Unlocking DBS checks for Volunteers

3rd May 2024

Welcome to our blog, where we delve into the essential realm of DBS checks for volunteers.

DBS checks for volunteers

Volunteering is a powerful way to give back to our communities. Whether you’re mentoring young people, supporting the elderly, or working with vulnerable populations, your time and dedication make a difference. However, with the privilege of volunteering comes the responsibility to prioritise safety and well-being. This is where DBS checks come into play.

We’ll explore what DBS checks are, why they’re important, and how they contribute to creating safe and supportive environments for volunteers and those they serve.


Understanding DBS checks

DBS checks are an integral part of safeguarding companies. Especially in roles where individuals may come into contact with children or vulnerable adults. These checks provide valuable information about an individual’s criminal history, helping organisations make informed decisions about their suitability for specific roles.


Why do Volunteers need a DBS check?

  • Protect Vulnerable Individuals

DBS checks help ensure the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable populations by identifying individuals who may pose a risk due to past criminal behaviour. This is particularly important in roles where volunteers have direct contact with children, elderly individuals, or other vulnerable groups.

  • Fulfil Legal and Regulatory Requirements

In the UK, there is a legal framework in place to ensure that volunteers working with vulnerable groups undergo appropriate DBS checks to safeguard the well-being of those they serve. While the specific requirements may vary depending on the nature of the role and the jurisdiction within the UK, organisations must adhere to these requirements to fulfil their safeguarding obligations and protect vulnerable individuals.

  • Build Trust and Confidence

Promoting DBS checks among volunteers demonstrates an organisation commitment to prioritising safety and accountability. It helps build trust and confidence within the community, reassuring individuals that thorough vetting process are in place to protect their well-being.


What level of DBS checks do Volunteers require?

Generally, volunteers working in roles where they have close and unsupervised contact with vulnerable individuals are required to undergo an Enhanced DBS check. Here’s a breakdown of the DBS checks typically required for volunteers:

Basic DBS check: This is the lowest level of DBS check and provides information on unspent convictions and conditional cautions. Basic checks are suitable for roles that do not involve working with vulnerable groups, such as administrative or non-client-facing roles.

Standard DBS check: A Standard DBS check provides information on spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands, and final warnings. It is typically required for roles that involve some level of contact with vulnerable groups but do not involve regular unsupervised contact. For example, volunteers assisting with events or fundraising activities may undergo a Standard DBS check.

Enhanced DBS check: An Enhanced DBS check is the highest level of check and provides the most comprehensive disclosure of an individual’s criminal history. In addition to the information provided in a Standard check, it may include relevant information held by local police forces and government agencies. Enhanced checks are required for roles involving close and unsupervised contact with vulnerable groups, such as mentoring, counselling, or caregiving roles.

Enhanced DBS check with Barred List checks: In certain cases, volunteers working with vulnerable groups may also be subject to checks against the DBS Barred Lists. These lists contain information about individuals who are barred from working with children or adults at risk due to their inclusion on the Children’s Barred List or Adult’s Barred List, respectively. An Enhanced DBS check with Barred List checks is required for roles deemed to be regulated activity under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.


How to apply ?

There are multiple ways you can apply with us including our online form, through email, or you can give us a call.

You will need to provide details such as:

  • Applicants full name
  • Email address
  • Telephone Number
  • Date of birth
  • National insurance number
  • Address history for the past 5 years including in the UK and abroad.

You must also provide some documents such as:

  • Driving licence
  • Passport
  • Proof of address

After we have received all the required information, we will then complete the official paper application form. You will receive this for signing along with an invoice. You will need to sign and return to us for processing. Lastly, we will email you your track and trace number, allowing you to keep track of the process of your DBS.


What are the costs of DBS checks?

At Cavity, we offer both standard and enhanced DBS checks.

Standard – £18.00

Enhanced – £38.00

Admin Fee – £13.50 + VAT (if more than 3 we will reduce to £12.00 + VAT each)

Document Verification – £11 + VAT

DBS checks for volunteers are essential for creating safe and supportive environments where individuals can volunteer with confidence, knowing that their well-being and the well-being of those they serve are prioritised.