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By thecheckpeople_admin
Published 3:38 pm

DBS Workforce Types

Those applying for either the Standard DBS Check or Enhanced DBS Check are sometimes confused by questions regarding their workforce type. DBS checks require that an applicant identify their DBS workforce type before any check can be conducted. It’s at this point – the point where they need to designate a workforce type – that some people’s DBS check process grinds to a halt. In an effort to clarify what the Disclosure and Barring Service are looking for we will provide a series of definitions below covering all you need to know about DBS Workforce types.

The Three Main DBS Workforce Types

DBS recognizes three main types of workforce, they are: Child, Adult and Other. Note too that in certain circumstances Child and Adult may be combined into a single type typically designated ‘Child and Adult Workforce’. We’ll have more on that later. First, let’s define the three main workforce types.


The Child Workforce

A person is part of the ‘Child Workforce’ if their job responsibilities entail working with children. This may be as simple as being a caretaker in a school. Or it may include engaging in regulated activity with children. Regulated activity is generally defined as any work that involves teaching, training, supervising or otherwise providing guidance to children. It would also include driving a vehicle transporting children where you would be the sole adult in the vehicle. Such as a school bus driver. Nursery staff are also considered to engage in regulated activity.

As we mentioned, a caretaker in a school would also be considered a member of the child workforce. As would a contractor performing work in a school on a regular basis. Anyone over 16 years of age who resides in a home where childcare is regularly conducted would also need to apply for a DBS Check and check off the ‘Child Workforce’ box.

The Adult Workforce

Those whose positions require the performance of regulated activity with vulnerable adults must check the ‘Adult Workforce’ box on the DBS Check application. Regulated activity with vulnerable adults is a broad category that includes providing personal care, providing physical assistance, managing a person’s personal finances, driving vulnerable adults to doctor visits, or providing any type of social service or medical or therapeutic treatment.

As you can see, there are many kinds of work that qualify for this workforce type. The determining factor is whether you spend time alone with a vulnerable adult during the performance of your duties. While conveying a person to a clinic would certainly meet that criteria, there are other roles that are not so obvious but also apply. For instance, if you regularly perform contract work in an eldercare facility.

The Other Workforce

The Other Workforce category is both the broadest in definition and the most nebulous. Essentially if your proposed role does not include working with children or vulnerable adults in any capacity, then it likely falls into the ‘Other Workforce’ category. Listing all the positions that potentially qualify for the ‘Other Workforce’ would take more space than we have here. Suffice to say that it includes taxi drivers, Uber drivers, people wishing to work in gambling establishments, those offering immigration services, those selling controlled drugs and anyone working with or transporting weapons.

voulnerable adults

The Child and Adult Workforce

In some instances, the DBS recognises a hybrid workforce category known as the ‘Child and Adult Workforce’. People who need to check this box on the DBS application include anyone who will typically come into contact and/or engage in regulated activity, with both children and adults during the performance of their duties. Doctors, dentists, clinic workers and the like typically fall into this category.

Keep in mind that the only time a person would choose this designation is if they were legally compelled to seek an Enhanced Disclosure DBS Check with Barred List for both the children and adults they intend to work with. If one group required the Barred List Check and the other did not then they would check the box for the group that required the Barred List Check.


We hope this helps clarify the workforce designation issue for you. If you have any additional questions or concerns or wish to apply for an online DBS Check, please contact The Check People today.