Interpreters work in lots of different establishments, and often with vulnerable people. Because of this, many people assume that interpreters automatically qualify for Enhanced DBS Checks.
However, this isn’t the case. Like many other roles, the eligibility for interpreters will depend on the specific establishment they work in.
This is something we often get asked about so we’ve put together this blog to answer your questions about DBS Checks for interpreters.
The different types of DBS Check
Before we dive into the ins and outs of DBS Checks for interpreters, let’s recap on the three different levels available:
- A Basic DBS Check will reveal any unspent convictions the applicant has. There are no eligibility requirements for a Basic Check – they’re available to anyone aged 16 or over.
- A Standard DBS Check will reveal any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings the applicant has. Only specific roles are eligible for Standard DBS Checks. You can see the list of eligible roles here.
- An Enhanced DBS Check will reveal the same information as a Standard Check, as well as any relevant information held by local police. An Enhanced Check may also include a check of the adults’ and/or children’s barred list. A person’s role must meet specific eligibility criteria for them to have an Enhanced Check. You can see the eligibility guidance for Enhanced Checks here.
Do interpreters need DBS Checks?
Interpreters work in a multitude of different settings, many of them involve working directly with children and/or vulnerable adults.
However, not all interpreters are eligible for a Standard or Enhanced DBS Check. Whether or not they are eligible will depend on the establishments they work in.
Because of this, employers need to consider each individual interpreter’s specific role when determining whether they’re eligible for a check.
If an interpreter doesn’t meet the criteria for a Standard or Enhanced Check, they can have a Basic DBS Check to give the people they work with added peace of mind.
You can use the eligibility guidance we’ve linked to above to help you decide what sort of check is appropriate for each specific interpreter role. We’ve also included some examples below to help you.
Examples of DBS Check eligibility for interpreters
Here are some examples of settings where interpreters may work, and the DBS Checks they’d be eligible for in these scenarios:
- A BSL interpreter who works in a school and/or care home at least three times in a 30-day period: In this case, the interpreter would be eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check without a barred list check. If they were also performing a regulated activity with children or adults in addition to their interpreting duties, they would be eligible for a check of the relevant barred list.
- An interpreter working in hospitals who has contact with patients on wards: In this scenario, the interpreter would be eligible for a Standard DBS Check.
- A translator who visits vulnerable people in their own homes or in a solicitor’s office: In this case, the translator would not be eligible for a higher level of DBS Check, but they could have a Basic DBS Check.
So, do interpreters need DBS Checks?
We hope we’ve answered that question for you now! Being an interpreter doesn’t qualify a person for a Standard or Enhanced Check automatically – any eligibility would come from the establishment they’re working in.
If you have any questions about this blog or DBS Checks in general, don’t hesitate to drop us a line – we’re always happy to help!