Adult First Check: What You Must Know in 2023

Adult First Check

An Adult First Check Is Completed Fast And Efficiently With Aaron’s Department’s Online Service

Aaron’s Department’s online service helps organisations that provide vulnerable adult services to check their candidates against the DBS Adult Barred List faster. When applying for an adult first check, the employer will, usually within 48 hours, receive information about whether the candidate can start working under supervision or if the employer needs to wait for a certificate to be issued.

What Is A DBS Adult First Check?

As a part of the Enhanced DBS check with the barred list, the DBS Adult First Check allows employees to start engaging in regulated activities before the Enhanced DBS certificate is completed and returned.

Previously known as an ISA Adult First or POVA, it is done during stage 3 of the checking process, which is usually done within 48 hours.

Why Use an Adult First Check?

When making a recruitment decision for a position working with vulnerable adults (positions governed by the Care Quality Commission), employers should make sure that the applicants are not on the Vulnerable Adult’s Barred List. This list contains the names of people who are not allowed to work with senior people, and people unable to care for themselves.

A person is placed on the Vulnerable Adult’s Barred list if they have committed criminal offences which were directly involved with vulnerable adults, or they are deemed to be a risk to vulnerable adults. These lists are maintained by the DBS (formally CRB) since its founding back in 2012.

How Does it Work?

The employer fills in an application form for an Enhanced DBS check, specifying the need for an Adult First check, which enables employers to check candidates against the DBS Adult’s Barred List. This checking is done during stage 3 of the Enhanced DBS check with Barred Lists information.

The regular Enhanced DBS check goes through Stages 1, 2, 4 and 5, while the Enhanced with barred lists information is the only DBS check which goes through all 5.

Depending on the result of the check, this service allows a candidate to start working under supervision whilst waiting for their DBS Certificate. It is a temporary solution to staffing problems until the Enhanced DBS Certificate is issued.

When Should an Adult First Check be Requested?

A DBS Adult First check should only be used to assist you in covering staff shortages (provided they are supervised at all times) and can only be requested if the applicant’s role or duties are involved in ‘regulated activity’ with vulnerable adults.

Please note, that if they will be working alongside children as well, then this check is not appropriate. To legally engage in regulated activity with children, the individual will have to wait until the certificate is completed.

It can only be requested alongside an Enhanced DBS With Adult’s Barred List check.

The Disclosure and Barring Service has strict criteria regarding the eligible applicants for an Adult First check:

  • The position must require a criminal record check by law.
  • Positions must be eligible for access to the DBS Adults’ Barred List.
  • Organisations must have requested a check of the DBS Adults’ Barred List on the DBS application form.

Who Can Request an Adult First Check?

Adult First Checks are only available to those working in an adult care service, where an Enhanced DBS check is required by the law.

Only an employer or organisation can request this check for candidate duties that involve working in regulated activities that directly involve working with vulnerable adults.

This allows the individual to begin working with vulnerable adults, but only under supervision. Once the Enhanced DBS with Barred List Certificate is returned, the candidate can perform their duties unsupervised if they are deemed eligible to do so.

Examples that require this check are:

  • Care Homes.
  • Domiciliary Care Agencies.
  • Adult Placement Schemes.

Please note, that this service is only available to organisations who are eligible to access the DBS’s Adult’s Barred List and who have requested a check of the Barred Lists on their DBS application form.

The DBS Adult First cannot be applied for separately, and can only be requested when you are doing an Enhanced DBS check (where regulated activity is being performed). The employer can then, once the DBS application has been submitted to the DBS and passed Stage 1, request the Adults first check to be done.

Aaron’s Department’s online system allows you to automatically request a check by ticking the ‘Adult First required?’ box when creating the application.

Important Note

An Adult First DBS is not suitable when the candidate will be working with both children and adults. Whenever children are involved, an Adult First DBS is not suitable. You will need to wait until the Enhanced DBS with Barred List certificate is returned. There is no equivalent ‘Adult First check’ for children.

What Does The Adult First Check Show?

