Are DBS Checks Free For Charities?

Are DBS Checks Free For Charities?

Charities seeking DBS checks can obtain DBS Checks at a greatly reduced cost because the Government waives their application fee for volunteers.

Volunteers working with charitable organisations will still be charged the Umbrella Body’s administration fee for processing the DBS check, because it costs them the same amount of time and resources to process as any other check.

Are All DBS Checks Free For Charities?

Only volunteer positions seeking a Standard DBS check, Enhanced DBS Check or an Enhanced DBS Check with Barred Lists are eligible for DBS checks with no government fees. This is because a Standard and Enhanced (with or without barred list) DBS Check are checks that may be legally required for the volunteer’s role. A Basic DBS Check is never an essential DBS check; therefore, the Government does not waive its fee for this level of DBS check.

When applying for a Standard, Enhanced or Enhanced with Barred Lists DBS check for applicants, you need to consider whether the position is eligible for the level of check that you are applying for – this is the case for both paid and voluntary positions.

Are DBS Checks Free For Charities – Volunteer Criteria

To qualify for a free-of-charge volunteer check, the applicant must not:

  • Benefit financially from the position for which the application is being submitted.
  • Receive any payment (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses).
  • Be on a work placement.
  • Be in a trainee position or undertaking a course of study that will lead to a full-time role/qualification.
  • Be a paid foster carer or a member of a foster care household.
Are DBS Checks Free for charities

Conclusion – Are DBS Checks Free For Charities?

DBS Checks are not ‘free’ for charities; however, volunteers working for a charity can obtain DBS Checks via the charity that applies for the DBS Check on their behalf at a reduced rate. This is because the Government waives their application fee, leaving only the Umbrella Body’s smaller administration fee to be paid.

Further Reading

If we have answered your question, are DBS checks free for charities, why not have a look at some of our other useful articles about DBS checks.

Can I Amend My DBS Check Once It Has Been Submitted?

Getting A DBS Check For Volunteers

DBS Eligibility: Understanding the DBS’s Vulnerable Adult Definition

If you need some DBS checks for your volunteers, visit our page to read more, or get in touch at We look forward to hearing from you!

About The Author

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Matthew Dugdale

Matthew is our go-to when it comes to all things related to Recruitment & DBS checks. His experience and expertise helps make sure that everyone gets the correct level of check.

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