The Cost Of A DBS Check
Most positions today require some form of a background check. And that’s true for both paid and volunteer positions. Even if a person is self-employed, they may encounter situations where they will need to obtain a background check before they can do certain types of contract work. Most types of personal licenses also require a basic background check. In England and Wales, background checks are performed by the Disclosure and Barring Service, or DBS. They maintain a fixed fee schedule for the four main types of check they perform.
DBS Check Fees Reduced From October 1, 2019
In an unexpected bit of good news, the Disclosure and Barring Service announced earlier this year that fees for their most common background checks will be reduced from October 1. The DBS credits enhanced internal efficiency at the service for the reduced fee schedule. The updated fees for the primary DBS Checks are as follows:
- Basic DBS Check – This is the most common form of DBS background check. It can be requested by anyone for any reason. The Basic Check looks only for unspent convictions on a person’s criminal record. From October 1, 2019, the Basic DBS Check has been reduced from £25.00 to £23.00.
- Standard DBS Check – The Standard DBS Check is a more comprehensive background check. It looks for both unspent and spent convictions. In addition, the Standard DBS Check looks for any official reprimands, cautions or warnings that have been issued to an individual, regardless of when. Unlike a Basic Check, an individual cannot request a Standard Check on themselves. Only a potential employer or organisation for which the individual wishes to volunteer can request one. From October 1, 2019, the fee for a Standard DBS Check has been reduced from £26.00 to £23.00.
- Enhanced DBS Check – The Enhanced DBS Check covers all the same points as the Standard Check. However, it also solicits input from police services. If the police have any information about an individual they believe to be relevant (aside from convictions and official reprimands etc), that information can be included on the Enhanced DBS Check. From October 1, 2019, the fee for an Enhanced DBS Check has been reduced from £44.00 to £40.00.
- Enhanced DBS Check with Barred List – This type of DBS check includes everything covered by the normal Enhanced DBS Check. However, it takes the further step of cross-checking to see if an individual appears on any of the government-maintained “barred lists”. This type of check is mandatory for anyone who aspires to work with children or vulnerable adults. If an individual appears on a barred list, they are prohibited from being offered or accepting a position working within these regulated areas. From October 1, 2019, the fee for an Enhanced DBS Check with Barred List has been reduced from £44.00 to £40.00.
The DBS may also conduct what is known as an “Adult First Check”. Because the wait time on an Enhanced DBS Check with Barred List can be up to 8 weeks, a company can request the DBS do a quick check of their barred lists for a particular individual. This is the Adult First Check.
If the individual does not appear on a barred list they may be eligible to begin work in a regulated activity while they wait for the full Enhanced DBS Check to be completed. Provided they do so under supervision. The fee for the Adult First Check remains at £6.00 as before.
Finally, fees for opting into the Update Service remain as before at £13.00 per year. While both Standard and Enhanced Volunteer Checks remain free of charge.