Are DBS Checks Needed When Working With Animals?
Most people are aware that a DBS Check is required to work with kids or special needs adults. Some probably know that people in the legal and financial sectors also require DBS Checks. But ask the average person if a DBS Check is required to work with animals and you’re likely to get a blank stare. And that’s understandable. After all, it’s not a question you hear a lot. At the same time, however, it makes a certain amount of sense that someone would need a background check to work with animals. They are, after all, living things. So, are DBS Checks needed when working with animals? Let’s find out.
Yes or No? Do You Need a DBS Check to Work With Animals?
As is often the case there is no yes or no answer to this question. The fact is that in some cases an Enhanced DBS Check with Barred List is required, in other cases a Standard DBS Check is required, and in still other cases a Basic DBS Check is required. There are also some instances when no DBS Check is required. Let’s look at a few different scenarios.
- Working with Therapy Animals – Some people depend on their animal to provide them eyes and ears when they’re out and about. Petting and interacting with animals can also be very therapeutic. As such, some animals spend much of their time visiting hospitals, elder care facilities and the like. If you are a minder of such animals, you will need an Enhanced DBS Check since you will likely be coming into contact with children and/or vulnerable adults. If, during the course of your duties, you are required to interact directly with children or vulnerable adults you will need an Enhanced DBS Check with Barred List.
- Veterinarians – Upon entering the profession new veterinarians will need to obtain a Standard DBS Check. Why? Because they’re not just caring for animals, they’re often caring for other people’s beloved pets. It’s important that the person entrusted to care for the family pet be of sound character and not have anything on his or her record that indicates past issues with animals.
- Pet Sitters – While this type of work does not typically require an online DBS application, it’s often a good idea to obtain a Basic DBS Check yourself that you can show to prospective clients. Being able to demonstrate a clean record in this regard can go a long way toward putting potential customers at ease.
What Constitutes Regulated Activity?
Any type of activity that requires an individual to engage in direct contact with children or vulnerable adults for the purposes of teaching, providing guidance or providing therapy is considered ‘regulated activity’. For instance, someone who minds a horse children often use for riding lessons is not engaging in regulated activity. But someone who teaches a child how to ride that horse is. That instructor will need an Enhanced DBS Check with Barred List.
DBS Checks and How to Work With Animals: Summary
Dog walkers do not typically need any type of DBS Check. Nonetheless, it can sometimes be beneficial to obtain a Basic DBS Check anyway. That way you can present it to prospective clients and put their minds at rest.
If you intend to give horse riding lessons to children you will need an Enhanced DBS Check with Barred List. Same if you are teaching children or vulnerable adults how to use a guide dog or other assistive animal. Finally, if you are a veterinarian or veterinary surgeon, you will need to undergo a Standard DBS Check before you can start work.
Contact The Check People with any questions you may have regarding working with animals.