Usually, within 48 hours or less, the employer receives the result of the Adult First check information, clarifying whether the candidate is on the Barred List, or if they should wait for the certificate to be issued. If the individual is on the Barred List, it means they have been given a conviction that legally prevents them from working with vulnerable adults.

If the candidate’s name can be verified within the 48 hours to not be on the Adult Barred List, the employer is notified with the following message: “No match exists for this person on the current Adults Barred list.” This means the candidate can begin working under supervised capacity.

However, if there is a match of the candidate’s name in the Adult’s Barred List (or further investigation is needed), or if the DBS has not been able to verify completely within the 48 hour time frame that the applicant’s details are definitely not listed on the Barred List, the employer/organisation receives the following message: “Please wait to view applicant DBS Certificate”.

In this instance, the candidate cannot be hired until the Enhanced DBS certificate is returned.

What Does it Mean if The Candidate’s Name Could Not be Verified on the Adult’s Barred List Check?

It does not necessarily mean the candidate has been barred or is even on the list. It could mean that there is a person with similarities (e.g. name, D.O.B etc.), or that there has been a criminal conviction that needs exploring further.

Should this be the case, the employer/organisation has to wait until the Enhanced Check with Barred List certificate has been issued.

What Happens if The Candidate’s Name is on The Adult’s Barred List?

If someone is on the Adult Barred List, they have been classified as a potential risk to vulnerable adults because of their previous behaviour.

As stated by the UK Government’s regulation, it is a criminal offence for a barred individual to work in an environment they are barred from. It is a criminal offence for the individual, employer, organisation and voluntary organisation to work/knowingly employ a barred person for a regulated activity.

Important Notice

In the case when an employee which initially was not on the Vulnerable Adult’s Barred list when first hired proves to be harmful, employers are obliged to refer them to the Disclosure and Barring Service.

As stated by the UK Government, employers are obliged by law to report someone as unfit to work with children or vulnerable adults if they:

  • Sack them because they harmed someone.
  • Dismiss them or change their role because they might have harmed someone.
  • Were planning to sack them for either of these reasons, but they resigned first.

How Long Does a DBS Check Take 2023?

It all depends on the applicant’s information and how easy it is to check and verify it. You can read about why a DBS check may be delayed on our “How Long Does A DBS Check Take” guide.

Can I Get a DBS for Myself?

Only an organisation or employer can apply for an Enhanced or Standard DBS Check for their staff or volunteers if they fall into the eligible category. However, anyone can request a Basic DBS check for any purpose.

How Do I Get My Adult First Check?

DBS Adult First is part of the Enhanced DBS check and cannot be applied for separately.

Adult First checks can be requested by an employer once the Enhanced DBS application has passed DBS Stage 1.

Aaron’s Department’s online system allows you to automatically request a check by ticking the ‘Adult First required?’ box when creating the application.

Registering to Aaron’s Department

Aaron’s Department provides all types of DBS checks, including Enhanced DBS checks with Barred Lists information and the Adult First check, to organisations located in England and Wales. Our online system allows us to provide a very cost-effective and fast service. Registration is free, and our friendly support team will answer any questions you may have about completing a DBS check, or about our online DBS checking system.

No Hidden Costs for a Fast and Effective Service

Aaron’s Department is connected directly to the UK Government’s gateway which allows fast processing of the DBS checks, resulting in a promptly returned Enhanced DBS Certificate.

Unlike other companies who offer similar services, we do not hide behind subscription methods or hidden fees. All our expenses are included on our website for both paper and online applications.

Additional discounts are available depending on the number of checks required and advanced payments made.

If you would like to find out the cost of an Enhanced DBS Check With Adults Barred List, and an Adult First check, you can do so by visiting our online DBS Check pricing page.

DBS Checks with Aaron’s Department

Our cost-effective, online DBS system enables you to quickly register and set up candidate accounts. This allows the individual to easily complete the information themselves, providing a smooth and stress-free application.
Our countersignatories are all registered with the DBS and will handle your application with the utmost care and attention to ensure they are correct.