DBS Requirements for Care Homes: a Guide


If you work in the care sector, or are considering it, you may be wondering about the DBS requirements for care homes. We’ve put together a guide to help you out…

DBS requirements for care homes


DBS requirements for care homes – what’s the story?

The Disclosure and Barring Service’s main aim is to protect children and vulnerable adults by helping organisations make safe recruitment decisions.

The government defines a ‘vulnerable adult’ as a person who:

‘is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.’

As per the above definition, care home residents are considered vulnerable adults. So what are the DBS requirements for care homes?

Do care home employees need DBS checks?

Care home workers usually come into contact with residents on a daily basis. Because of this, any care home employee should hold a DBS certificate.

Undertaking DBS checks on care home staff helps ensure the safety of residents. It shows that care homes consider safeguarding a top priority, and helps give residents’ families peace of mind.

What level of DBS check are care home employees eligible for?

The nature of the work involved means that care home employees should usually have an enhanced DBS check.

An enhanced DBS check reveals any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings the applicant has, as well as any relevant information held by local police.

Certain care home employees would be eligible for an enhanced check with a check of the adult barred list.

The adult barred list is a list of individuals who have been barred from working with vulnerable adults, maintained by the DBS.

Roles that are eligible for a check of the barred list would involve providing personal assistance with or supervising any of the following regulated activities:

  • Personal care, e.g. help with washing, going to the toilet or eating
  • Social work
  • Conveying or transporting due to age, illness or disability
  • Cash, shopping or paying bills

Employees who aren’t involved in any of these regulated activities – for example, administrators, cleaners or receptionists – wouldn’t be eligible for a check of the barred list.

How do care home employees apply for DBS checks?

Care homes should apply for DBS checks on behalf of their employees. Individuals are not able to apply for DBS checks on themselves under current legislation.

Our simple online system makes requesting DBS checks a breeze. Requesting a check takes just five minutes, and we usually complete them within 48 hours.

There’s no initial set-up fee, and you only pay for the checks you need. If that sounds good, you can get started now.

DBS requirements for care homes – a summary

Care home employees are usually eligible for an enhanced DBS check. Some employees may also be eligible for a check of the adult barred list.

If you’d like more information about DBS requirements for care homes, get in touch with us today – we’d be more than happy to help.