The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is a Government body that processes criminal record checks that prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups including children. Therefore it’s highly recommended that nanny employers request and verify their nanny’s DBS check.
What is a DBS Check?
A DBS check, previously known as a CRB check, is a record of a person’s criminal convictions and cautions.
The DBS check has no official expiry date. Any information included will be accurate at the time the Disclosure and Barring Service carried out the check. It’s up to you to decide when you want an updated check.
There are four levels of check you can request:
A Basic Check
Shows unspent convictions and conditional cautions.
A Standard Check
Shows spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings.
An Enhanced Check
Same as Standard plus any information held by local police considered relevant to the role.
An Enhanced Check with Barred Lists
Same as Enhanced plus whether the applicant is on the list of people barred from doing the role.
Nannies and DBS Checks
Do Nannies have to be DBS checked?
Yes, nannies need to have an Enhanced DBS Check with Barred Lists from the Disclosure and Barring Service in order to look after children for a living.
We highly recommend you request proof of an up-to-date Enhanced DBS Check before your nanny starts.
DBS Checks & Ofsted Registration
How do I DBS Check my Nanny?
A DBS check must go through an approved organisation or Umbrella Body such as an approved nanny agency.
An Umbrella Body can supply the nanny with a DBS application form. Once completed they can send this on to the DBS on behalf of the nanny.
Employers can find an Umbrella Body through the government website here.
How much does a DBS Check cost?
This will differ depending on the type of DBS check and whether you use an agency.
• Basic check – £23
• Standard check – £23
• Enhanced check – £40
• Enhanced with a barred list check – £40
For checks that are made via an Umbrella Body, an admin fee may apply.
How long does a DBS Check take?
Generally, it takes around 6 weeks to get a DBS check. However this can depend on the following:
• The level of check
• If the details given are accurate
• The police forces involved
When complete, one copy of the Disclosure is sent to the nanny and another copy is sent to the umbrella organisation.
DBS Checks for previous roles
You can accept a certificate requested for a previous role but you must check:
• The applicant’s identity matches the details on the certificate
• Their certificate is the right level and type for the role applied for
• If anything has changed if the applicant signs up for the update service
How do I get a DBS check?
Nannies aren’t legally required to register with Ofsted however many nannies are choosing to join the voluntary part of the Ofsted register. This isn’t surprising as the demand for Ofsted-registered nannies has largely increased over the years.
A major factor is that nannies must be Ofsted-registered in order for nanny employers to utilise the Tax-Free childcare scheme. Below we have split out the main ways to obtain a DBS which is the first step of applying to become an Ofsted-registered nanny.
Some nanny agencies are able to offer DBS checks. You will still need to provide all of the information required for them to process your application – each agency is different and we strongly advise you to make your own checks with the agency of your choice.
Do it yourself
If you’re confident in the process, you can easily apply for a DBS check on your own, as part of your Ofsted registration. We’ve listed out the steps below if you wish to do this yourself.
What is the application process?
Complete the online DBS application. You will be provided with a reference, keep this to hand and you’ll need to jot this down on your Identity Checking form.
You will need to have five years of address history and if any of the locations are outside of the UK you will need to obtain documentation from the relevant country.
Download the Identity Checking form and find someone suitable to confirm your identity then scan and email the completed form to the address on the form, or follow the instructions for returning via post.
This person has to be a UK resident you have known for at least a year. It can’t be a relative or someone you live with. You can use the Post Office document certification service if you can’t find anyone to sign the form.
Once your Identity Checking form has been processed, you will receive an email from the DBS computer system. This contains a tracking reference so you can view progress of your check and so you can immediately apply for the DBS Update.
Your DBS certificate arrives.
The length of time for your DBS certificate to arrive varies. Some checks can come back in a few days, others may take a month or more.
Looking for more support with employing your nanny?
Employing a nanny can be daunting as you may not necessarily know all the nitty gritty legal parts of the process. That’s why it’s a full time job for us here at Nannytax! We can help make the process as smooth as possible for you when it comes to pay slips, tax, contracts and more. Speak to a member of our team today or alternatively get going and set up your nanny payroll now.
Nannytax and DBS Checks
We’re recommended by 100+ UK Nanny Agencies who may be able to help you with the DBS check process. Check our Nanny Agency Directory here to browse agencies near you.
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