DBS Checks are a legal requirement, designed to help protect those who are vulnerable and in some cases, just provide peace of mind for an employer when making a recruitment decision. 

This guide will help you decide which DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check level your employees will need when working as cleaners.

What is a DBS Check?

A Disclosure and Barring Service Check (DBS Check) are criminal record background checks designed to disclose any information they hold on an applicant. 

This allows employers to know an individual's criminal record if they have one and is essential when employing staff. You can read more information on our DBS Checks for Employers page

The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) carried out these checks from 2002 until 2012 when the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) took over. 

What Cleaners Should Get a Check

Depending on where a cleaner will work will directly impact the reason for getting a criminal disclosure check. 

Generally, DBS checks provide peace of mind for a business by giving an insight into their criminal past (if there is one!). 

There are rules that decide what level of check you are legally allowed to apply for, which solely depends on the job role.

DBS Checks for Self-Employed Cleaners

If you are a self-employed cleaner, then the highest level you will be able to request will be a Basic DBS check. This will disclose any unspent convictions, final warnings, and reprimands from the Police National Computer (PNC). 

The Basic check can only be requested because individuals aren't allowed to get a higher level on themselves. Why? Well, it is mainly due to the fact that they could easily forge or use illegal documents when ID checking themselves. This is set out in the Freedom of Information Act 2012

You can read more about these DBS checks in our Self-Employed People Guide.

DBS Checks for Cleaners In Care Homes, Hospitals And Schools 

Because there is so much variation on the type of work cleaners can do when working in care homes, hospitals and school, there is often confusion over what level of check is needed. 

The level of check all comes down to where and when the cleaner will be working. 

Schools - As most cleaners will likely be working after school hours when pupils will not be on the premises, a basic DBS check should suffice. However, if they are working when there is a possibility of being able to forge relationships with kids, then a Standard or Enhanced with Children's Barred list might be needed depending on the frequency and time spent there.

Hospitals
 - Since the cleaner will be there throughout the day coming into contact with children and vulnerable adults, then a Standard or Enhanced DBS Check may be needed.

Care Homes
 - Similarly to hospitals, cleaners will come into frequent contact with vulnerable adults in their duties, so a Standard or Enhanced DBS Check may be needed. 

It all depends on the circumstances the cleaner is working in, and to ensure the correct DBS check is selected for the cleaner, you should double-check with an Umbrella Body

At Aaron's Department, we don't process an application without ensuring the correct disclosure type has been selected. So, if you are a customer with us and unsure what level you need for your staff, you could always contact us before applying.

DBS Checks for Cleaners In Retail and Office Spaces

As there is no opportunity to come into contact with children or vulnerable adults in these workspaces, then a Basic DBS Check will be good enough, should you want to do one. This will be used to safeguard the companies property and overall business.

The Wrap-Up

Because there is no one-size-fits-all DBS check for cleaners, it can get confusing. 

The general rule is that if the cleaner will come into contact with Children or Vulnerable Adults in their day-to-day duties, then a Standard and Enhanced DBS Check will be necessary. If the cleaner is working in a 'regular' setting such as an office space or a retailer, then a Basic DBS Check will be the one to go for. 

If you are unsure what level will be needed and are signed up with Aaron's Department, you can get in touch with us before applying, and we will talk you through the correct level of DBS Check you will need. 

To get a DBS check for your staff, simply click the button below, or alternatively book a discovery demo to find out more, by clicking the other button.

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