What does Regulated Activity mean when applying for a DBS Check?

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If you are applying for a role that involves working with Children or Vulnerable Adults, it’s likely that you will have come across the term ‘Regulated Activity’.

But what exactly does Regulated Activity mean and why is it an important consideration when applying for a DBS Check?

We have drawn on our vast experience to put together this handy blog to answer some Regulated Activity FAQ’s which we hope you will find helpful.


What is Regulated Activity?

In a nutshell, Regulated Activity is work that a barred person must not do. It is the term used to describe certain functions that are carried out by an individual as part of their role that would require them to have an Enhanced DBS Check with a check against the relevant barred lists.

The barred list(s) check they would need would differ depending on whether the individual is working with children, vulnerable adults or both.


How do I know if somebody is carrying out Regulated Activity with Children?

To establish whether or not an individual is engaging in Regulated Activity with Children, you have to take into consideration two factors;

1. The role – Unsupervised teaching, training, instruction, care or supervision of children.

2. The setting – If they are not performing one of the roles above, they may be carrying out an ancillary role within a specified setting. This includes positions such as a Cleaner in a School or Admin staff in a Nursery. Other specified settings include Children’s Detention Centres, Children’s Homes and Childcare Premises.

If they meet the criteria above, they will be eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check with a Child’s Barred List check if they:

  • Are performing this role more than 3 times in a 30-day period
  • Could have contact with children within the establishment
  • Work there for the purpose of the establishment
  • Are not employed on a temporary basis
  • Are not in a supervised volunteer role

More information can be found in our RA with Children guidance on our Resource Hub.


How do I know if somebody is carrying out Regulated Activity with Adults?

Unlike Regulated Activity with Children, Regulated Activity with Adults focuses on the specific activities that are provided to an adult that requires them, rather than the setting in which a specific activity is taking place.

For example, any individual that provides personal care to an adult will be engaging in Regulated Activity irrespective of whether that occurs in a hospital, a care home, a prison or in sheltered housing.

There are SIX categories that define Regulated Activity with Adults:

  1. Providing Health Care to an adult including palliative care, psychotherapy, and counselling
  2. Providing Personal Care to an adult in the form of feeding, washing or toileting etc.
  3. Providing Social Work to an adult in connection with health services or social services
  4. Conveying an adult to or from Health Care, Personal Care, or Social Work appointments
  5. Assisting an adult in the conduct of their own affairs under a formal appointment
  6. Assisting an adult with general household matters such as managing cash, paying bills or shopping on their behalf.

For both RA with Adults and RA with Children, any activity that is carried out in the course of family relationships and personal, non-commercial relationships is not classed as Regulated Activity.

More information can be found in our Regulated Activity with Adults guidance.


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