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Do DBS Checks Expire? The Facts

do dbs checks expire

At uCheck, one of the most common questions we’re asked is: do DBS Checks expire? 

If you or an employee in your organisation has had a DBS Check in the past, you may be asking ‘how long does a DBS Check last?’

Read on to get the facts…

Do DBS Checks expire?

The short answer is no – there is no official expiry date for a DBS Check.

Each DBS certificate will state the date it was issued. The information revealed by the DBS Check is only truly accurate on that date.

There is no predetermined expiration date for DBS Checks. This is because the subject of the check could have a conviction or other matter recorded against them at any time after the date of the check.

DBS Checks are an important part of the recruitment process for many organisations, and it’s up to employers to decide whether to request a new check on an employee. 

However, because DBS Checks form an essential part of safeguarding requirements, it’s important to request new checks at various points to ensure they’re up to date.

You’ll be able to see the date of issue on all DBS certificates, so you can determine when a new check should be requested.

Although there is no set time period when organisations should request new DBS Checks, many renew employees’ DBS Checks periodically for the purposes of best practice. These time scales can vary from every six months to every year or two years. In some sectors, this is a legal requirement.

Requirements by regulatory bodies

Certain regulatory bodies may have specific requirements in place in terms of accepting checks, and when new DBS Checks should be requested.

For example, Ofsted requires a certain safety standard for recruitment practices in schools and nurseries. This requires staff that are liable to have regulated contact with children to have an Enhanced DBS Check.

Ofsted may accept an older DBS certificate if you have already registered with them and are moving to a similar role AND usually if you’re starting your new position within three months of leaving your old one.

The Care Quality Commission requires staff who are likely to engage in regulated activity with adults and/or children to apply for an Enhanced DBS Check with barred list information. Responsibility for renewing DBS Checks is placed in the hands of employers.

Following guidelines set by regulatory bodies with regards to when DBS Checks expire is vital; these often form part of the stipulations for a company to register with them. 

Additionally, if someone changes their role within the same organisation, they would require a new DBS Check by law. For example, they may change from working from with children only to then working with children and vulnerable adults.

This is true regardless of when the organisation will renew the check as part of their policies.

How long does a DBS Check last? A summary

So – how long is a DBS Check valid for?

The answer isn’t simple, as there’s no official validity period for a DBS Check. It’s only truly completely accurate on the day it was issued.

However, you might require a new check if you work in certain industries or if you start a new role.

Here are the key points to remember when deciding when new checks should be requested:

  • As part of safeguarding measures, employers should make sure that certificates are renewed periodically
  • Employers who are regulated by larger bodies should confirm their criminal record checking policy so they can meet their standards
  • In some cases, employers may be legally required to obtain new barred list checks

If an employee is registered with the DBS update service, their employer can also check the status of their DBS certificate without requesting a new DBS Check.

In conclusion: do DBS Checks expire?

If you have more questions now you know how long a DBS lasts, we can help you.

Be sure to get in touch with us for help with any of your questions about the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) or any background checks. 

You can apply for a number of DBS Checks through our simple online platform. Most checks are completed within 48 hours. Get started with your DBS application 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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