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DBS Checks And Personal Care Arrangements: What’s The Deal?

mother and child holding hands

DBS Checks form a vital part of safeguarding for many organisations – but what about DBS Checks and personal care arrangements?

This is something we get asked about a lot: if you make a private arrangement with a friend or family member – asking them to look after your child, for example – can they have a DBS Check?

We’ve put together this blog to clear up the confusion around DBS Checks and personal care arrangements.


Enhanced DBS Check eligibility

In an employment situation, a person must engage in regulated activity to be eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check with a barred list check. 

Regulated activity comprises a specific list of activities, roles and professions that a person must not do if they’ve been barred from working with children and/or vulnerable adults.

Regulated activity includes (among other activities):

  • Providing personal care to adults because of their age, illness or disability
  • Providing assistance with an adult’s cash, bills or shopping because of their age, illness or disability arranged via a third party
  • Transporting adults to and from places where they’ll be receiving healthcare, personal care or social work
  • Caring for or supervising children

However, these activities only qualify someone for an Enhanced Check if that person carries them out as part of their employment or volunteering role with an organisation.

DBS Checks and personal care arrangements

The government’s guidance on regulated activity with adults states that:

‘Regulated activity continues to exclude any activity carried out in the course of family relationships, and personal, non-commercial relationships:

  • Family relationships involve close family (e.g. parents, siblings, grandparents) and relationships between two people who live in the same household and treat each other as family. 
  • Personal, non commercial relationships are arrangements where either no money changes hands, or any money that does change hands is not part of a commercial relationship (for example, gifting a friend money for petrol after they have driven you to the hospital), and the arrangement is made between friends or family friends.’

Similarly, the guidance on regulated activity with children states that:

‘Regulated activity still excludes family arrangements; and personal, non-commercial arrangements.’

This means that anyone who provides care to a friend or family member through a personal arrangement will not be eligible for an Enhanced Check.

Examples of personal care arrangements

Examples of personal care arrangements could include:

  • Someone asking a friend to pick their child up after school
  • Someone driving their neighbour to a hospital appointment
  • A family member babysitting on a regular basis

In all of these cases, the person providing the care would not be eligible for an Enhanced Check. 

Is there any way to obtain a DBS Check?

The only way someone in this situation could obtain an Enhanced Check would be if they signed up with a care agency – for example, a childminding agency – and the care was arranged through the agency. 

The relationship would then become commercial, and the activity would qualify as regulated activity. The agency could obtain the Enhanced Check on the applicant’s behalf. 

Otherwise, the applicant could obtain a Basic DBS Check. There are no eligibility requirements for a Basic Check – anyone aged 16 or over can have one. This type of check will show whether the applicant has any unspent convictions. 

DBS Checks and personal care arrangements: To conclude

Ultimately, if you make a personal arrangement with a friend or family member to provide care, this will not qualify them for an Enhanced DBS Check. Only employers can apply for Enhanced Checks on their employees.

Be sure to get in touch with us if you have any further questions. You can apply for a number of DBS Checks through our simple online platform – most checks are completed within 48 hours. Get started now.

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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