Online DBS Checks For Volunteers - Everything You Need To Know

Since many volunteering positions require certain safeguarding, it is very common for these roles to need a DBS check to allow the individual to work. Whether it be a charity working with vulnerable adults/children, or a support worker, the voluntary position should be treated like any other, and have the correct procedures carried out. 


In this blog, we're going to take a look at what DBS checks a volunteer is eligible for, which ones they can receive for free, as well as the criteria that must be met to be classified as a volunteer.

dbs checks for volunteers

What Is A Volunteer?

So before we discuss what DBS checks for volunteers are, we need to make sure that we are clear on what a volunteer role is officially defined as. 

The Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) Regulations describes a volunteer as "any individual engaged in an activity which involves spending time, unpaid (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses), doing something which aims to benefit some third party and not a close relative".


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Do Volunteers Need A DBS Check?

Yes, no matter whether you're hiring volunteers or paid workers, you have to follow any safeguarding processes that are in place.


DBS Check Criteria For A Volunteer

With the previous descriptions, the individual must meet the following criteria to be classed as a volunteer for a DBS check. 

The individual must not be:

  • Receiving any payment for their role (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses).
  • On a work placement.
  • Benefitting directly from the position the DBS application is being submitted for.
  • In a trainee position that will lead to a full-time job or qualification.
  • Undertaking a course that requires them to do the job role.

It's important to note that it is not a case of not just meeting one of the criteria points above. Every point must be met to be classified as a volunteer, and if not, the DBS have the right to reject the application.


What Level Of DBS Check Is Needed For A Volunteer?

Well, this is solely dependent on the role of the volunteer within the organisation - there are no one-size-fits-all options! 

Basic, Standard, and Enhanced DBS Checks are all available for a volunteer, depending on what roles they will undertake in their positions. If you'd like to find out more about these different checks, and which ones you may be required to check, do can do so by visiting our DBS Eligibility Guide.


DBS Checks For Volunteers

How Much Is A DBS Check For A Volunteer?

Standard and Enhanced Checks have no fees from the DBS, meaning you only have to pay a small admin fee to have it processed!

At Aaron's Department, this ranges from as little as £3.97 to a maximum of £6.95 per application, depending on the number of DBS checks you want to do.


Why Aren't Basic DBS Checks Free For Volunteers?

This is because a Basic DBS check is not a legal requirement, for both paid and voluntary roles, only Standard and Enhanced DBS Checks are free for volunteers. 

If an employer is wanting a Basic DBS check for a volunteer, then they will have to pay the DBS fee (£23) and an admin fee.


How To Apply For A Volunteer DBS Check 

If you do require a DBS check for your voluntary staff, at Aaron’s Department we offer a fast, reliable online service backed up by our fantastic in-house experts, from as little as £3.97! 

To find out more about how easy it is to use our DBS Checking Service (connected directly to the Government Gateway), you can click here to read all about it

Alternatively, if you want to get started, and possibly start receiving your results in a matter of hours, just click the big red button below to register your organisation/company! If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below, or give our team a ring on 0113 877 0171.