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

DBS checks

What happened to CRB checks?

On 1 December 2012 the work of the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) was merged with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) 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 4 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 our article on Who needs a DBS check? for more details and a useful flow chart.)   

You must not allow new members of staff to work unsupervised with children until a satisfactory enhanced DBS check has been received. (See our DBS, safeguarding and safe recruitment article for more details.)

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.

You can still use the same umbrella bodies that previously provided the free checks, but you must now pay for them:

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. However, 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.

Other umbrella bodies

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

To find a suitable umbrella body, you can use the tool on the DBS section of the GOV.UK web site:

More information

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

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

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