New Year, New DBS?

January is traditionally a time for new starts. A fresh new start after the excesses of the festive period. By the time February comes around, most of us have ditched the New Year’s resolutions and fallen back into our old ways. If one of your resolutions is about keeping on top of paperwork, you’re not alone. Keeping up to date with insurance renewals and remembering to renew your passport makes life a lot less stressful in the long run. But what about your DBS check? Does a new year mean you need a new DBS check too?


New DBS Checks – The Rules

The situation around renewing your DBS causes a whole lot of confusion. This is because there are no laws about renewal time scales. It would certainly be a lot simpler if disclosure certificates were printed with an expiry date, but they’re not. This is because the government leaves the decision about how often to check their employees up to individual companies. Employers usually choose a period of between two and five years and ask employees to go through the checks again. So the only way of working out when it’s time to renew your check is to look at your employer’s policies. The better news is that it’s not really your job to keep tabs on when it’s time to get the forms out and fill them in again. That’s the responsibility of your employer.

Applying for a Subsequent DBS Check

There is no special process to get a new DBS check when you’ve had one previously. Every time you apply for a DBS check it’s treated as a brand new application. There is no simple renewal process which allows you to bypass the steps of filling in the form or showing your proof of identity and address. However, unlike applying for your first check, you can just keep working while you wait for the new certificate to arrive.

Update Service

If your employer only asks you to renew your certificate every three or five years, it probably isn’t worth enrolling in the DBS Update service. The cost of the annual subscription for three or five years would be more than the cost of a new certificate. If however you find yourself applying for new DBS checks frequently because you change employers or take on new voluntary roles, it’s worth considering.

DBS Update is an online portal. The idea is to give you instant access to your information. No more form filling and waiting for certificates to arrive in the post. You can also give permission to employers to log in and see your information. This could mean starting a new job earlier as there’s no delay in waiting for checks. The database is updated daily, so if there’s any new information about you, it’s added to your file right away. That means that the information is always current. Standard DBS certificates are only really current on the day they are printed.

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