Which emergency service roles need DBS Checks? A guide

If you’re not sure which emergency service roles need DBS Checks then never fear, help is at hand, we have the answers for you right here.

Anyone who works for the police, a fire department or emergency medical services is performing many good deeds for society.

So if you’ve got the right character for the job, the more the merrier, we say – and best of luck to anyone applying for roles in these areas.

Naturally though, it’s absolutely critical that the right people are in the right positions when it comes to the emergency services.

The health and lives of the general public are in their hands as they work to prevent and cure disasters.

That’s why it’s crucial that the right safeguarding measures are in place for certain applicants.

So without further ado, here is our run-through explaining which emergency service roles need DBS Checks.

Which emergency service roles need DBS Checks

Emergency medical services

The first thing to bear in mind is that if a professional role is included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, it is eligible for a DBS Check.

This is intended to ensure that anyone who could regularly work with children or vulnerable adults is of the right character to do so.

Therefore, as you would expect, the following are included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974: “any office or employment which is concerned with the provision of care services to vulnerable adults” and a “healthcare professional”.

Working for the emergency medical services will naturally involve regular work with children or vulnerable adults, therefore it’s vital that applicants to a role in this area obtain a DBS certificate.


Without wishing to repeat ourselves too much here, once again there’s no need to look much further than the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

In this case, the roles included in this legislation are “persons employed for the purposes of assisting constables of a Police Force established under any enactment” and “police and crime commissioners”.

As with the emergency medical services, the police work regularly with all members of the general public, so it’s very important that they are appropriately screened for the role and part of that means undergoing a DBS Check.

Fire and rescue service

The majority of firefighters will have a Basic DBS Check given the highly responsible nature of their role.

However, firefighters may carry out activities that will support a full DBS Disclosure, for example, delivering emergency healthcare as an emergency first responder.

Additionally, in many fire departments, firefighters may take responsibility for training cadets or teaching children fire safety awareness – and this would require them to have an Enhanced DBS Check, as explained by the South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue service.

If you’re thinking of becoming a firefighter and want to know how the DBS Check forms part of the application process, there’s a great explanation offered by the UK Fire Service Resources.

It’s certainly worth getting in touch with the relevant fire service, or our own support team if you’re unsure.

Which emergency service roles need DBS Checks? Summing up

In short, whether you’re looking to work in the emergency medical services, as a police officer or a firefighter, you’ll need a DBS Check.

These roles perform vital services for all of society, so it’s essential that applicants for these jobs have the right DBS certificate.

For any queries you may still have about which emergency service roles need DBS Checks, or what level of DBS Check is required, please contact us – we look forward to hearing from you.