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Tips and Tricks - 10-02-2023 - - 0 comments
Frequently asked questions about DBS

In order to work with children in the UK, you’ll need a DBS. If you are a teacher, teaching assistant or nursery nurse this may be something you are familiar with. But if you are applying for one of our non-teaching roles or you’re joining us through are Graduate Academy or one of our SWAPs this is likely to be new to you.  

Below we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about DBSs. 


Why do I need a DBS? 

Our number one priority as an agency is safeguarding. A DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check is required when working with children in order to ensure their safety and well-being.  

The check helps to identify if an individual has a criminal record and, most importantly, if they have been barred from working with children. Having this check in place reduces the risk of harm to children and provides our schools with peace of mind 

What is a DBS check? 

The DBS check searches for criminal convictions, cautions, warnings, and other relevant information that may be held on an individual's record. The check is designed to help identify those who may pose a risk to vulnerable groups, such as children and adults at risk, and helps to prevent them from engaging in work or activities that may put these groups at risk. The type of information that may be disclosed on a DBS check includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Criminal convictions, both current and spent. 

  • Cautions, warnings, reprimands, and final warnings. 

  • Information held by local police forces, including intelligence that has not led to a criminal conviction. 

What kind of DBS do I need? 

As you’ll be working with children in a school setting, you’ll need an Enhanced Child Workforce DBS Check.  

DBS checking requirements can vary. Unfortunately, we cannot accept DBSs that have been checked under the adult workforce only. However accept Child and Adult Workforce DBSs providing they are on the Update Service. 

How do I get a DBS? 

DBS checks must be done by an employer, in your case that would be us. During the registration process, we’ll ask you to provide us with a number of documents as well as the information needed to complete this process for you.  

How much does a DBS cost? 

A DBS costs £44. This can be paid quickly and easily by bank transfer - we will supply you with our details upon registration.  

The good news is that once you’ve completed 10 days of work with us, we’ll refund this to you.  

If you are part of a SWAP, then funding may be available to help you pay for your DBS. Please speak with your point of contact about this and they will be able to advise you further.   

How long does it take to get a DBS? 

This is a tough one to answer because the Disclosure and Barring Service doesn’t provide a timeframe and it does vary. In our 13 years in education recruitment, we’ve seen checks be completed in a day but others have taken months. 

Typically, it can take anywhere from several days to a few weeks for the check to be completed and for the results to be returned. The exact time frame will depend on a number of factors, including the level of the check being performed, the workload of the DBS, and any additional security checks that may be required.  

Does a DBS expire? 

We’re an APSCo Compliance+ agency and go beyond the usual safeguarding standards. With that being said, our DBSs are valid for one year from issue (if they are not added to the Update Service). 

After this point, you will then be required to pay for a new DBS in order to continue working in our partner schools.  

Those on the Update Service do not expire as they are continuously updated.  

What is the DBS Update Service and why should I use it? 

The DBS Update Service is an online subscription service offered by the Disclosure and Barring Service. It allows those who have undergone a DBS check to keep their DBS certificate up to date, rather than having to apply for a new check each time they start a new role. 

By subscribing to the DBS Update Service, your DBS certificate will be updated on an ongoing basis, as long as you continue to pay the annual subscription fee. The service currently costs £13 per year. 

Putting your DBS on the Update Service is ultimately going to save you time and money. Here’s how: 

  • You’ll only pay £13 a year instead of £44. 

  • You’ll have more opportunity to work with multiple agencies without having to pay for a new DBS each time. 

  • You won’t have to wait for a new DBS to process which can sometimes create a barrier to work. 

How long do I have to put my DBS on the DBS Update Service? 

You must add your DBS to the Update Service within 30 days of your date of issue.  

You can add your DBS to the Update Service here. 

Should you have any questions about DBSs that are not covered here. Then please get in touch, we know this is a lot of information to process and we’d be more than happy to help you. 


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