FAQ: How Long Does a DBS Last?

How Long Does A DBS Check last?

One of the most frequently asked, of all our Frequently Asked Questions, is “How long does a DBS last?
It’s a good question, since there isn’t actually an expiry date on the certificate itself. Here’s the short answer:

DBS checks have no official expiry date, since all information included in the check is accurate up to the date it was performed.

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How Long does a DBS Last

How Long Does A DBS Last?

DBS checks have no official expiry date, since all information included in the check is accurate up to the date it was performed.

Many organisations require their staff to undergo regular DBS checks for safeguarding purposes. For example, if you get a DBS check to work in a school, you will definitely need a new one within the next 3 years – but that doesn’t mean your original check has expired!

How often should DBS checks be renewed?

As there is no expiry date, it’s up to the employer whether they want to get a new check. However, just because DBS checks don’t expire, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t carry out new checks…

DBS checks are a legal requirement for many employers, particularly where work with children or Vulnerable Adults (over-18’s receiving any form of care or healthcare) is involved.

Many organisations renew their employees’ DBS checks regularly, usually every 1–3 years.

When is DBS renewal legally required?

DBS renewal is a regulatory requirement in some sectors, such as Childcare & Education (Ofsted) and Healthcare (The CQC) – workers in these two sectors make up the majority of legally-required DBS renewals.

However, neither of these regulatory bodies specify how frequently DBS checks need renewing. This is left to the management of each organisation to decide, and the regulatory bodies will make an assessment of the overall safeguarding policy.

Generally speaking, organisations regulated by Ofsted renew their staff DBS checks every 1–3 years, while organisations regulated by the CQC renew theirs every 1–2 years. Any less than this incurs the risk of penalties.

Are DBS checks valid for three years?

No – DBS checks aren’t invalidated after 3 years. They are a complete record up to the date of the check, so while they don’t become invalid after 3 years, they are quite outdated by this point.

As mentioned above, some industry regulators require DBS checks to be renewed every 2–3 years, which is likely where this myth originates!

The DBS Update Service

The DBS Update Service is a valuable tool for employers whose staff require regular checks. This official government subscription service lets you check for any changes to a subscriber’s criminal history, keeping their DBS checks legally up-to-date indefinitely (as long as no changes are detected!).

Visit our DBS Update Service page to read more about how it works.

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DBS Checks with Aaron’s Department

Aaron’s Department offers fast, easy, and affordable DBS checks for employers. We also run a service that automatically checks employee certificates on the Update Service, so you don’t have to manually check each individual employee’s Update Service account.

If you need a hand with anything else, or want to speak to one of our team about how long does a DBS last, feel free to give our team a ring on 0113 877 0171, or drop us an email at contact@aaronsdepartment.com

If you have found our article “How long does a DBS last?” useful, you might find these pages helpful too:
Can I Still Work If My DBS Check Has “Expired”?
Can you fail a DBS check?
What documents do you need for a DBS check?

About The Author


John Schofield-Antoncich

John has processed more applications than days he has been alive, and has become the DBS expert. Got a question? He knows the answer!

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