The Government have today announced that the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) which replaced the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) is to launch an online update service from 17th June 2013.
So many acronyms in one sentence but just what is the DBS and what does it do? The aim of the service is to help employers to make safer recruitment decisions, i.e. safer for them and the people they work with and support. It also aims to prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children.
The DBS is concerned with the following key areas:
Disclosure – they search police records and, in relevant cases, barred list information, and then issue a DBS certificate to the applicant and employer to help them make an informed recruitment decision.
Referrals – when an employer or organisation, eg a regulatory body, has concerns that a person has caused harm, or poses a future risk of harm to vulnerable groups, including children, they can refer their concerns to the DBS to investigate.
Barring – they make fair, consistent and thorough barring decisions that are an appropriate response to the harm that has occurred, as well as the risk of harm posed.
The new online Update Service will allow DBS certificates to be reused when an individual applies for similar jobs and, at least in theory, will reduce bureaucracy.
Individuals can choose to subscribe to the Update Service for an annual fee of £13 which will keep their DBS certificate up-to-date so that they can take it with them from role to role within the same workforce. As a result, the Government wants to make sure that millions of employees and volunteers will no longer have to apply for a new criminal record check each time they apply for a job.
If an individual has subscribed to the Update Service their 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.
Benefits to prospective employers are that the system is free to use and the results are instant which will reduce both recruitment costs and time that would have been spent waiting for a CRB check to come through.
For more information or advice on using the DBS during your recruitment processes, get in touch today.