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DBS: Who needs a DBS check?

During Covid-19

As you are aware, Wessex LMCs are offering a DBS service for Covid-19 Volunteers at an administration charge of £10.00 per application.


To ensure the process goes through as quickly as possible please can you note the following:

All Covid-19 applications must be marked as VOLUNTEER. Please do not select Enhanced or Standard else you will be charged at the higher rates.

Please ensure that the role starts with "COVID-19 VOLUNTEER. . . . . " followed by the role the applicant is undertaking.

Alternatively, you can use the Workforce Bureau to process your Covid-19 Volunteer DBS applications free of charge. However, one point to bear in mind with the Workforce Bureau is that they might then ask the applicant to work in a different practice to that of your own, the applicant can of course specify but there are no guarantees.

Community Volunteers - The Government has produced a safety factsheet designed to address specific concerns that people involved in supporting their community may have at this time.

Healthcare & Social Care Workers - In response to coronavirus (COVID-19), the Home Office and the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) have put temporary arrangements in place, to provide standard and enhanced DBS checks and fast-track emergency checks of the adults’ and children’s Barred Lists, free-of-charge.

This applies to healthcare and social care workers in England and Wales, being recruited in connection with the provision of care and treatment of coronavirus, or those being recruited to backfill roles because of the impact of the pandemic.

GOV.UK have produced a list of eligible roles and a COVID-19 DBS Check flowchart .

Who Requires a DBS check?

DBS requirements for Trainees in a Practice Placement

Foundation doctors (F2) in a GP placement

F2 doctors are employed by a hospital trust and have a DBS check at the start of their F2 year.. As they remain with the same employer, this DBS is sufficient for the duration of the F2 year. F2 doctors are exempt from requirement to be on the National Medical Performers List. The practice can ask to see trainees’ current DBS certificate.

F2 trainees are covered by crown indemnity as employees of the acute trust. However it is recommended that the trainee takes out individual “top up” indemnity cover with a defense organisation in addition to Crown indemnity provided by the acute trust.


ST1 and ST2 trainees in a GP placement

ST1 and ST2 trainees going into their first placement in a practice will be applying for the National Medical Performers List which is a requirement for any doctor working in a practice (except for F2 doctors). They will need to have an enhanced DBS with the online update subscription.

The trainee must apply for the NPL before they start in the practice and the practice manager should check that the trainee has done this as soon as they arrive in the practice together with checking that the trainee has appropriate medical defense cover for working in General Practice.

Trainees have a three month period of grace from the start of their placement for their application for the NMPL to be processed and this includes obtaining their DBS and online update if they do not already have one. The trainee can start work in a practice while their application for the NMPL is being processed (including the DBS check). The practice can ask to see the trainee’s previous DBS while a new check is being processed.


ST3 trainees in a GP placement

ST3 trainees will usually already be on the NMPL if they have had a previous GP placement in ST1 or ST2. GP trainees must maintain their subscription to the online DBS update service while they are on the NMPL so that their employers and the Area Team can check their DBS status from time to time. If a trainee has allowed their annual subscription to the DBS update service to lapse, they will need a new DBS and will have to sign up again for the update service (this is funded by the trainee). If the ST3 trainee is already on the NMPL, they can start working in the practice while their DBS is being processed and the practice can ask to see the trainee’s previous DBS. The practice should also check that the trainee has appropriate medical defense cover for working in General Practice.


The Area Team has provided the following information about DBS:

SOP Medical Performer List v2 Final 12

6.2 Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

Previously, a certificate issued by the Criminal Records Bureau was a requirement. This certificate is no longer acceptable as it has been superseded by an enhanced disclosure and barring certificate issued by the DBS. Details can be found at:

The disclosure and barring update service applicant guide, dated January 2014 states that subscription to the online update service is not a requirement of the DBS but some organisations may make subscription a condition of employment. NHS England has placed this requirement on all applications to the performers list and it reserves the right to use the online checking at regular intervals during the period that the performer is included on the performers list to assure itself that there have been no material changes to the performers status.

In addition it is a requirement that applicants must register for the online update service within 14 days of the certificate being issued. This subscription to the DBS online update service must be renewed every year and is at the cost of the applicant.

Applicants seeking to join the Performer List will be required to complete and submit these forms themselves and can use any one of the umbrella bodies recommended by the Home Office for supporting applicants with their DBS application. These umbrella bodies can be found at

Once the applicant has registered with the DBS online service and the details have been forwarded by the applicant to the PCS office, an online check must be undertaken as part of the application process.

In the interest of NHS performers and patient safety when the applicant attends the PCS offices an identity check will be completed to the standard as set out on the DBS website. service-check. This is the standard ID verification process recommended by the Home Office, NHS Employers and the DBS.

Risk Assessing Staff for a DBS check

Click here to view the Risk Assessment Tool

What Happens when Convictions are Disclosed?

In applying for job vacancies there maybe occasions when applicants disclose previous convictions. What do you do? Also, whilst the vast majority of DBS checks come back clear, there will be occasions when some will be returned showing convictions. Has the practice got anything in place to deal with such a scenario?
Essentially this will involve a risk assessment, however there are other factors that will also need to be looked at and considered.
Julie Meakin from The Vine Medical Group has developed a protocol and risk assessment template to deal with these issues. You may download and adapt for your practice should you wish to do so, with kind thanks to Julie.

Standard or Enhanced Check?

Click here for guidance on applying for a Standard or Enhanced DBS check

Are you Legally Entitled to ask for a DBS check?

Click here for guidance on the legal right to ask for a DBS check

Recruitment of Ex-Offenders Policy Statement

Click here to view the Recruitment of Ex-Offenders Policy Statement


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Updated on Wednesday, 20 January 2021 17872 views