It's a question we get asked a lot about... what DBS checks do cooks or chefs need?

Well, it all depends on the setting where they will be working. Chefs or cooks working in a public kitchen will need a different check to those working in a school or care premises.

This guide will go over which check is suitable for each setting.

DBS Checks for Chefs and Cooks in Schools

The level of check for chefs or cooks working in schools depends on if they meet the frequency period or not. 

The Frequency Period: This is whether the applicant will be working 3 or more days within in a 30-day period, or regularly once a week. 

If they do not meet the frequency period (often temporary chefs or cooks), then they will require an Enhanced DBS check without the children's barred list. 

If they meet the frequency period, then they will need an Enhanced DBS check with the children's barred list.

DBS Checks for Chefs and Cooks in Care Homes

Those cooks who work in care premises, such as care homes, who are just cooking and preparing food will need to have an enhanced DBS check without barred lists. 

The chefs or cooks in these settings will be working in an environment where they have the opportunity to come into close contact with vulnerable adults frequently. Because of this, an Enhanced DBS check without vulnerable adults barred list is needed. 

There could be the case that the chef or cook is not just preparing the food, but also frequently assisting the vulnerable adults to eat their food, or conveying them to and from hospital. In this case, an Enhanced DBS check with vulnerable adults barred list will be required. 

What is a Vulnerable Adult?

A vulnerable adult is classed as someone who is aged 18+ that is needing care services because of a disability, age, or illness. 

If a person is unable to look after themselves, unable to report abuse, or protect themselves from harm and exploitation, then they are also classed as a vulnerable adult.

What Does an Enhanced DBS Check Contain?

This DBS Certificate contains spent and unspent convictions, final warnings, and reprimands from the Police National Computer (PNC), and information that the local police force considers to be relevant for the position the applicant is applying for.

You can read more about what an Enhanced DBS Check includes in our What Does A DBS Check Show guide.

DBS Checks for Chefs/Cooks Working Elsewhere

Chefs or cooks who work elsewhere will be expected to take a Basic DBS check, to ensure that the public stays safe.

What Does a Basic DBS Check Contain?

As the name suggests, this is the most basic level of checking and contains the details of any unspent convictions or conditional cautions the applicant has.

The Wrap-Up

Hopefully, this guide has given you the information needed to be able to apply for a DBS check for your chef or cook.

If you want to read more about DBS checks guidance, you can do so on our help and advice page.