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DBS checks - do you know the law?

Friday 29 June 2018 12.25pm

Kelly Hughes, Recruitment and DBS Manager, Hoople RecruitmentOne of the most common queries raised by our care customers is the level of check they need for their staff, particularly those who work in areas such as the laundry or kitchen.

As the law stands, care employers can only apply for an Enhanced DBS check for staff or volunteers engaged in a ‘regulated activity’, ie those roles that involve direct personal contact and caring for the residents. This would exclude most administrators, receptionists, cleaners, catering staff, laundry assistants and caretakers.

This surprises many of our care home customers, who are keen to ensure all of their staff are fully screened. However, a Standard DBS check is all that is required and permitted for staff in non-regulated positions.  Standard DBS checks will show convictions held on the police national computer, including ‘spent’ convictions, together with cautions, reprimands and warnings. 

Our advice to our customers is that DBS checks are only one aspect of ensuring effective and safe recruitment practices. Additional screening is very important, for example checking employment history (including any unexplained gaps) and obtaining employment references. This combination approach will mean that, as far as possible, employers can check that the person is of good character and fit to work in health or adult social care services.

Hoople Recruitment currently carries out more than 6,000 checks each year. If you’re looking for expert advice or help, please contact me – or why not submit a question below.

Kelly Hughes
Recruitment and DBS Manager

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