DBS for Supply Teachers - A Guide

Featured article submitted by Due Diligence Checking Ltd for our The Legal Lowdown series


What is the DBS Update Service? 

The Disclosure and Barring Service launched their 'Update Service' on the 17th June 2013 with the aim of making it easier for individuals to take their Disclosure Certificate(s) with them between jobs. This service costs £13 per year for a paid role, or is free for a role which meets the DBS's definition of a volunteer.  For Supply Teachers moving between schools regularly this could prove to be very beneficial as you may not need to complete a new DBS check for each school. An employer that accepts a Certificate on the Update Service can undertake a process to verify if anything has been added to a Certificate since it was issued. If anything has been added you will need to apply for a new Certificate.

Those schools using the Update Service will most likely follow best practice by ensuring: 

1.       The Certificate belongs to you -  you may be asked to present ID documents confirming that the Certificate belongs to you, such as Passport Driving Licence and recent Utility Bill.

2.       The Certificate is genuine - you should keep your original Certificate safe so it can be presented when needed.

3.       You have given consent for an Update Service Check - you may be asked to complete a form to confirm this.

4.       Your Certificate matches what the school would normally apply for - to enable the re-use of a Certificate it must match the workforce details, Vetting and Barring Lists and the volunteer status. 

There is no guarantee that the new school will accept a Certificate on the Update Service so it is well worth enquiring with the Local Authority where you work, before signing up. 

When should I apply for the Update Service? 

You can join the Update Service when you next apply for a Disclosure. There are some time limitations as you need to join within 14 days of the issue date of your Certificate, using the Certificate Number as a reference. Alternatively you can join 28 days before the DBS Form is submitted using the Form Reference Number (F number) found in the top right hand side of your application form (it is worth recording this when filling out the form). For any teacher completing an online application the eForm Reference Number (E number) is not provided until the DBS confirm receipt of the form electronically. In this instance the Registered Body that submitted the application can provide these details to you, or you can contact the DBS directly. 

How do I join the Update Service? 

To apply to join the Update Service you will need visit the DBS website www.gov.uk/dbs and enter some details to include:

·         Your surname

·         Your Gender

·         Your Date of Birth

·         Email address

·         Your Form Reference number or Certificate number

·         Payment carddetails to cover the £13 per year fee

Once you have joined the Update Service you can log-in to:

·         Add/Remove DBS Certificates

·         View the organisations who have run and Update Service Check

·         Amend your contact and payment card details

For the teaching industry this does seem like a simple solution to portability and hopefully a majority of organisations in the education sector will accept Disclosures that are registered on the Update Service.

For more information about criminal record checks in general please visit www.ddc.uk.net




DBS - A guide for supply teachers by Due Diligence Checking Ltd

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