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Who Needs a DBS Check?

Who Needs a DBS Check?


Definition of 'Regulated Activity'

The criteria for determining whether an individual should have an enhanced DBS check undertaken on them is set out in the Safeguarding and Vulnerable Groups Act (SVGA) 2006 as amended by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012. The SVGA created the definition of regulated activity (i.e. work that a barred person must not do) in relation to children.

The current definition of regulated activity, as amended by the Protection of Freedoms Act (PoFA) covers the following:

(i) unsupervised activities: teaching, training, instructing, caring for or supervising children, or providing advice/ guidance on well-being, or driving a vehicle only for children;

(ii) work for a limited range of establishments (‘specified places’) e.g. schools, children’s homes, childcare premises, with the opportunity for contact with children, but not including work by supervised volunteers;

(iii) relevant personal care, e.g. washing or dressing; or health care by or supervised by a professional. 

Work under (i) or (ii) above is regulated activity only if done regularly whereas work under (iii) (i.e. relevant personal care) is regulated activity even if only done once.


Definition of 'Regular'

Under the HM Government note on the scope of regulated activity 'regularly' is defined as:

  • once or more a week; or
  • on more than 3 occasions in a 30 day period; or
  • between 2am and 6am and it gives the person the opportunity to have face to face contact with children.


Employees / Unsupervised Volunteers in Schools

Consequently anyone who is an employee of a school (including unsupervised volunteers) must have an enhanced DBS check undertaken on them. Supervised volunteers do not require a DBS check although under the provisions of the SVGA one may still be undertaken but without a check against the Children’s Barred List.


Other Individuals (e.g. Governors, Contractors, Visitors)

For the position in relation to undertaking DBS checks on other categories of individual, e.g. governors please see Checks on Non-Employees.