KNOWSLEY SPECIFIC INFORMATION
August 2020: Some links and associated text have been updated
Employers need to ensure, to the best of their ability, that the people they employ – as paid staff, volunteers or contractors – are committed to providing good quality care and support and are not a risk to adults to receive care and support services from them, their carers or other family members including children.
Undertaking thorough criminal records checks is part of a number of safer recruitment measures, which are designed to try to prevent unsuitable people being employed to work with vulnerable people.
As well as comprehensive recruitment processes, training, staff supervision and appraisal programmes are all very important in ensuring good working practices.
2. Disclosure and Barring Service
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions. It is responsible for:
- processing requests from organisations for criminal records checks on individuals;
- deciding whether it is right that a person is put on, or removed, from a barred list;
- placing or removing people from the DBS children’s barred list and adults’ barred list.
3. Barred Lists and Duty to Refer
There are two barred lists maintained by the Disclosure and Barring Service in relation to those who are:
- barred from working with children;
- barred with working with adults.
A person who is barred from working with children or adults will be committing a criminal offence if they work, volunteer or try to work or volunteer with the group from which they have been barred.
An organisation which knows they are employing someone who is barred to work with that particular group will also be committing a criminal offence.
Legally an organisation has to inform the DBS if a member of its staff or a volunteer is dismissed because they have harmed a child or adult, or would have been dismissed if they had not resigned or otherwise left.
4. Criminal Records Checks
Click here to access the DBS tool to Find out which DBS Check is Right for your Employee
Through undertaking criminal records checks the DBS helps organisations identify people who may be unsuitable for the job.
4.1 Types of Disclosures
- Standard: this checks for spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings.
- Enhanced: This includes the same as the standard check plus any additional information held by local police that is reasonably considered relevant to the workforce being applied for (adult, child or ‘other’ workforce). ‘Other’ workforce means those who do not work with children or adults specifically, but potentially both, for example taxi drivers. In this case, the police will only release information that is relevant to the post being applied for.
- Enhanced with list checks: this is like the enhanced check, but includes a check of the DBS barred lists.
4.2 Update Service
The DBS also provides an online Update Service, to which staff or volunteers can subscribe. This allows them to keep their criminal record certificate up to date, so it can be taken with them from one job to another, as long as they remain within the same workforce (for example, working with adults).
Employers can undertake immediate online checks of a person’s status, as long as they have registered with the Update Service. The Update Service is for standard and enhanced DBS checks only (see 4.1 Types of Disclosures above).
A new DBS check will only be required if the Update Service check indicates there has been a change in the person’s status, due to new information added.
4.3 Cautions and convictions
Before an organisation asks a person to apply for a criminal record check, it is legally responsible for making sure that they are entitled to apply for the job / role (see Eligibility, DBS).
4. Regulated Activity with Adults
Regulated activity is work which involves close and unsupervised contact with adults, and which cannot be undertaken by a person who is on the Disclosure and Barring Service’s Barred List for adults.
There are six categories of people who will fall within the definition of regulated activity (including anyone who provides day to day management or supervision of those people):
- Providing health care;
- Providing personal care (for example providing / training / instructing / or offering advice or guidance on physical assistance with eating or drinking, going to the toilet, washing or bathing, dressing, oral care or care of the skin, hair or nails because of an adult’s age, illness or disability; or prompting and supervising an adult to undertake such activities where necessary because of their age, illness or disability);
- Providing social work;
- Providing assistance with cash, bills and / or shopping;
- Providing assistance in the conduct of a person’s own affairs, for example by virtue of an enduring power of attorney;
- Conveying/transporting an adult (because of their age, illness or disability) either to or from their place of residence and a place where they have received, or will be receiving, health care, personal care or social care; or between places where they have received or will be receiving health care, personal care or social care. This will not include family and friends or taxi drivers.
There is a duty on a ‘regulated activity provider’ to find out whether a person is barred before allowing them to carry out regulated activity tasks in their work.
It is a criminal offence for a person on one of the barred lists to carry out regulated activity tasks, or for an employer/voluntary organisation knowingly to employ a barred person in a regulated activity role.