Often Should a DBS Check be Renewed?
First and foremost, DBS checks do not expire. Contrary to popular belief, whether a DBS check is accepted is down to the employer. The date the DBS certificate was issued has no bearing on this decision.
While there is no official DBS expiry date, employers reserve the right to renew an applicant’s DBS check after a certain period of time. This renewal process timescale can vary; an employer could request a new DBS application every six months, whereas others could request one annually. It entirely depends on the employer, and in some cases, the governing or regulatory body.
Employers may feel that older DBS certificates are less representative; you may have had a caution, warning or conviction since the check was issued. Therefore DBS renewals are often just considered methods of best practice.
How to Renew a DBS Check
Renewing a check is essentially the same as applying for a DBS check from scratch. Your employer will usually ask you to submit a new DBS application.
A new Basic, Standard or Enhanced DBS check can be requested by an employer at any time, depending on the responsibilities of your role. The type of DBS check required will vary. Although if you are staying in the same position and going through a procedural renewal, you will likely need to apply for the same check level. This is not the same process across the board, though.
For example, if you work in an NHS hospital handling administration, you’ll have likely submitted a Standard DBS check application. If you are moving to a role which involves coming into contact with children or vulnerable adults, you may have to apply for an Enhanced DBS check. As Enhanced DBS applications involve a slightly more profound disclosure level, it’s a requirement that this higher level of check is carried out.
There is no legal requirement for organisations to complete regular DBS checks on staff. But many organisations, such as the NHS, carry out periodic checks on staff every three years. The law around DBS check requirements and eligibility can vary at any time, so we advise employers to regularly review policies to ensure they are updated with the latest information and guidance.
How Long does a DBS Renewal Take?
Applying for DBS checks online is a quick and straightforward process. All DBS checks are carried out, processed, and certificates are issued online, simplifying the procedure and saving you time.
Applicants can usually expect their DBS application to be fully completed within approximately five working days. Having said that, there can be delays in the application process, which are often out of our control. This could be if an applicant has not disclosed a previous address or conviction or provided incorrect information, just as an example.
Unfortunately, there is no way to fast track DBS renewals for individuals, given that the process is the same as applying for a DBS for the first time. However, there is a solution out there for applicants and employers.
DBS Update Service for Individuals
The DBS have an online portal known as the DBS Update Service. This means that applicants have a portable DBS certificate which can move from role to role.
When individuals apply for a Basic, Standard or Enhanced DBS check, they have the option to sign up to the Update Service for an annual fee of £13.
This service aims to make the recruitment process easier and simpler for anyone working in regulated industries, such as education, healthcare and finance. It means that instead of carrying out a new DBS check application every time, employers can access a previous check on an applicant and be instantly notified of any new information.
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