Do you have volunteers helping at your educational establishment? It is vital that the correct level of DBS check is requested for those coming into contact with children, whether or not they are a volunteer.

What level of DBS check do volunteers require?

If the applicant has an opportunity for regular contact with children but is not engaging in regulated activity, they are eligible for an enhanced DBS certificate (without the children barred list check). Regular contact, as defined by the Disclosure & Barring Service, is working at least 4 days within a 30-day period in a specified establishment. If the applicant is volunteering as a one off, it is at the school’s discretion whether or not a check is needed.

Some school volunteers are eligible for an enhanced DBS which includes a check of the children’s’ barred list because the volunteer will be engaging in regulated activity. Applicants are considered to be engaging in regulated activity if, a a result of their work, they:

  • will be responsible for teaching, training, instructing, caring for or supervising children on a regular basis in a school or college
  • work regularly in a school or college where that work provides an opportunity for contact with children
  • engage in personal care or supervise the children overnight, even if this happens in one instance.

Does the applicant meet the DBS check volunteer criteria?

In order to be eligible for volunteer status, the applicant must meet the criteria below:

  • The applicant does not benefit directly from the role – e.g. is not there to gain experience
  • Except for travel and out of pocket expenses, the applicant is not paid for their role
  • The applicant is not on a work placement
  • The applicant is not on a course that requires them to do this role
  • The applicant is not in a position that will lead to a full-time role/qualification.

If the applicant does meet the criteria, the government fee of £40.00 for the enhanced DBS check is not applicable, although there may still be an administrative fee.

When should the check be completed for volunteers in a school?

An enhanced DBS check should be completed at the pre-employment stage. If the DBS certificate is delayed, a separate children’s’ barred list check must be obtained before the applicant has started to volunteer.

Are you interested in making safer recruitment decisions for your school?

Single Central Record combines all your educational employment checks – DBS checks, Children’s Barred List (List 99) Checks, Qualified Teacher Status checks, Prohibition checks, EEA checks and Section 128 checks – into one online portal!

Register with Single Central Record here for the solution to all your schools single central record issues!