DBS Checks when working with Adults

Disclaimer: This is not legal advice. If you need help with making sure you are complying with the law, you should speak to a legal advisor.

Enhanced checks: Who is eligible?

Sometimes, a role within a faith centre will undertake activities with adults which mean that the role is eligible for either an enhanced DBS check, or an enhanced DBS check with adults’ Barred List check.

There are other additional activities with adults that allow for DBS checks which are higher than basic level, but they are unlikely to occur within a faith centre. Further information can be found on the DBS web page here.

Enhanced DBS checks with an adults’ Barred List check

For roles within faith centres, the main activities that will make a role eligible for an Enhanced DBS check with an adult’s Barred List check are as follows:

  • Providing personal care made up of physical assistance or prompting and then supervising with eating, drinking, toileting, washing for adults who can’t decide to do this for themselves because of age, illness or disability
  • Conveying adults to, from or between health care, personal care and/or social work services who can’t convey themselves because of their age, illness or disability
  • Assisting an adult who can’t manage with the day-to-day running of their household relating to managing the adult’s cash, paying the adult’s bills or doing their shopping because of their age, illness or disability

These activities are known as ‘regulated activities’ and only need to be done once. A person who has day-to-day management of people undertaking these activities is also eligible for an Enhanced DBS check with an adults’ Barred List check.

For more information on regulated activity with adults, please see the DBS guidance leaflet

Enhanced DBS check without an adults’ Barred List check

The main activities that will make a role eligible for an Enhanced DBS check without an Adult’s Barred List check are as follows:

  • assistance, advice or guidance wholly or mainly for certain adults (for example, a support group for people dealing with illness)
  • conveying certain adults to and from the faith centre (for example, driving a minibus on behalf of the faith centre to enable people who would otherwise not be able to attend due to age, illness or disability)
  • day-to-day management of people undertaking these activities

These activities will only be eligible when they are provided to adults who fall within certain groups which are set out in legislation.

For faith centres, the most likely groups that fall within this are adults:

  • living in residential accommodation because of their care or nursing needs.
  • living in accommodation provided because they are or have been a pupil in a residential special school
  • living in sheltered housing
  • in receipt of care or assistance at home because of their age, health or disability.
  • in receipt of the activity because of their age, illness or disability

A full list as set out in the legislation can be found in Annex 1 of the DBS adult workforce guide (see paragraphs 9 & 10).

The person carrying out the activity must be doing it:

  • at any time on more than three days in any period of 30 days; or
  • at any time between 2 am and 6 am and the activity gives the person the opportunity to have face-to-face contact with the adult; or
  • at least once a week on an ongoing basis.

For more information, or to discuss this in further detail, please contact SFI.

How do I apply for an Enhanced DBS check for my faith centre’s staff or volunteers?

  1. Ask SFI or an umbrella body for an application form.  SFI can often subsidise the cost for DBS checks for Faith Centres in England. 
  2. Give the form to the applicant to fill in.
  3. The applicant will return the completed form to you along with documents proving their identity.
  4. Send the completed application form to your umbrella body.
  5. DBS will send a certificate to the applicant. You must ask the applicant to show you the certificate so you can check it’s genuine.

What is regulated activity?

Regulated activity is work that a barred person must not do by law. A full list of regulated activities with children can be found here.

An organisation that carries out regulated activity with children is a regulated activity provider. As a regulated activity provider, you have a legal duty under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 to refer an individual to DBS where the relevant conditions are met. This means that you must inform DBS when there is a safeguarding concern. For more information on when and how to make a referral to DBS please go to the DBS website (Making a referral to DBS).

Some Examples:

Drivers

  • Anyone who transports adults, on behalf of the faith setting, to, from or between anywhere they receive health care, social work or personal care so that they can access these services is in regulated activity with adults and eligible for an Enhanced DBS check with an Adults’ Barred List check.
  •  Taxi drivers, however, are specifically excluded from regulated activity with adults and so could not be asked for an Adults’ Barred List Check.
  • Anyone who transports adults who live in residential care, sheltered housing or live independently but are in receipt of care or assistance because of their age, illness or disability, on behalf of the faith setting for any reason could be eligible for an Enhanced DBS check without the Adults’ Barred List check. They would need to do this more than 3 times in a 30-day period, once overnight between 2 am and 6 am or at least once a week on an ongoing basis.
  • The transport doesn’t need to relate to health care appointments etc. and can include transport for recreational day trips or to attend the faith centre for prayer etc

An individual who drives the minibus for the church whose role includes driving elderly and disabled individuals to and from church, and does this once a week every Sunday, would be eligible to apply for an Enhanced DBS check without the Adults’ Barred List check.

Anyone who carries out any type of work in a care home, that is not a regulated activity, which gives them the opportunity to have contact with the adults living there and do this more than 3 times in a 30-day period, once overnight between 2 am and 6 am or at least once a week on an ongoing basis, is eligible for an Enhanced DBS check without an Adults’ Barred List check.

Anyone who works there less often but has the opportunity for contact with the people who live there in the course of their work would be eligible to apply for a Standard DBS check.

Many adults choose to live in sheltered accommodation, sometimes run by the faith centre, to enable them to continue to live independently. There may be staff or volunteers who have responsibilities for helping the people who live there with the day to day running of their households because of their age, illness or disability.

If their responsibilities include one or more of the following it would make them eligible to be asked to apply for an Enhanced DBS check with an Adults’ Barred List check:

  • shopping on their behalf
  • paying their bills
  • managing their cash

If their role requires an individual to provide advice and guidance or assistance to any of the people living there to help them to remain living independently and they do this more than 3 times in a 30-day period, once overnight between 2 am and 6 am or at least once a week on an ongoing basis then they would be eligible for an Enhanced DBS check without an Adults’ Barred List check.

Hypothetical Example:

Alexi works for the faith run sheltered housing scheme and provides a shopping service to the people living there who are unable to do their shopping for themselves. They give him their shopping lists and money and he returns their shopping and change. He is eligible to apply for an Enhanced DBS check with an Adults’ Barred List check.

Paula works as a cleaner in the faith run sheltered housing scheme. In addition to maintaining the cleanliness of the communal areas, she assists some of the people living there in the cleaning of their apartments two mornings a week as they are unable to do this themselves because of their age, illness or disability. Because of this additional duty, she is eligible to apply for an Enhanced DBS check without an Adults’ Barred List check.

Menu