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The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is a government body which processes criminal record checks that prevent unsuitable people from working with children and other vulnerable groups.

About DBS checks

  • Replaced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) in 2012.
  • It is illegal for anyone who has been barred by the DBS to work, or apply to work, in the sector from which they are barred.
  • It is also illegal for an employer in that sector to knowingly employ a worker who has been barred.
  • There are three levels of checks: Standard, Enhanced and Enhanced with Barred List.
  • To find out more about different types of DBS checks, read this handy guide from Online DBS. 
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DBS checks and Ofsted registration

  • Ofsted require an up-to-date enhanced DBS Disclosure.
  • Ofsted can provide a DBS check if required for £60 in addition to their registration fee.
  • People applying for Ofsted registration can apply for a DBS check elsewhere, however they must have their Disclosure upon applying to the register.
  • DBS Checks need to be renewed every year, the same as Ofsted.
  • The government offer an update service for nannies to automatically renew their DBS when it expires.

How can nannies get a DBS check?

  • You cannot apply directly to the DBS
  • Members of the public cannot obtain a DBS Disclosure directly, they must go through an approved organisation.
  • Several nanny agencies can help nannies with a DBS check. The nanny will need to obtain a DBS application form from the nanny agency.
  • The agency then sends the completed form to an 'umbrella organisation' who liaise with the DBS.
  • Employers can also find an 'umbrella body' through the government website here.

Not all nanny agencies will carry out DBS checks on your behalf. Check with your local agency to see if they can do this for you.

To find a local nanny agency, visit our Agency Directory

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How much does it cost for a DBS check?

This will depend on the type of DBS check and whether you use an agency.

  • Standard - £26 - This checks for spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings.
  • Enhanced - £44 - This includes the same as the standard check plus any additional information held by local police that is reasonably considered relevant to the role being applied for.
  • Enhanced with list checks - £44 - This is like the enhanced check, but includes a check of the DBS barred lists.
  • Checks are made via nanny agencies through a Registered Body. The Registered Body will charge around £15-25 and agencies may charge around £50 for nannies who are not registered with that agency.

How long does a DBS check take?

Generally, it can take around 8 weeks to get a DBS check. However, the time it takes to complete the DBS check depends on the following:

  • The level of check
  • If the details given are accurate
  • What police forces need to be invloved with the check
  • When complete, a copy of the Disclosure is sent to the nanny/applicant who is being checked and a copy is sent to the umbrella organsiation.
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Ofsted requirement for nannies

Have a look at the different requirements and costs of Ofsted registration, inlcuding Insurance.

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