Are DBS checks transferable from one role to another?

We are often asked, “are DBS checks transferable?”

There can be a lot of confusion surrounding the portability of DBS checks, with conflicting information on when you may need a new check.

This blog hopes to answer key issues for both applicants and employers about how and when a DBS check can be reused.

are DBS checks transferable


The certificate must match the job role

One of the key points, if not the most important point to consider, is that to even contemplate whether a DBS check can be re-used, the position field and information on the certificate must match that of the applicant’s new role.

This means that, in order for a person’s DBS check to be transferred, the position should match their new role, as well as the workforce type and any barred lists checks that have been requested.

This is because this information will determine the level and detail of any criminal record history contained on the DBS certificate. If the applicant moves to another role with another employer that is different from their previous job, their DBS certificate may not be in line with the criminal record information that their new employer is legally able to view.

This can work both ways, meaning that in some instances, the certificate may show more information than they are legally able to view, or sometimes perhaps less information than they are allowed to ask about.

Consequently, to consider if a DBS check is transferable, the role, workforce type and barred list checks firstly must match that of their new role before it can be considered.

Organisation/Company discretion

Ultimately, it is up to an organisation or company’s discretion as to whether they agree to reuse a DBS check. It is on the company or organisation to decide if they will accept a previously issued DBS certificate or if they will request a new one on the applicant’s behalf.

Some points organisations and companies may wish to consider in deciding to reuse a DBS check include:

  • Company/organizational policy – there may be policies in place which dictate whether a new check should be requested for every new employee.
  • Regulatory body policy – if an organisation has a regulatory body, requesting new DBS checks for applicants may form part of their regulatory requirements.
  • Time elapsed since certificate was issued – although there is no official expiry date for a DBS check, if an organisation is considering accepting a previously issued DBS certificate, they may wish to consider the time that has elapsed since the certificate was issued, when deciding whether to request a new check. Commonly, organisations renew their DBS checks every 1 – 3 years.

Are DBS checks transferable? A Summary

As we have seen, there are a number of points to consider for deciding when a DBS check can be transferred from one role to another. These considerations will all need to be taken into account to decide the most suitable course of action.

So, what are the key points to remember for if a DBS can be reused?

  • Crucially, the information on the DBS certificate must match the information which the new employer would be legally entitled to see.
  • Consider organisational/regulatory body policies to see if they will accept DBS checks that have been previously issued.
  • Think about the period of time that has elapsed since the DBS certificate was issued. This may inform a decision about whether a new check should be requested.

If you’re an organisation looking to process DBS checks on behalf of your employees, then you can register here to start requesting your DBS checks today!

Have any questions? Get in touch here.