DBS Checks for roles in doctor’s surgeries and medical centres

DBS Checks for roles in doctor’s surgeries and medical centres are an essential part of safeguarding.

As staff are likely to be working with vulnerable or injured people, DBS Checks are necessary for both legal compliance and the ability to make safer recruitment decisions.

Considering the nature of work in surgeries and medical centres, it may seem like every member of staff should require an Enhanced DBS Check with a check against the relevant barred list. However, this is not the case.

If you work for or in a doctor’s surgery or medical centre and are unsure what level of DBS Check would be appropriate we have put this guide together to make the legislation easier to understand.

dbs checks for roles in doctor's surgeries

What level of DBS Check is appropriate – medical staff


All roles in a surgery or medical centre that provide healthcare are liable to require an Enhanced DBS Check.

This includes:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Healthcare assistants
  • Anyone who is overseeing those who are providing care

As providing healthcare is considered a regulated activity, anyone in these roles will also be entitled to a check of the children’s and vulnerable adult’s barred lists.

This means their information will be cross-referenced with these lists to confirm whether they are barred from working with either of these vulnerable groups.

But what does this mean for employees that do not provide healthcare services to patients?


What level of DBS Check is appropriate – non-medical staff


Employees such as reception staff do not provide healthcare, so are not likely to be eligible for the same level of DBS Check as medical staff.

If applicants are having access to patients who are receiving healthcare within the course of their normal duties this would make them eligible for the standard level of DBS Check.

This eligibility changes, however, if reception staff take on the role of a chaperone.

A chaperone may accompany patients into a medical appointment – so with that in mind a doctor’s surgery may request an Enhanced DBS Check for the member of staff if their role as chaperone requires them to supervise a child or dress a patient.

If you are still unsure of the DBS Check eligibility of a member of your staff we recommend checking with a regulatory body such as the Care Quality Commission to confirm their criminal record checking policy as part of the DBS application process.




While the eligibility for DBS Checks for roles in a doctor’s surgery or medical centre may seem obvious, the level of check required for employees will depend on their role and their proximity to patients.

We hope that this guide has been useful in distinguishing the appropriate levels of DBS Checks for employees and what is most appropriate for your staff.
If you have any further questions, feel free to get in contact with us – we’re always happy to help.