What is the DBS Update Service?

Provided only by the Disclosure and Barring Service, the DBS Update Service allows applicants to keep their Standard and Enhanced DBS check up to date.

The DBS update service check allows people to take DBS certificates from role to role within the same workforce (if the same level of check is needed). For example, if a person has previously had a Standard DBS check carried out, they could use it in a new role if this same level of check was needed. However, if an Enhanced check is needed, a new DBS application would legally have to be done.

Please note: It is not possible for any umbrella body, including Aaron’s Department, to directly sign applicants up to the update service. This can easily be done on the official Government DBS website.

How do Employers Check DBS Update Service?

The DBS online update service also helps employers to easily check their applicant’s certificate online, and carry out status checks, with the individual’s consent.

To view the online certificate, an employer, or organisation just needs the 12-digit DBS certificate reference number, the applicant’s name and date of birth. They can then go online and carry out a status check on the certificates.

Below is what the DBS update service login page looks like.

How Much Does the DBS Update Service Cost?

The update service DBS check costs £13 per year and starts from the day of the DBS certificate issue date.

If the applicant is a volunteer, then the service charge is waived.

How Long Does the DBS Online Update Service Last?

Once the applicant is registered, the service lasts for one year. The Disclosure and Barring Service will email you before the subscription ends to check if you want the service to renew.

What Information is Needed to Register for the DBS Update Service?

The information needed to be able to register for the update service is as follows:

  • Name.
  • Gender.
  • Date of birth.
  • Email address.
  • Reference number, depending on the method used (see below).
  • A card to pay for the Update Service fee (if applicable).

How Can You Register for the DBS Update Service?

Employers are unable to register for the update service, as this is something only an applicant (the person having the check on them) can do.

This can be done in a couple of ways on the DBS Update Service register page.

Application Reference Number

When the applicant applies for their DBS check, they are able to join the DBS online update service using their application reference number.

For this method, the DBS application must be received by the Disclosure and Barring Service within 28 days of joining the update service.

The DBS will then add the certificate to the applicant’s account when it is issued.

DBS Certificate Number

When the DBS check is complete and the applicant has received their certificate, they have 30 days from the ‘date of issue’ to register.

This can be done using the number on the DBS certificate itself.

Further Information

To find out more about this service, and register yourself for it, please read the Government DBS Update Service guide, by clicking here.

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Cyril Williams
Cyril Williams
5 months ago

How can a dbs last for 3 years yet if you haven’t registered within 19 days of having it you can’t subscribe?

Aaron's Department Team
Aaron's Department Team
Reply to  Cyril Williams
5 months ago

Hi Cyril,

A DBS check has no legal expiry date, only an issue date, although the information is only correct up until the date of print – you can read more about that on this page: https://www.aaronsdepartment.com/how-long-does-a-dbs-last.php

Regarding the 19 days, this was the old amount of time that people had to subscribe to the update service. This amount of time is still listed on the login page of the DBS update service login page. We have updated this to the new 30-day deadline in this article, which is now listed on the DBS website (https://www.gov.uk/dbs-update-service). This Is the deadline for applying to the update service, which is separate from having the DBS check done itself.

Thank you
Aaron’s Department