The functions of the Criminal Records Bureau and the Independent Safeguarding Authority were merged by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and since 1 December 2012 are carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service (the DBS). As such, a CRB check is now known as a DBS check.
It was announced in December 2012 that the DBS would be launching a new ‘portable DBS check’ service. The Home Office advised that the introduction of portable DBS certificates would mean that millions of employees and volunteers would no longer have to apply for a new criminal records check each time they applied for a job but instead could apply for just one certificate which they could then access online and use when applying for future roles.
This update service will go live on 17 June 2013 and employees will be able to subscribe to the service for a fee of £13 per year. In return for this annual fee, their DBS certificate will be kept up to date so that they can take it with them from role to role. However, this service can only be utilised in relation to applications for a new role within the same workforce and the role must require the same type and level of DBS check. The Government believes this new service will put an end to employees and volunteers having to apply for a new criminal records check every time they apply for a similar role within the same organisation i.e. the NHS.
In addition, where an employee has subscribed to the update service, their employer will be able to go online (with the employee’s consent) and carry out a free check to ascertain whether the information provided in the employee’s DBS certificate is correct and up to date.
The government has produced guidance to explain the new service to employers and employees. This guidance can be found here.
For more information, please contact a member of Devonshires’ Employment team.