Why do teachers need DBS checks?

9th May 2023

Read our blog to explore why DBS checks for teachers are essential.

DBS checks for teachers

What is a DBS check?

A DBS check is a Disclosure and Barring Service check. Previously known as a CRB check (Criminal Record Bureau). For certain job roles, a crucial aspect of hiring a new staff member is conducting a thorough background check. DBS checks can help employers determine whether a candidate is suitable or not for the job role. The employer can see if they have currently got or previously had any convictions that could make them unsuitable to work in specific job roles.

A DBS check has three key purposes:

  • To prevent unsuitable individuals from working with vulnerable groups
  • To check if there are any reasons why a potential employee may be inappropriate for the role they have applied for
  • To respond to referrals from organisations that are concerned that a candidate may not be suitable for a job due to the reasons above.

Why do teachers need a DBS check?

Employers should carry out DBS checks on any job applicant who will be working in regulated activity with children or vulnerable adults. Due to the nature of their jobs, teachers come into contact with children on a daily basis.

By sending their children to school, parents put the health and safety of their children into the school’s hands. Therefore, it is vital that all employees are suitable and compliant. Ensuring children and young people are safe should be the most critical factor for any school.

All staff working within the school environment should undergo an enhanced DBS check including supply teachers, volunteers, and contractors.  Even though, they are not permanent staff members, they will still either be teaching or be in contact with children or young people.

Standard or Enhanced DBS check for teachers?

We provide both Standard and Enhanced DBS checks at Cavity.

Standard DBS check: A Standard Check will show any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands, or warnings the applicant has.

Enhanced DBS check: An Enhanced Check will show any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands, or warnings the applicant has, as well as any other relevant information held by the applicant’s local police force.

All staff, teaching and non-teaching should undergo an enhanced DBS check.

The different stages of the DBS process

Stage 1: DBS Application Form

Your online DBS application is passed onto the Disclosure and Barring Service before scanning it onto their system. If there is any missing information or errors, the DBS will return the application back to us for classification.

Stage 2: The Police National Computer (PNC) is searched

Your details will be checked against the PNC database for any possible matches. If there is any criminal activity verification from the national computer, they’ll be highlighted if there is a cause for concern.

Stage 3: Children’s and Adults’ Barred List Checks

This stage will be relevant to anyone who applies for an enhanced DBS check. Relevant information from the DBS application is verified against the appropriate barred list to check for any matches. If someone is revealed to be on one of both of these lists, they will be prohibited from hiring them.

Stage 4: Enhanced DBS goes to your local police force

All enhanced DBS checks submitted online are sent to the applicant’s local police force for an additional check of their criminal record before being submitted to the DBS.

Stage 5: DBS Certificate

Lastly, your certificate is printed and dispatched via Royal Mail to your home address. Only one certificate is issued, this will go to the applicant. Generally, DBS says to allow up to 6-8 weeks for an application to be processed but around 80% of all applications are completed within 2 weeks.

How to apply for a DBS check?

The employer must apply on the applicant's behalf as teachers would require an enhanced DBS check.

There are multiple ways you can book with us including our online form, email, telephone, or through our app.

You will need to provide details such as:

  • Applicants full name
  • Email address
  • Telephone
  • 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 back 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.

How much does it cost to have a DBS carried out with Cavity?

Standard check -£18.00

Enhanced check - £38.00

Cavity service fee £13.50 + VAT (if more than three applications are being carried out, we will reduce to £12.00 + VAT)

Document verification fee £11.00 + VAT

Why do I need a DBS check? – conclusion

Schools must conduct DBS checks on all teaching and non-teaching staff. DBS checks are a vital part of safeguarding for an organisation, as well as ensuring you are employing suitable candidates.

While applying for a DBS check can be a confusing and sometimes lengthy process, it is important to consider having a standard or enhanced check in place for your staff.

Be sure to get in touch with us if you have any further questions. You can apply for a DBS check through our website and find out more information about our service.

Alternatively, feel free to contact Shelley our Head of DBS if you require any further information at

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