It is best practice to include DBS checks as a part of a wider safer recruitment policy, if you do not check an individual’s criminal history before they join your organisation you could be putting your beneficiaries at risk.

Individuals can join the Update Service which allows them to reuse their DBS certificates when applying for similar jobs.

The Update Service is only available for standard and enhanced checks. You cannot join the Update Service with a basic check.

More information about the Update Service can be found on GOV.UK.

It’s the employers’ decision to decide whether to accept a previously-issued DBS check.

If the applicant hasn’t joined the Update Service, you should consider the following before making a decision:

  • the applicant’s criminal record or other relevant information may have changed since the date the certificate was issued
  • the level of that check may not be right for the position you’re recruiting for
  • you’ll need to check that the original DBS check is for the same level and workforce for the role you’re recruiting for (any original certificate will show the workforce ‘child’ or ‘adult’, ‘child and adult’ or ‘other’)
  • the information revealed was based on the identity of the applicant, which was validated by another Registered Body
  • that the identity details on the certificate match those of the applicant

The person making the decision as to whether the individual is suitable to undertake the role on behalf of the organisation can request to see the check.

If a volunteer has a conviction you should refer to your safer recruitment policy which should outline what steps you should take as trustees and consider whether the offence is relevant to the role they are applying for. It can be helpful to discuss any convictions with the individual. Guidance on writing safer recruitment policies can be found here