According to government figures, the number of self-employed workers is booming. The number of self-employed people has risen from 3.3 million in 2001, to 4.8 million in 2017. Not everyone who is self-employed will need DBS checks. DBS checking only applies in certain cases. If however you’re setting up a child’s art class, or offering nursing services, getting your DBS as a self-employed person can be tricky.
Employers carrying out DBS checks
The most common DBS check scenario is an employer running checks on new staff. It’s the employer who organises everything and all the employee has to do is complete the paperwork. Many people who are self-employed still fall into this category. If you’re starting a children’s sports club franchise, or working as self-employed under an umbrella organisation, they may still help you with the process. They can also give guidance on which type of DBS check you’ll need. The type of check depends on the job which you will be doing.
Self-Employment and Police Checks
If you’re setting yourself up as a self-employed sports coach, you don’t have an employer to help you. That doesn’t mean you can’t apply for a DBS check. You might just have to go about things in a different way. Self-employed people who are applying for checks on themselves can only apply for a Basic DBS check. This is the least detailed level of checking. Basic DBS checks show any convictions and cautions which are not considered spent. This means that things which happened a long time ago won’t be listed on a DBS certificate, in most cases. The system recognises that it’s not fair to expect people to drag minor cautions and convictions around with them for the rest of their lives.
Applying for a Basic DBS Check
The Disclosure and Barring Service, DBS, only processes disclosure checks for people living in England and Wales. In Scotland, you’ll have to deal with Disclosure Scotland. In Northern Ireland, the body is AccessNI. Although the names are different, these organisations do broadly the same thing as the DBS. You can apply for a basic disclosure online.
Once you’ve filled in the form, you have to verify who you are through the government’s identity portal. This is where the process differs from the standard route. As there’s no employer to show passport, driving licence and utility bills to, you’ll have to verify your identity digitally. If you don’t want to use the government site, there is a list of third party companies who can help. If you’ve already verified your identity for a Universal Credit claim or to do a tax return, you don’t have to do it again.
Getting the Certificate
After you have submitted your DBS application, the police will check the information held about you on the computer. They then print a certificate, and send it out in the post. If you have no past convictions and cautions, the certificate will be blank. If there are mistakes on the certificate, then ask DBS to put them right.