All CQC registered Providers must comply with the essential standards of quality and safety, including those in Section 12 relating to effective recruitment and selection procedures.  Section 12A(4) & (5[1]) relate specifically to DBS (CRB) checks, and this guidance is intended to help Practice Managers decide who needs to be checked and what type of check is needed.

Before an organisation can ask a person to make an application for a DBS (CRB) check, they must ensure that they are legally entitled to ask that person to reveal their conviction history.  Most individuals in general practice are likely to be eligible by virtue of Section 13 of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) order 1975, which states:  ‘Any employment which is concerned with the provision of health services and which is of such a kind as to enable the holder to have access to persons in receipt of such services in the course of their normal duties.’

The legal right to ask for a DBS (CRB) check does not confer a legal obligation to do so.  In General Practice, only those in a regulated activity i.e. those providing, or supervising the provision of, care must have an Enhanced DBS (CRB) with barred list check. For all other staff, the Practice must make a risk based judgement as to whether or not a Standard DBS (CRB) check is required.

The rule of thumb is that all clinicians, nurses, HCA’s, phlebotomists etc need an “enhanced check” plus anyone else who may be in a one to one situation with a child or vulnerable adult – so not usually admin staff or receptionists but probably the Practice Manager/Deputy etc – a “standard check” would suffice for these roles.

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Which Roles Need Standard or Enhanced

From August 2019, DBS became more stringent with their acceptance of standard and enhanced checks which we must ensure are accurate if we don’t want to lose our registration as an LMC. If forms are received by DBS for processing and deemed by them to be of an incorrect category, they will cancel the application and the process needs to be started again, which may incur a cost. We must ask practices to check the eligibility for a check but also whether this needs to be standard or enhanced.

Please don’t ask for an enhanced check if the role does not require this e.g. administrative work only.

If a receptionist is also to train and act as a chaperone, then the job title will need to show as Receptionist/Chaperone to ensure that an enhanced check is not rejected.

Please check your staff role requirements on the government website before applying. There is also as eligibility guide here that you may find helpful.

We receive numerous DBS requests on a daily basis and in particular around doctors who may have more than one job role and/or more than one employer. Staff who work for more than one employer or will likely move around e.g. locums, may be interested in subscribing to the DBS Transportable / update service DBS

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Independent Safeguarding Authority – Barred Lists

The Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) holds two lists (Children/Adults) of people considered unsuitable to work with vulnerable groups.  Any application for an Enhanced DBS (CRB) check in a regulated activity will automatically be referred to the ISA for a barred list check.  Those listed under Categories A, and B in Table 1 are considered to be in a ‘Regulated Activity’ and, based on the information provided in the Application Form, the DBS (CRB) will decide which of the two Barred Lists they need to check.

Please Note:– In September 2012 changes were made to the definition of ‘Regulated Activity’, and ‘Controlled Activity’ was abolished.

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