DBS: Wessex LMC and Client Agreement
Please read these Terms & Conditions carefully. . .
The Criminal Records Bureau (from 1st December 2012 working with the Independent Safeguarding Authority as the Disclosure and Barring Service) recommends that each Umbrella Body develops a written agreement between themselves and their clients. Therefore, the purpose of this agreement is to set out the expectations and responsibilities of both the Wessex LMC in providing the DBS service, and the clients in utilising the DBS service.
For the purposes of this document, the Umbrella Body refers to the Wessex Local Medical Committees Limited (LMC), and the client refers to any organisation (usually a General Practice) that is utilising the service offered by the LMC.
There are set standards required by the DBS, where it is necessary for both the LMC and the client to confirm that they are meeting their obligations as outlined in this agreement.
The agreement includes information on the following areas:
- An overview of the interaction between the three parties (the LMC, the client, and the applicant). The applicant is the member of staff for whom the practice want a DBS check.
- What disclosure information the umbrella body is to share with the organisation to whom it is providing the Disclosure service
- The role each party plays, if any, in the recruitment decision and the obligation to comply with the LMC’s policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders
- What arrangements are kept in place by both parties for handling disclosure information and observing the Code of Practice including, for example, a policy on the storage and retention of disclosure information
- Where the responsibility lies for verifying the identity of an applicant
- Security of transmission arrangements for sharing disclosure information between the parties
- Service levels between the parties
- What charges will be made for providing the service
- Payment and invoicing arrangements
- Conditions regarding withdrawal of the service
An Overview of the Process
Key: Umbrella Body = Wessex LMCs
UB Client = Umbrella Body Client i.e. a General Practice
Applicant = Member of the Practice
UB Client Applicant
Sharing of Disclosure Information between Parties
- A designated countersignatory of the LMC agrees that upon receipt of the disclosure from the DBS, it will be sent to the client for storage.
- The LMC confirms that it will do this as soon as practicably possible, and will not make copies of the disclosure.
- The disclosure will be sent to the client’s representative for storage, via the same method that the disclosure was received from the DBS.
The Recruitment Decision and the Recruitment of Ex-Offenders
- Any decisions pertaining to the recruitment of a new or existing employee who requires a DBS check is the sole responsibility of the client.
- The LMC cannot advise on an applicant’s suitability for recruitment purposes.
- Once the applicant has received the disclosure from DBS, the practice must then request sight of the certificate and decide on employment.
- It is a requirement of the DBS Code of Practice that all registered bodies and its clients must treat disclosure applicants who have a criminal record fairly and do not discriminate because of a conviction or other information revealed. The Code of Practice also obliges registered bodies and their clients to have a written policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders, a copy of which can be given to applicants at the outset of the recruitment process. The DBS has produced a sample policy statement on their website, which can be used or adapted for this purpose https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service
- The LMC confirms that it has met the criteria as required by the DBS, in that it has a policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders. Clients agree that they will adopt and comply with the LMC’s policy, or create a suitable similar policy of their own which meets the standards set by the DBS.
- Therefore, the recruitment decision and responsibilities of that decision rests with the client and not the LMC. In such circumstances, no liability should lie against the LMC if a claim were subsequently made on the basis that the employing organisation had acted unfairly against the applicant.
Storage and Retention of Disclosure Information
- It is a requirement of the DBS Code of Practice that all registered bodies must have a written policy on the correct handling and safekeeping of disclosure information. It also obliges registered bodies to ensure that the client on whose behalf they are countersigning disclosure applications has a written policy. The DBS has produced a sample policy statement on their website, which can be used or adapted for this purpose https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service
- The LMC confirms that it has met the criteria as set by the DBS, in that it has a policy on the safe storage and handling of disclosure information. Clients agree that they will adopt and comply with the LMC’s policy, or create a suitable similar policy of their own which meets the standards set out by the DBS.
- Once the Practice has had sight of the DBS certificate, the practice should record the certificate number and date of issue within the staff file of the applicant for CQC audit purposes.
Verification of Applicant Identity
- Verification must be undertaken by a member of senior management employed by the client, such as a partner in the organisation, or senior manager/deputy senior manager. This individual will be referred to as the 'client representative'.
- It is the responsibility of the client and the LMC to ensure that the identity of the person on whom the DBS check is required has been verified and validated according to DBS guidance.
- However, the actual process of ID verification and validation will be undertaken by the client to whom the LMC is providing the service.
- Therefore, the client must agree to conduct the preliminary verification, and the LMC agrees to provide secondary verification to ensure the form has been completed correctly.
- The client representative must see the original documentation required by the DBS, according to the List of Approved Documents (Group 1, Group 2a and Group 2b). Full details can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service? The client representative must agree to photocopy these documents for LMC use, sign the photocopies to verify that they are true copies of original documents, and send the photocopies to the LMC with the completed form. The client representative must not accept photocopies of documents from applicants.
- The client representative must then complete sections W and X of the form.
