Do DBS Checks Expire? Your FAQ’s Answered

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When we’re out and about on the road at Exhibitions and Trade Shows, people often tell us that they have a DBS Check but they think that it is probably ‘out of date’ now as they had it done a while ago. Likewise, they will ask us questions such as ‘How long will my DBS Check last?’ or ‘When will my DBS Check expire?’.

We’ve put together this handy blog to answer some of our most frequently asked questions and also to tackle one of the biggest misconceptions of a DBS Check – how long they’re actually valid for.


When will my DBS Check Expire?

Believe it or not, there is no official period for how long a DBS Check is actually valid for.

A DBS certificate is only accurate on the day that it is issued as it is a snapshot of a person’s criminal record at the time of receiving their certificate. For this reason, it would be impossible to say with any degree of accuracy how long this information should be valid for.

A DBS Check is an important part of the onboarding process but it’s equally as important to request DBS Checks on a regular basis. Here at Disclosure Services, we are dedicated to safeguarding which is why we ask our staff to complete a new Basic DBS Check on a biannual basis. This ensures that any potential risks to our clients, suppliers and staff are kept to a minimum and that the information that we hold about our staff is up-to-date.


How often should I renew the DBS Checks for my staff?

In the same way that there is no set period for the validity of a DBS Check, the decision for carrying out new DBS Checks is often at the discretion of the organisation.

Some organisations will only carry out a DBS Check once, typically as part of the onboarding process. However, as we mentioned above, unless you carry out another check in the future, any changes to an individual’s criminal record will not be highlighted to you.

Other organisations, including ours, will have a policy in place that dictates when new DBS applications will be completed for their staff and most organisations will complete them on an annual, biannual or triannual basis.

There may also be some organisations that are regulated by governing bodies such as the CQC or Ofsted that require staff working within those organisations to have DBS checks on a more frequent basis than others due to them engaging in Regulated Activity with Children or Vulnerable Adults.


Will I need to conduct a new check if a prospective employee is on the Update Service?

You will only be able to accept a certificate that is on the Update Service if the applicant hasn’t changed name and the workforce and level of check required for the role remain the same.

For example, if a prospective employee has a certificate on the Update Service with a Child and Adult Workforce and in their new role they will only be working with Children, you will not be able to accept this certificate as you will have access to information that you’re not legally entitled to know.

Similarly, if the desire is for your company name to be on the certificate, a new check will need to be carried out. If this is a Standard or Enhanced check, you can then add this to the Update Service within 30 calendar days of the ‘date of issue’ on the certificate.

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