When working as a contractor, it’s likely that your work will take you to several different locations so it can be challenging to determine whether you need a DBS Check. If you are eligible for a DBS Check, what level of check are you eligible for?
To answer these questions, we have put together the below guide which will help decide if a DBS Check should be obtained for contractors.
Do contractors need a DBS Check?
Generally, no. There is no legal requirement for getting a DBS Check as a contractor but it is good practice for an organisation to background check their staff. If a contractor is working in the commercial or domestic sector, they will only be eligible for a Basic DBS Check.
However, if they are working in a specified setting such as a school, hospital, care home or a court, in line with the Safeguarding of Children Act and the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Act, they may need a higher-level check.
Contractors in Schools
As schools are subject to safeguarding measures, eligibility criteria vary for contractors.
Contractors visiting a school site during term time more than 3 times in 30 days will be eligible for an Enhanced DBS check with a check against the children’s barred list depending on the nature of the work and the possibility of unsupervised contact with children.
During the holidays, when no students are present and no other extended activities are taking place in the school, a contractor would only be eligible for a Basic DBS check.
It should be noted that a contractor’s staff should not be allowed to have any unsupervised contact with children under any circumstances, even those who have undergone a DBS check.
Regardless of which level of check a contactor and their staff are eligible for, it is the responsibility of the headteachers and premises managers to ensure measure are in place to safeguard pupils. Anyone who may be in contact with children purposely or incidentally should be background checked before they can start work within the school premises.
Contractors in Care Homes
Like schools, care homes will have their own safeguarding measures in place because of the vulnerable people who live there and anyone working within this establishment will require a DBS check.
If contractors are working in a care home more than 3 times in a 30-day period, an Enhanced DBS Check should be requested.
Contractors in Hospitals
A contractor working in a hospital will not be responsible for patients, their eligibility and level of check will depend on the nature of the job and where the work will be taking place within the hospital.
If a contractor has access to patient wards as part of their contract of work, they would be eligible for a Standard DBS Check. If the work is being carried out in an environment where any contact with patients is purely incidental such as reception or in the grounds, a check would not be required.
It is the responsibility of the employer/organisation to ensure the correct level of the check has been carried out before the work starts.
Contractors in Courts
Court contractors will be eligible for a Standard check if, in the course of their work, they:
- have face to face contact with judges of the Supreme Court
- have access to such judges’ lodgings
- attend the Royal Courts of Justice
- attend the Central Criminal Court
- have unsupervised access to courthouses, offices and other accommodation used in relation to the courts
- have unsupervised access to tribunal buildings, offices and other accommodation used in relation to tribunals
- exercise functions in connection with the administration and management of funds in court, including the deposit, payment, delivery and transfer in, into and out of any court of funds in court, and regulating the evidence of such deposit, payment, delivery or transfer, and court officers and court contractors who receive payment in pursuance of a conviction or order of a magistrates’ court
Full DBS eligibility guidance for Standard DBS checks is available here.
DBS Checks for Contractors – A Summary
When it comes to contractors, DBS checks are not required for each employee but will depend on individual contracts.
The company supplying the contractor will request their DBS check. So here are the key points to remember:
- Make sure to check the eligibility criteria before applying for a check.
- Level of check will depend on where the contractor will be working and how often.
- If unsure, please contact the organisation you are contracting for.
- All contractors can have a Basic DBS check If not eligible for a Standard or Enhanced DBS Check.
If you still have questions, our client administrators are on hand to assist you so please give us a call on 01978 510100 or get in touch using the button below.
If you are an organisation looking to start requesting these checks, please use the ‘Register for Free’ button. Your account will be up and running within minutes, allowing you to start submitting checks straight away.