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COVID–19 Response: Disclosure And Barring Service (DBS) Update


The Disclosure and Barring Service have amended the current temporary arrangements implemented in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, effective 15th April 2020. You can view the DBS guidance document by clicking here clicking here.

Free of Government charge DBS checks and a fast- track barred list check service.

The following DBS Checks are available for workers being recruited in connection with the care and treatment of COVID-19 in England and Wales:

  • Standard and Enhanced checks for eligible emergency roles detailed in the Serious Organised Crime and Policing Act 2005 (Commencement No.16) Order 2020.
  • A fast-track check of the appropriate barred list(s). This emergency barred list(s) check is only available to eligible emergency roles.

All of these applications will be submitted as volunteer checks, meaning the only charge payable is the uCheck administration fee.

Eligible Roles

The Serious Organised Crime and Policing Act 2005 (Commencement No.16) Order 2020 has now been enacted. For the list of eligible emergency roles within NHS health services, social care services or social services functions in connection with the provision of care and treatment of Coronavirus disease, please refer to the DBS Guidance by clicking here.

Please note that emergency roles are different to those defined as ‘key workers’ for the purposes of childcare etc. This service must only be used where organisations are recruiting staff that fall within the definition provided. All other appointments that are eligible for an Enhanced with barred list check must be processed in the usual way. This is to ensure emergency checks for COVID-19 roles can be processed without delay.

How do I apply for a COVID-19 check with uCheck?

  • Check that the job role is listed as an eligible emergency role within the DBS guidance linked above.
  • If it is not, you won’t be eligible for this service but can continue with your DBS check selecting “No” in the new “COVID-19 Emergency Role” field within “Section Y” of the application overview.
  • If the job role is listed as an eligible emergency role you will need to select “Yes” within the new “COVID-19 Emergency Role” field within “Section Y” of the application overview.
  • When completing the “Position Applied For” field you do NOT need to include the words “COVID-19”. We will do this for you based on your selection above.
  • The system will prepopulate the correct “Section Y” options for a COVID-19 submission.
  • You will still need to select the appropriate level of check, workforce, appropriate barred list(s) and whether the Applicant is working at the Applicants own address.
  • Continue to complete the ID check in line with the changes detailed below.
  • All COVID-19 barred list checks will be fast-tracked. The DBS aim to provide results to uCheck by the end of the next working day via email. This will be forwarded on to your primary contact within one working hour of receipt from the DBS.
  • The barred list(s) check results provided will state that no match has been found, or that you should await the full completed DBS check before making a recruitment decision.
  • There will be no change to the way you receive the full result. You will receive an indicative notice from the system and the certificate will be sent to the applicant by the DBS via post.

Changes to the ID checking process

Temporary changes to the ID checking guidelines have been made as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.  These changes apply to Basic, Standard and Enhanced DBS checks.

It is taking the Home Office longer than usual to process passport applications due to coronavirus. In response to this, DBS will temporarily allow expired UK passports that are within 6 months of the expiry date to be used for DBS identity checking purposes.

ID documents may also be viewed via video link. If it is not possible to verify documents via video link, scanned images can be viewed in advance of the DBS check being submitted. This is in replacement of original documents and the requirement for a face to face meeting. This change should only be implemented for urgent cases where it is not possible to follow the normal identity checking guidelines. Please note – the applicant will be required to present the original versions of these documents when they first attend their employment or volunteering role.

To assist our clients, we have developed a temporary facility to allow scanned ID images to be uploaded directly by the applicant, during the application process. For further information on this service, please click here or contact us at info@ucheck.co.uk or call 0300 140 0022.

Please click here to see the full DBS communication on temporary changes to ID Checking


Our blogs are advisory in nature and reflect uCheck Limited’s current thinking about best and common practice in the subjects discussed.

The information contained in our blogs have been provided for information purposes only. This information does not constitute legal, professional, or commercial advice. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the content is up to date, useful and accurate, uCheck gives no guarantees, undertakings, or warranties in this regard, or, for any loss or damage caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with reliance on the use of such information.

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