DBS Checks for the Self-Employed

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From Barbers and Beauticians to Bricklayers and Bookkeepers, there are lots of roles that enable you to be your own boss which can often make it difficult when trying to assess your eligibility for a DBS Check.

DBS Checks are typically carried out by employers for their staff…but what happens if you’re Self-Employed and require a DBS Check to enable you to secure work?

Thankfully, Disclosure Services have a wealth of experience of working with Self-Employed individuals which is why we’ve created the below blog to help answer some questions that we get asked on a regular basis!

What level of check am I eligible for?

A Self-Employed individual may want to obtain a DBS Check to give them and their business an extra level of credibility and show that they are a person of good standing. For this purpose or for the purpose of personal interest, the only level of DBS Check that you will be eligible for is a Basic DBS Check.

This is because there is no legal eligibility for a Basic DBS Check and as a result, all that will be shown on a Basic Certificate is convictions and conditional cautions that are considered to be unspent under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974. More information on Rehabilitation Periods can be found within the updated Guidance on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

Can I apply for a Standard or Enhanced Check?

Unfortunately, no. You cannot apply for a higher level check as an individual.

This is because as an individual, you cannot authorise and verify your own ID documents and you cannot ask yourself exempt questions such as ‘Do you have any criminal convictions?’.

Standard and Enhanced DBS Checks require a disclosure recipient who is going to make an informed suitability or recruitment decision on you.

What about if I’m working with or around Children or Vulnerable Adults?

If you’re Self-Employed and you come into contact with Children or Vulnerable Adults, whether incidental or in the course of performing your duties, it is more than likely you will be eligible for a Standard or Enhanced check.

Self-Employed Contractors that are working on patient wards within a Hospital will have access to individuals that are in receipt of Healthcare so would therefore be eligible for a Standard DBS Check. If a Contractor is working in a School during term-time, they will be eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check if they work there more than 3 times in a 30-day period.

Other Self-Employed professions that would be eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check are Nannies, Tutors, Therapists and Instructors, providing they meet the frequency of carrying out this work more than 3 times in a 30-day period.

We generally advise Self-Employed individuals to approach a Recruitment Agency that specialises in their field of work who will be able to carry out the DBS check. Some professions even have their own Governing Bodies who will be able to request the check on your behalf (Nannies can use Ofsted).

Alternatively, you may be able to approach the organisation that you are working for to obtain the check that you require to secure the work. For example, if you are working with a School Club once a week, it is likely that the school will apply for the check on your behalf as they will be making the suitability decision for your employment.

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