Getting an Enhanced DBS Check For Self-Employed Workers
If you need an Enhanced DBS check for a self-employed worker (presumably that’s you, the reader!), you might be wondering where to start. An Enhanced DBS check is a comprehensive criminal background check that is often required for certain types of work, particularly those that involve working with children or vulnerable adults. Here’s what you need to know about how to get an Enhanced DBS check for a self-employed person.
What is an Enhanced DBS Check?
Firstly, it’s important to understand what an Enhanced DBS check is. An Enhanced DBS check is the highest level of criminal record check available in the UK. It includes details of both spent and unspent convictions, as well as any cautions, reprimands, or warnings that are on record. An Enhanced DBS check also includes information from the police and other government departments that may be relevant to the role being applied for, such as whether the individual is barred from working with vulnerable groups.
Why Might You Need an Enhanced DBS Check?
If you’re self-employed and your work involves working with children or vulnerable adults, you may be required to undergo an Enhanced DBS check. This includes roles such as:
- Care workers
- Foster carers
- Healthcare professionals
- Sports coaches
- Personal assistants
Even if your work doesn’t involve direct contact with children or vulnerable adults, an Enhanced DBS check may be required if you’re working in certain industries, such as finance or security.
Why Those Who Are Self-Employed Cannot Get an Enhanced DBS Check
The check must also be applied for by an organisation or employer, as you can’t perform your own risk assessment or ID check.
If you could do an ID check on yourself, then this would make it easy for individuals to use forged and illegal documents. This is set out in the Freedom of Information Act 2012.
How to Apply for an Enhanced DBS Check
If you need an Enhanced DBS check as a self-employed person, the process for applying is slightly different from if you were an employee. Here are the steps you’ll need to follow:
Step 1: Find an Organisation to Carry Out The Check
Since you can’t apply for an Enhanced DBS check for yourself as a self-employed person, you’ll have to find an organisation that can. If you are doing contracting work, you should ask the organisation you are contracted by to apply for your Enhanced DBS check on your behalf – they will likely oblige. For example, if you host a club at a school once a week, the school should offer to provide an Enhanced DBS check for you.
If you are self-employed and not working for a wider organisation, then you may be able to ask your industry/sector’s regulatory body for a DBS check, or approach a specialised Umbrella Body that deals in securing DBS checks for people in your line of work.
For example, Nannies and Private Tutors may be able to ask Ofsted to process their Enhanced DBS checks. Another good example is taxi drivers getting their DBS checks via the local council that provides their licences.
Step 2: Complete the Application Form
Once you’ve found an organisation, you’ll need to complete the Enhanced DBS application form. You’ll need to provide personal information such as your name, date of birth, and address. You’ll also need to provide details of the work you’ll be doing and the reason you need an Enhanced DBS check.
Step 3: Provide ID Documents
As part of the application process, you’ll need to provide certain ID documents to prove your identity. This might include your passport, driving licence, and proof of address such as a utility bill or bank statement. For more information about the documents you need for a DBS application, we have prepared a guide here.
Step 4: Pay The Associated Fees
There is a fee for an Enhanced DBS check, which is usually paid by the employer. However, as a self-employed person, you may be asked to pay the fee yourself. The fee varies depending on the type of check you need and the Registered Body being used, but it’s usually around £40-£60.
Step 5: Wait for the Check to be Processed
Once you’ve submitted your application and paid the fee, the Registered Body will process your Enhanced DBS check. This can take several weeks*, so it’s important to allow plenty of time before you need the check. Once the check is complete, you’ll receive a certificate in the post.
*An application taking several weeks to be returned is unlikely, but possible, and it could occur for a few different reasons. For more information on DBS delays, take a look at our blog article: Why is my DBS stuck?
Getting an Enhanced DBS Check For Self Employed Workers – Conclusion
Getting an Enhanced DBS check as a self-employed person can be a bit more complicated than if you were an employee, but it’s still a straightforward process.
By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure that you’re meeting any legal requirements for your work and providing reassurance to those you work with that you’re a safe and trustworthy individual. Remember, an Enhanced DBS check is only one aspect of safeguarding, and it’s important to follow other procedures such as risk assessments and training to ensure the safety of those you work with.