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DBS Checks In Pharmacies: Do You Need A DBS Check To Deliver Medicine?

dbs checks in pharmacies

As healthcare and medicine have become more vital than ever recently, we’ve had a number of calls regarding DBS Checks in pharmacies – especially for those volunteering and delivering medications.

In order to clear up any misconceptions, we have created this quick guide to explain employee eligibility and which level of DBS Check is appropriate.

Which employees are eligible for a DBS Check?

While pharmacies may provide medicine it doesn’t fall under the same category as other healthcare establishments such as medical centres, GP surgeries or hospitals.

Not every employee in a pharmacy will necessarily be eligible for a DBS Check – it depends on the nature of the job role.

DBS Checks for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians

All pharmacies will have registered pharmacists working there.

Pharmacists should be registered and regulated by the General Pharmaceutical Council and will be eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check with a check against both the children’s and adult’s barred list.

This is due to the nature of a pharmacist’s role, as they are engaging in regulated activity by providing healthcare and guidance.

A registered pharmacy technician will also be eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check with barred list check.

This is because they are care professionals themselves and so require the highest level of check.

DBS Checks for delivering medications for pharmacies

If an employee or volunteer is delivering medications for a pharmacy there is no requirement for any level of DBS Check.

That being said, often for good practice pharmacies will request that employees have a Basic DBS Check carried out. This will reveal any unspent convictions the applicant has.

However, if the employee is licensed under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 to carry controlled drugs, then they will require an Enhanced DBS Check in the Other Workforce, as well as registering as a customer on the controlled drugs licensing system. This DBS Check must be carried out by Security Watchdog.

For more information on this, as well as a list of controlled drugs, please refer to the official Home Office guidance.

DBS Checks for pharmacy assistants and dispensers

The level of DBS Check pharmacy assistants and dispensers are eligible for will depend on where the pharmacy they are working in is located.

While in general these roles will be eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check (if they will be giving healthcare advice under the supervision of a pharmacist), the location of the pharmacy may mean that the pharmacy assistant or dispenser is also eligible for a check against the children and/or vulnerable adult’s barred lists.

For example, pharmacy assistants or dispensers in a high street pharmacy are likely to only be eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check, whereas those in a GP surgery would require that with a further barred list check.

If the pharmacy assistant or dispenser is providing advice and guidance directly regarding the care of patients, but is not doing so under the direction of a healthcare professional, they can have a Child and Adult Workforce Check, Enhanced with children’s barred list check.

If the dispensary assistant is not giving advice and guidance to adults and children relating to care within their role, they will be eligible for a Standard DBS Check.

This is because they have access to patients while they are in receipt of healthcare.

DBS Checks for other roles in a pharmacy

As mentioned above, other employees working in a GP or medical pharmacy are also eligible for a Standard DBS Check if they are in regular contact with patients receiving healthcare.

If they don’t have frequent contact with patients, a Basic DBS Check will suffice as there are no eligibility requirements – anyone over 16 can have a Basic Check.


While there are a number of roles in a pharmacy that are eligible for a DBS Check, employers should first consider their empl­oyee’s role, the nature of the drugs they are handling and the location of the pharmacy before requesting a specific level of DBS Check.

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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