DBS checks for pharmacies can be confusing, especially when trying to determine who is eligible for each level of check.
So, here at uCheck we have created this quick guide, designed to explain the eligibility in clear terms, so your pharmacy can be clear about the process.
Who is eligible for a DBS check?
Eligibility for a DBS check in a pharmacy depends on the nature of the job role of the applicant.
Although a pharmacy is a healthcare setting, it does not fall under the same category as other establishments, such as hospitals or medical centres. Consequently, not everyone working in a pharmacy will necessarily be eligible for a DBS check.
In order to outline who is eligible, we have sorted the most common pharmaceutical job roles below, and outlined the eligibility in each section.
All pharmacies will have registered pharmacists working there. These pharmacists should be registered and regulated by the General Pharmaceutical Council. Such pharmacists will be eligible for an Enhanced DBS checks with both the children’s and adult’s barred list checks.
This is the highest level of DBS check available and will detail both spent and unspent convictions, as well as any cautions, warnings or reprimands an applicant may have received.
The barred list checks requested mean that the applicant’s information will be cross-referenced against both of the lists to confirm that they are not barred from working with either children or vulnerable adults.
Pharmacists are eligible for this level of check due to the nature of their role, which means that they will be engaging in regulated activity by providing healthcare advice and guidance.
Pharmacy technicians/ dispensary assistants
Confirming which level of check a registered pharmacy technician, or dispensary assistant is eligible for, depends on the location of the pharmacy.
This criteria is all about the ability for pharmacy technicians to come into contact with patients in receipt of care. In general, pharmacy technicians/ dispensary assistants will be eligible for an Enhanced DBS check as they will be giving healthcare advice under the supervision of a pharmacist.
However, the location of the pharmacy will often determine whether the technician/assistant is also eligible for checks against the children and/or vulnerable adult’s barred lists.
Our understanding of the legislation means that pharmacy technicians/ dispensary assistants working in a GP surgery would be eligible for an Enhanced DBS with barred list checks.
Whereas applicants working in a community/high street pharmacy would most likely be eligible for an Enhanced DBS with no barred list checks.
For other employees working in a pharmacy, such as those working in a high-street pharmacy, but not dispensing medication, they would most likely not be eligible for either a Standard or Enhanced DBS check. This is because their work would not be classed as regulated activity.
Consequently, employers can request Basic Disclosures for these applicants. This disclosure will either be offered by the DBS themselves, or the Disclosure Scotland depending on where the applicant is working.
This check will detail any unspent convictions an applicant may have, meaning anything recent/serious.
DBS Checks for Pharmacies: A summary
As we have seen, DBS checks for pharmacies can be tricky to navigate, as not all staff members are automatically eligible for a check.
So, let’s explore the key points to remember when requesting DBS checks for pharmacies:
- Consider the applicant’s job role first – if they are a registered pharmacist then they would most likely be eligible for an Enhanced DBS with both barred list checks.
- Contemplate where the applicant is working and what type of pharmacy it is. This can affect the level of check they are eligible for.
- If you’ve confirmed that the applicant is not eligible for a Standard or Enhanced DBS check, then you can request a Basic Disclosure for them.
Have any questions about DBS checks for pharmacies? Or the DBS checking process in general? Please get in touch – our support team will be happy to help.
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Our blogs are advisory in nature and reflect uCheck Limited’s current thinking about best and common practice in the subjects discussed.
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