Are DBS Checks Transferable?
At The Check People, we’re often asked whether a single DBS check can be used to apply for multiple positions. Like many things involving the law, the question “Are DBS checks transferable?” has more than one answer and depends almost entirely on the nature of the various positions being applied for. In order to clarify things for you, we’ll go through the variables involved in determining whether you can use one DBS check to apply for more than one position.
Defining the DBS Transfer Window
Before a person can contemplate using a single DBS check to apply for more than one position, they need to consider whether both positions are essentially identical. That’s not an easy bar to clear because it means if Position A is defined as “Assistant, Special Needs Van” and Position B is “Driver, Special Needs Van” the DBS check cannot be transferred.
This may seem like splitting hairs, but it makes sense. After all, the police may have information regarding a person’s driving history that does not need to be shared if the position does not call for the applicant to actually take the wheel. So the original DBS check would be inadequate to cover the position of driver.
In other cases, the original DBS certificate may reveal more information about a person than is required by another position. Making the original DBS certificate inappropriate. For instance; if the original position that prompted the DBS check was one of “Teaching Assistant” and the second position is one of “Accounts Assistant” the DBS check cannot be transferred.
That’s because the first position requires a Barred List check and the second does not. The company seeking to fill the Accounts Assistant position does not need to conduct a barred list check. They are, in fact, legally prohibited from viewing such information. So, simply put, both positions must be identical and call for precisely the same type of DBS check.
Up to the Company In Question
Even if a person is applying for what are essentially identical positions with two different employers, it is up to the second potential employer to decide whether they are willing to accept a “used” DBS certificate. Considerations that may come into play when making such a decision include:
- Age of the DBS certificate – When considering whether to accept a previously issued DBS certificate, a potential employer will want to consider the age of the certificate. After all, the individual may have had a run-in with the police since the original DBS check was issued. Which means that, unless they signed up for DBS renewal via Automatic Updates, that original certificate is now obsolete.
- Company policy – There may well be a policy in place that states the company does not accept portable DBS checks. In which case, the applicant will have no choice but to obtain another check, even if the positions are identical. The company may also have regulatory requirements in place that dictate the need for original DBS checks for all positions.
There are different levels of DBS check for a reason. Privacy is a fundamental part of a free society and while some positions call for a high level of scrutiny, others do not and should not. The question of whether DBS checks are transferrable then comes down to the nature of the positions.
- If Position B is identical to Position A and employer B is willing to accept a portable DBS check then one may be used for both positions.
- If, however, the positions are not the same or employer B is unwilling to accept an existing DBS certificate, then the applicant will have to apply for a new one.
If you have questions regarding DBS transfers, contact The Check People today.