If you carry out criminal records checks on your volunteers or employees, you must have a policy on employing ex-offenders and show it to any applicant who asks for it.

When to repeat a check?

DBS check has no official expiry date. Any information included will be accurate at the time the check was carried out, it’s up to the organisation to decide when a new checks are needed. However, best practice guidelines suggest carrying out DBS checks on staff and volunteers every three years.

If the applicant has signed up for the DBS update service you can check whether their certificate is up to date online.

Certificates for previous roles

DBS certificates that was requested for a previous role can be accepted, however, you must:

Checks on someone who lived abroad

DBS checks will not cover the time someone lived outside the UK.

Check the rules in the country they lived in.


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