Wondering about DBS checks for contractors?
Many contractors may require DBS checks, depending on where they’re contracted to work. But how can contractors ensure they’re meeting the correct eligibility requirements? And how can they be sure of what type of check they may require?
DBS checks for contractors can present challenges when determining eligibility for a check. To help contractors through the process, we’ve outlined some of the common scenarios for contracted work below, and highlighted the corresponding eligibility requirements.
Contractors in hospitals
The nature of the work that hospitals carry out means that some contractors working there would be eligible for DBS checks. To determine which level of check is most suitable, employers should consider the type of work the contractors are carrying out, and where that work will be taking place within the hospital.
The nature of their roles means that contractors will not be responsible for patients in any way. As a result, their eligibility for a DBS check rests on where they’re working in the hospital.
Working in the general hospital environment only, such as at reception or in the grounds, would not typically entitle contractors to a check. This is because any contact with patients would be classed as incidental, as these areas are accessible to the general public.
However, if contractors have access to patient wards as part of their role, they would typically be entitled to a standard DBS check. This is because under the legislation they would be classed as having access to patients in receipt of care. In these cases, DBS checks for contractors working in hospitals can be key to ensure adequate compliance.
Contractors in schools
For contractors working in schools, eligibility for a check and the levels available can be variable. Naturally, schools are subject to safeguarding measures, and DBS checks for contractors will form a part of this.
So, as a contractor working in a school, the following points need to be considered:
- Will you be working there in term time, or only during the holidays?
- Will you be working there more than three times in a 30-day period?
Considering these questions will be key to determining the most suitable level of check. For instance, contractors who work only during the holidays would typically be eligible for a standard DBS.
However, those working in term time would most often be eligible for an enhanced DBS check, as long as they meet the frequency outlined above. Contractors may also be eligible for a check against the children’s barred list, depending on the nature of their work and the possibility of unsupervised contact.
We recommend talking to the school about their requirements for DBS checks for contractors to ensure you meet them all.
Contractors in care homes
Contractors working in care homes should consider how frequently they work there to determine their eligibility for a check. Like schools, the nature of care homes means that safeguarding measures are crucial, and DBS checks for contractors play a key role.
Contractors should consider whether they’ll be working in any care home at least twice in a 30-day period. Meeting this frequency would typically mean they’d be eligible for an enhanced DBS check.
This level of check is reflective of the vulnerable people who live in care homes. DBS checks for contractors are therefore a key consideration.
DBS checks for contractors: key points
In many organisations, DBS checks for contractors are a requirement. Often, the company supplying the contractor will need to request their DBS check.
So what are they key points for contractors to remember?
- Consider the place of work – this will often determine which level of check is suitable.
- Think about whether working in this institution means there are any further considerations, for example, frequency of work, or place of work within the building.
- Speak to the organisation in question – discuss DBS checks with the school or care home.
- If in any doubt, the Disclosure and Barring Service can confirm legislation.
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