FAQ: Do You Need A New DBS For Every Job?

If you’ve recently completed a DBS check, but are now moving to a different role or employer, getting a new DBS check might feel like a waste of resources.

And to be fair, it probably is – as in, unless you’ve had any additions to your criminal record, it won’t reveal any new information. But employers have to consider the law, their internal company policy, and the rules laid down by the regulatory body governing their sector.

So, do you need a new DBS for every job?

Do You Need A New DBS For Every Job? Laws

If your previous DBS check is a lower level of disclosure than the new role requires, then you won’t be able to transfer it. For example, if you have a Basic DBS check, but your new role requires an Enhanced Check with Barred Lists, you definitely won’t be allowed to use your old check for the new role.

If your previous DBS check is the same level of disclosure that the new role requires, then it’s legal to use your previous DBS check for the new role – depending on how recently it was completed.

FAQ: Do You Need A New DBS For Every Job?

Do You Need A New DBS For Every Job? Regulations

DBS checks can’t predict the future; they only show offences committed before the certificate is printed. Offences committed after won’t show. Because of this, many sectors such as Education and Healthcare require regular DBS checks. These are mandated by the regulatory bodies governing their sectors (E.G. Ofsted, and the CQC).

In practice, this means that if you wanted a job teaching children and your DBS check was a year old and the correct level, you’d be allowed to use it by law, and by the regulator, Ofsted (although the employer can still request a new check at their discretion).

But, if the check was 4 years old, you wouldn’t be allowed to use it because the Ofsted guidelines stipulate that staff checks should be renewed no less than every 3 years.

Do You Need A New DBS For Every Job? The Employer’s Choice

Regardless of laws and regulations, it’s the employer’s choice whether they want you to undergo a new DBS check upon changing jobs. An employer is well within their rights to request a DBS check for their staff as frequently as they please, as long it’s the right level of check being requested.

You’re free to withhold consent, but the employer might rescind the job offer. If you really don’t want to have another DBS completed, click here to read more about your options.

The DBS Update Service

Recently, the DBS introduced the Update Service. This is an official DBS subscription service that keeps Standard and Enhanced checks legally up-to-date by continually verifying that there have been no additions to the applicant’s criminal record.

Subscribers to the Update Service can take their checks from role to role regardless of how old the original check is, as long as it’s the correct level of check required for the role.

Employers must log into their employees’ Update Service accounts to check whether there have been any changes, and it’s recommended to do this once per month. If there have been any changes to the User’s criminal record, a new DBS check should be requested ASAP.

To get your check on the Update Service, you must apply within 14 days of getting your check, and the fee is £13/year, pus the cost of the original check.

FAQ: Do You Need A New DBS For Every Job?

Summary: Do You Need A New DBS For Every Job?

There are some cases where you can use an old DBS for a new job, such as if you’re subscribed to the DBS Update Service, or if your old DBS check is the correct level required for the new role and still pretty recent.

Otherwise, you’ll be needing to get a new check completed. Your employer should handle most of this process, though, so there’s no need to worry.

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About The Author

FAQ: Do You Need A New DBS For Every Job?

Kellie Dawson

Kellie is our in-house legal expert when it comes to DBS checks. With a background in the legal sector, she has become a recognised authority in this area.


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