DBS Checks for interpreters: what level of check is appropriate?

As interpreters are likely to be working in a number of establishments and with vulnerable people it is easy to assume that an interpreter would be eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check with a check against the relevant barred list.

However, this is not necessarily the case. For interpreters, their DBS Check eligibility will depend on the establishment they work in.

If you are or are looking to hire an interpreter for your workplace and are unsure about the level of DBS Check required we have put together this guide on DBS Checks for interpreters.

dbs checks for interpreters

What level of DBS Check is appropriate?


There are three main levels of DBS Check.

  • Basic DBS Check will reveal any unspent convictions the applicant has. These are available to anyone aged 16 or over.
  • Standard DBS Check will reveal any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings the applicant has. Only specific roles are eligible for a Standard DBS Check.
  • Enhanced DBS Check will reveal the same information as a Standard Check, as well as any relevant information held by local police. You can see the eligibility guidance for Enhanced Checks here. An Enhanced Check may also include a check of the adults’ and/or children’s barred list if they engage in regulated activity with the relevant vulnerable group.

Hopefully the above information can help you decide which level of DBS Check is appropriate for a specific interpreter role.

We have also included some examples of common scenarios for interpreters, and the appropriate level of DBS Check their role would require.


Working in a school or care home setting

If the interpreter is working in the school at least three times in a 30-day period they would be eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check without a barred list check.

They would then be eligible for a barred list check if they were engaging in regulated activity with children or vulnerable adults.


Working in medical centres

An interpreter will be eligible for a Standard DBS Check if they have contact with patients who are receiving healthcare, within the course of their normal duties, while in the medical establishment.


Visiting private residences

In this case an interpreter would only be eligible for a Basic DBS Check.




While it may initially seem that, due to the nature of the work, interpreters are likely to require an Enhanced DBS Check, however this is not always the case.

The DBS Check eligibility for an interpreter is determined by the establishment they are working in.

We hope that this guide has been useful in determining the appropriate level of DBS Checks for interpreters and what is most appropriate for your organisation.

If you require a DBS Check or have any further questions feel free to get in touch with us – we’re always happy to help.