Out of School Alliance - Help and Support for Out of School Clubs

DBS checks

What happened to CRB checks?

The work of the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) was merged with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) at the end of 2012 to form the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). 'CRB checks' are now known as 'DBS checks'.

Who needs a DBS check?

Anyone who works regularly (eg four times per month or more) at your out of school club and who has unsupervised access to the children, whether on a voluntary or employed basis, must have an enhanced DBS check. 
See Who needs a DBS check? >

If your club is Ofsted-registered, Ofsted will obtain an enhanced DBS check on the registered person at the time of registration as part of the application process. It is then the registered person's responsibility to obtain appropriate DBS checks on the rest of the staff at the club.

You must not allow any member of staff to work unsupervised with children until a satisfactory enhanced DBS check has been received.
See DBS, safeguarding and safe recruitment >

Note that you cannot obtain DBS checks for anyone under 16 — for example school work experience placements, or children volunteering as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award.

What happened to free DBS checks?

The DfE withdrew its subsidy for DBS checks for Ofsted registered settings on 1 July 2013. Childcare settings can now use whichever umbrella body they choose to carry out DBS checks on their staff, but they need to pay the relevant fee.

Cost of DBS checks

The enhanced DBS check itself costs £44.00 and umbrella bodies typically charge an additional fee of between £9.00 and £14.00 to process your application online. There's sometimes a higher administration charge for paper-based applications.

If any of your staff are unpaid volunteers, the DBS makes no charge for their DBS check, but you will still normally have to pay an admininstration fee to whichever umbrella body processes your DBS application.

Umbrella bodies

Some of the biggest DBS checking organisations are:

You don't have to use the organisations listed above. Your local authority may have a preferred umbrella body. Or if your club is for a specific activity (eg football, karate, or dance) which has a membership organisation, you may find that the national organisation already is an umbrella body or can recommend one. Or you could use an independent umbrella organisation, for example:

Or you can use the tool on the DBS section of the GOV.UK web site to find a suitable umbrella body:
Find a DBS umbrella body company >

Related articles

For a detailed breakdown of which staff members require a DBS check, including a handy flow-chart for out of school clubs, which has been prepared specially for us by SAFE CIC, see:
Who needs a DBS check?

To find out more about whether you can re-use existing DBS checks for your staff, and how often they need renewing, see:
DBS checks for staff

To find out how to get an up-to-date enhanced DBS check if you run a club which is not Ofsted-registered, see:
OOSA Vetting Scheme

For more information about the current legal framework for child protection and safe recruitment, see:
DBS, safeguarding and safe recruitment.