Taking on an apprentice is a great way to nurture and develop enthusiastic new talent for your business or organisation.

In the 2016-17 academic year there were 491,300 apprenticeship starts – a record number. The businesses who employ them are reaping the benefits: 76% say productivity has improved and 75% say that apprenticeships have improved the quality of their product or service.

If you’re thinking of taking on an apprentice, you may be wondering about DBS checks. Here at uCheck we often get asked whether those working with apprentices will need a check – so we’ve come up with this handy guide to give you all the information you need.

Do I need a DBS check to supervise an apprentice?

Lots of apprenticeships are aimed at those aged 16-18, and so – understandably – many employers wonder whether their staff will need DBS checks to work with these young people.

However, there is no requirement for those supervising apprentices – or other employees who come into contact with them – to have DBS checks.

Lots of our clients assume they will need an enhanced DBS check to supervise an apprentice who is under 18. It’s easy to see where this assumption comes from, as the guidance from the Department for Education states that anyone who teaches, trains or instructs children will be engaging in regulated activity, and will therefore be eligible for an enhanced DBS check.

However, as an apprentice is an employee, this does not apply, so in the case of a manager supervising an apprentice there is no eligibility for an enhanced DBS check.

Are there any exceptions?

Sometimes there may be exceptions. An apprentice’s line manager or supervisor may need an enhanced DBS check if:

  • They work in a limited range of establishments where there is opportunity for contact with children or vulnerable people – for example, schools or care homes.
  • The apprentice is under 18 and still in full time education, and therefore classed as a child.

If you’re unsure, you can get in touch with the DBS to find out more.

Are there any other checks available?

Where there is no eligibility for an enhanced DBS check, employers can apply for a basic DBS check.

A basic DBS check will detail any unspent convictions the applicant has. There are no eligibility requirements for a basic check – they’re available to everyone. A basic check can help give employers an extra level of reassurance and confidence in those working with apprentices.

Taking on an apprentice: A summary

If you’re considering taking on apprentice, you’re right to think about safeguarding and best practice.

However, those managing or supervising apprentices are not usually eligible for an enhanced DBS check. Instead, they can apply for a basic DBS check.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call – we’re always happy to help.

Our blogs are advisory in nature and reflect M G Care Executive Limited trading as uCheck'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 is only valid on the day of publication and 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, M G Care Executive Limited trading as 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.