covid banner

Care home briefing 125 – Disclosure and Barring Service: What’s new?

The Independent Safeguarding Authority and the Criminal Records Bureau was merged in December 2012 to create the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The DBS provides employers and those organisations engaging volunteers with information to assist them in assessing the suitability of an individual for work in certain positions of trust, including work with children and vulnerable adults. It helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children.

The DBS is responsible for:

  • Processing requests for criminal checks;
  • Deciding whether it is appropriate for a person to be placed on or removed from a barred list; and
  • Placing or removing people from the DBS childrens barred list and adults barred list for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The merger resulted in the following changes in terminology.

  • The “Standard CRB Check” has become a “Standard DBS Check”
  • An “Enhanced CRB Check” has become an “Enhanced DBS Check”.
  • An “Enhanced CRB Check with a barred list check” has become an “Enhanced Check for Regulated Activity”.

What’s new?

The DBS has introduced from 17 June 2013 a new update service, which will allow DBS certificates to be re-used when people apply for similar jobs.

In summary, individuals can subscribe to the update service for an annual fee of £13; it is free for volunteers. The DBS update service provides the following benefits:-

  • DBS certificates will be kept up-to-date.
  • The DBS will frequently search for any changes to the information on DBS certificates. The frequency will vary depending on the level (basic, standard or enhanced) and type (for example, work with children) of the DBS certificate.
  • DBS certificates will be transferable. Individuals will be able to take DBS certificates with them from role to role provided that the same level and type of check is required. This means that the employer will be able to go online with the individual’s consent and carry out a free instant check to find out if the information released on the DBS Certificate is current and up-to-date.
  • DBS certificates will be issued to individuals rather than to a registered body in order to allow them to challenge the contents before the certificates are sent to the employer.


Employers will be able to carry out status checks free of charge with an individual’s permission. They will be able to check online whether there has been a change to an individual’s DBS certificate.

This will save time and ease the administrative burden to ensure that the checks are kept up-to-date.

It is estimated that the new update service will assist employers in expediting their recruitment processes without compromising safeguarding processes. Employers will benefit from the free online status checks rather than making new applications each time they need to check an individual. In addition, individuals will be in greater control of their own information and will allow them to challenge the contents of their certificates before they are released to third parties.

If you have any queries, please contact:

Sejal Raja
t: 020 7227 7410
June 2013

© RadcliffesLeBrasseur


This briefing is for guidance purposes only. RadcliffesLeBrasseur LLP accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for any action taken or not taken in relation to this note and recommends that appropriate legal advice be taken having regard to a client's own particular circumstances.

Briefing tags