Could criminal record checks for tutors become a job requirement in the future?
A recent report highlighted that the number of children in England and Wales who receive extra tuition outside of school has doubled in the last decade.
It is also estimated that there are now over 100,000 tutors working in the UK. As such, there is a growing demand for criminal record checks for tutors.
But how can tutors obtain criminal record (DBS) checks to help safeguarding measures for working with children or vulnerable adults?
The most important factor that affects criminal record checks for tutors is whether they work for themselves or belong to a tutoring agency.
Read on to find out more about the steps a tutor can take to ensure they have the correct DBS check for their role.
Criminal Record Checks for Tutors: Applying as an individual
As an individual who is operating as a tutor without being attached to a registered business, the only level of check that they can request is a basic DBS check.
A basic DBS check will detail any unspent convictions that an applicant has. These are commonly referred to as anything recent and/or serious.
Whilst this is still a criminal record check issued by the DBS, and details some aspects of an individual’s criminal record history, a basic DBS check is not as comprehensive a level of criminal record check as the enhanced DBS.
The enhanced DBS will detail any unspent convictions an applicant has, as well as any spent convictions, cautions, warnings or reprimands the applicant may have received. It also includes the potential for barred list checks to be requested to ensure the applicant is not barred from working with children and/or vulnerable adults. In addition, it includes the facility for the local police authorities to include any additional information they hold and deem pertinent.
This level of check, according to the law, can only be requested by companies/organisations.
Criminal Record Checks for Tutors: Applying through an agency
As an enhanced DBS can only be requested on behalf of an individual by a company/organisation, one way in which tutors can obtain this certificate is to register with a tutoring agency.
A tutoring agency cannot only support a tutor in finding work, but they can also typically request an enhanced DBS check, with a check against the children’s barred list if the tutor will be working in regulated activity with children.
As a result, registering with an agency can be a useful method in which to obtain a higher level of DBS check, akin to the DBS check that teachers and teaching assistants can obtain.
It is also important to note that this information also applies to any tutor who is directly employed by a company offering tutoring. In this case, the company can also request an enhanced DBS on the tutor’s behalf.
Criminal Record Checks for Tutors: A summary
As we have seen, determining which level of check you can obtain as a tutor depends on whether the tutor is operating alone or is registered with an agency or company.
Registering with an agency or being employed directly by a tutoring company are the main ways in which a tutor can obtain the highest level of DBS if they are working with children.
For confirmation of eligibility criteria, and options for individuals looking to request a DBS check, you can contact the DBS directly.
Are you a company or organisation looking to get started requesting your DBS checks? You can register with us today for free!
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