At uCheck we’re often asked for the definition of a volunteer for DBS Checks, so we thought it was time to offer a thorough explanation.
Volunteers may need DBS Checks for a wide variety of reasons.
For example, parents responsible for supervising children during events organised by a school – such as a field trip or a disco – would be classed as volunteers and may require a DBS Check, depending on the extent of their role and how often they offer to help.
The definition of a volunteer for DBS Checks
The Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) Regulations provide the definition of a volunteer for DBS Checks.
This legislation defines a volunteer as “any individual engaged in an activity which involves spending time, unpaid (except for travel and other approved out of pocket expenses), doing something which aims to benefit some third party and not a close relative”.
For DBS purposes, a volunteer would require a disclosure if his or her role involves regular volunteer work with children under 18 or vulnerable adults.
Exceptions to the rule
As you might suspect, there are a number of stipulations which determine if someone is not a volunteer.
As mentioned above, a volunteer should be unpaid and therefore only receive compensation for approved expenses.
Anyone on a work placement doesn’t count as a volunteer either.
Moreover, anyone in a working role as a prerequisite of a course, or anyone who is in a trainee post which will eventually lead to wither a full-time role or qualification, is not a volunteer.
The distinction between a volunteer and someone in employment is important, as a volunteer who has undergone a DBS Check would be required to take a new DBS Check if he or she moves into a paid position.
The definition of a volunteer for DBS Checks: in summary
An individual working in an unpaid role for the benefit of others counts as a volunteer.
If the volunteer in question is to be working regularly with children under 18 or vulnerable adults, then he or she would need a DBS Check.
If you’re still unsure about the definition of a volunteer for DBS Checks, just let us know and we’d be happy to clarify the situation for you.