- The LMC will be responsible for countersigning the application form (section Y) on behalf of the client confirming that there is a legal entitlement to the check, the information provided is true and accurate, and that the client has not knowingly made a false declaration.
Security of Transmission Arrangements for Sharing Disclosure Information between the Parties
- When the DBS issues the completed check, a copy of the disclosure is issued to the applicant.
Service Levels between the Parties
- Upon receipt of a request for an application pack from the client cepresentative, the LMC will endeavour to post an application pack to the Client Representative within one working day.
- Upon receipt of a completed application form, the LMC will endeavour to process the application form and send it to the DBS in two working days.
- https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service Please note that the LMC cannot be held responsible for the time taken by the DBS to process the form, and has no control of this process. Once the DBS receive the completed application form, the DBS aims to process 90% of Standard checks in 10 days and 90% of Enhanced checks in 4 weeks. If the client representative has the application reference number, the progress of the application can be tracked using the DBS online tracking system
Effective from the 6th April 2022, there is a decrease in DBS processing costs, as below. This will be evident on the payment acknowledgement you will receive when processing the payment via FourteenFish:
Volunteer: £10.00 (no change)
Increasingly we are receiving a number of notifications, once a DBS has been initiated by the practice and LMC work commenced, that the applicant will not be taking up the post and that the DBS is no longer required - currently where possible we refund the majority of the cost less a £5.00 admin fee. However, upon reflection this admin fee does not actually cover the payment processing costs, let alone the admin time already spent on the application, postage incurred etc, hence from the 1st February 2022 our admin fee will be aligned for both Enhanced and Standard DBS applications (as the amount of work involved in either application process is the same), postage increases and payment processing costs have also been taken into account.
Therefore, going forward we will be charging a £19.00 + VAT admin fee on Enhanced and Standard DBS applications that have been initiated by the practice and LMC work commenced on them - see Refund (a) in table below which reflects the actual amount that will be refunded in this instance. However, where an application has been initiated by the practice and no longer required or a duplicate created in error and NO work commenced on the application, then a £8.33 + VAT processing fee will be charged - see Refund (b) in table below which reflects the actual amount that will be refunded in this instance.
Payment and Invoicing Arrangements
- All payments should be made online via the LMC website. Please see the DBS section of the LMC website for further details http://www.wessexlmcs.com/dbs
- This involves an online payment from the client representative/applicant to the LMC. Payments should not be made directly to the DBS.
- Alternatively, payment can be made by cheque to ‘Wessex LMCs Ltd’
- Wessex LMCs will not raise or send invoices for this service
- Payment must be made before the LMC can begin processing a completed application form; a completed application form will not be sent to the DBS until payment is received.
- It is at the discretion of the client to determine if the client or the applicant should pay the appropriate fee.
Conditions regarding withdrawal of Service
- Compliance with the DBS Code of Practice is a condition of this service. Failure to do so will result in withdrawal of the service to the client. The LMC cannot act for organisations that appear unable to adhere to the DBS Code of Practice.
- Compliance includes adopting or creating policies on storage and retention of disclosure information, and the recruitment of ex-offenders. Failure to adhere to a policy on this will result in the withdrawal of the service to the client.
Portability - Accepting a previously-issued DBS Check
Ultimately it is for the employer to determine whether to accept a previously-issued criminal record check.
However you should consider the following before making a decision:
- The applicant's criminal record or other relevant information may have changed since its issue.
- The decision made by a Chief Police Officer to disclose information on a DBS certificate was made based on the position for which the criminal record check was originally applied for. You cannot assume that no other intelligence would be disclosed for a different position.
- The information revealed was based on the identity of the applicant, which was validated by another registered body, at the time that the original check was requested. Therefore, you should ensure that the identity details on the certificate match those of the applicant.
- If you are contacted by another organisation about a previously issued criminal record check, any information disclosed can only be passed to individuals who need to see it as part of the recruitment decision.
- You can only confirm whether or not the information provided is the same as on your copy of the DBS certificate.
Online Update Service
From 17.6.13 any applicant who applies for a DBS check can choose to join this service for £13 pa. To join, view https://www.gov.uk/dbs-update-service and enter your "F" number (at the top of your application form) plus personal ID details. The benefits of this are:
- the applicant can see their certificate
- the certificate can be taken from one employer to the next (e.g. for bank staff)
- the applicant can give employers permission to check their certificate
Existing DBS Checks - How long is a criminal record check valid for?
There is no official expiry date for a criminal record check. Any information revealed on a certificate will be held by police at the time the check was issued.
- You should check the date of issue on the certificate to decide whether to request a new one. In certain employment sectors a criminal record check may be required periodically.
- It is particularly important to check the DBS status of an employee if they change positions within your organisations, e.g. from a receptionist to a phlebotomist.
- You can keep a criminal record check - or other related information - for no longer than six months, to allow for consideration and resolution of any disputes or complaints after a recruitment or suitability decision is made. If it is considered necessary to keep the certificate information for longer, you should consult the DBS.
- The information contained in this document is aligned with the recommendations of the DBS.
- Please refer for more information to https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service