COVID-19: Changes to DBS ID Checking Guidelines to Be Removed

Covid-19 has certainly made its mark on the world over the last few years, but as we begin to live with its effects, certain changes are now allowing previously impossible processes to return to normality.

In the following blog, we discuss the changes to the DBS ID checking guidelines and which processes are now in place to complete DBS Checks.

What are the Current DBS ID Checking Guidelines (July 2021)?

As it currently stands, documents submitted for a DBS Check must be validated over a live video link, avoiding the use of scanned images of the documentation to prove an individual's identity. The official documentation must be held by the inspector identifying the person to rule out any possibilities of fraud or fake documentation.

 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is understandable that face-to-face verification appointments have not been possible in all circumstances. Though the applicant’s official documentation is with the Identity Service Provider (IDSP), digital calling services such as Skype or Zoom are required to carry out virtual appointments.

Scanned images of the official documentation should be avoided. By providing the original official documentation, an applicant provides a higher level of authenticity, ensuring that the DBS Check can be completed successfully.

What Will the New DBS ID Checking Guidelines Be?

As the world adapts to the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses are discovering new methods to alter the way they carry out their processes. Though very much still a prominent issue, companies adhering to long-term safety suggestions such as mask-wearing and social distancing are returning to pre-covid normality.

 

Moving forward, original proof of documentation will still be required in order to verify the candidate's likeness. However, instead of the verification taking place over a video call, in-person checks will be taking place as these are crucial to providing the right level of authenticity needed to complete a DBS Check.

The following information provides details, as stated by the government, as to how DBS Checks, whether BasicStandard or Enhanced, should be carried out by an employer.

For Standard and Enhanced Checks:

An applicant must provide a range of identification documents as part of the DBS Check application process. As an employer, you must follow the following steps in order to complete a Standard or Enhanced DBS Check successfully.

  • Follow the three-route ID checking process
  • Check and validate the information provided
  • Establish the true identity of the applicant through the examination of a range of documents
  • Ensure the applicant provides details of all names by which they have been known
  • Make sure the applicant provides details of all addresses (last 5 years).
  • Check application form is fully completed and information is accurate
  • Carry out examinations face-to-face. Other methods: via a live video link, e.g. Skype or FaceTime. The checking body must be in physical possession of the original documents.

For Basic DBS Checks:

For Basic DBS Checks, you must:

  • Follow the ID checking process, as outlined in the government’s guidance, using the lists of documents in groups 1, 1a, 2a and 2b
  • Check and validate the information provided by the applicant on the application form
  • Establish the true identity of the applicant through the face-to-face examination of a range of documents as set out in this guidance
  • Make sure the applicant provides details of all names by which they have been known
  • Make sure the applicant provides details of all addresses where they have lived in the last five years
  • Check that the application form is fully completed and the information it contains is accurate - failing to do this can result in delays.

Employers Working From Home

If you are an employer working from home and you are not working in an office with the applicant, the DBS has agreed to allow the use of certified identity service providers to carry out a DBS online application on your behalf.

The use of certified identity service providers is designed to be utilised by employers who aren't able to verify original proof documentation with candidates personally due to different working locations or unavailability to meet face to face.

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