Lots of organisations will need to employ drivers at some stage. And, when it comes to driver recruitment, organisations will naturally want to know that the people they’re employing are suitable.
Pre-employment screening checks are a vital tool in ascertaining a candidate’s suitability for a role – but different driving roles will require different types of check.
The following guide explains which checks are appropriate to use as part of your driver recruitment procedures.
Driver recruitment: Will the employee be engaging in regulated activity?
‘Regulated activity’ is a term used by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to describe activities that, if an employee carries them out, would make that employee eligible for an enhanced DBS Check with a check against the appropriate barred list/s.
In general, regulated activity refers to activities that include regular, unsupervised contact with children or vulnerable adults. You can find detailed definitions of regulated activity in relation to children here, and in relation to adults here. These definitions include specific references to drivers.
In terms of adults, a driver who is employed to transport adults, for reasons of age, illness or disability, to, from or between places where they receive healthcare, personal care or social work will be engaging in regulated activity.
Similarly, a driver who is employed to drive a vehicle only for children will also be engaging in regulated activity.
In both these instances, the driver would qualify for an enhanced DBS check with a check of the relevant barred list.
Driver recruitment: DBS Checks for taxi drivers
In 2012, the government introduced regulations that made all taxi and private hire vehicle drivers eligible for an enhanced DBS Check with a check against both barred lists. The changes helped to provide reassurance and reduce risk to passengers.
Taxi driver licences are usually issued by local councils. Drivers will be required to undergo an enhanced DBS Check as part of the licensing process. They will then usually be required to renew their DBS Check periodically.
For general taxi or private hire vehicle drivers, the organisation applying for the DBS Check should select ‘other workforce’ on the DBS application, unless the driver has a specific contract with a school or care home – in which case they should select ‘child workforce’ or ‘adult workforce’ respectively. See the government’s guidelines to find out more about DBS workforces.
Driver recruitment: Basic DBS Checks
Other types of driver – for example, delivery drivers – wouldn’t qualify for an enhanced DBS Check, as their roles don’t involve regulated activity. In these cases, a basic DBS Check would be appropriate.
A basic DBS Check will reveal any unspent convictions the applicant has, and is a good way to give employers an extra level of confidence in their employees.
Driver recruitment: Checking an employee’s driving licence details
As well as DBS Checks, you should also carry out DVLA Checks as part of your driver recruitment procedures.
Any organisation that employs drivers has a duty of care to ensure those drivers are appropriately licensed to undertake their role. A DVLA Check is the best way to do this.
DVLA Checks are an electronic service that enables employers to check their employees’ driving licence details online. The check will reveal the following information:
- Validity/expiry of the licence
- Vehicles the applicant is licensed to drive
- Any driving convictions or offences
- Any penalty points received for these convictions or offences
- Whether the applicant is disqualified
Driver recruitment: Getting the checks you need
Lots of employers combine a DVLA Check with the appropriate level of DBS Check for any staff they’re employing to drive. If you require a DVLA Check, the DVLA provide a free checking service.