Understanding A Volunteer DBS Check

Whether you’re considering volunteering or are involved in volunteer recruitment, understanding the process of a volunteer DBS check is crucial. Not all volunteers are eligible for volunteer DBS checks, so it’s important to understand the regulations before attempting to apply for them.

Knowing how volunteer DBS checks work is essential for volunteer recruitment and safety. DBS checks ensure that volunteers meet specific criteria and help build trust in an organisation. As we explore the details of volunteer DBS checks, we aim to provide you with the necessary information for successful volunteer engagement.

Volunteer DBS Check

Am I Eligible For A Volunteer DBS Check?

To be eligible for a volunteer DBS check, Volunteers must meet specific criteria.

Firstly, an individual must fit the legal definition of a ‘volunteer.’ As defined by the Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) Regulations 2002, a volunteer is “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.”

Additionally, the individual must meet the eligibility requirements for a Standard or Enhanced DBS check. This typically involves working with children or vulnerable adults in a regulated activity. You can find more information about government guidance on regulated activities for children here and for adults here. (link to be added)

Who Doesn’t Qualify For A Volunteer DBS Check?

Volunteers will not qualify for a free volunteer DBS check if they:

  • Directly benefit from the position they’re applying for.
  • Receive any form of payment (excluding travel and approved out-of-pocket expenses).
  • Are on a work placement.
  • Are on a course that mandates the job role.
  • Hold a trainee position that will lead to a full-time role or qualification.

If a volunteer who doesn’t meet these eligibility criteria applies for a Standard or Enhanced check, the DBS may attempt to retrospectively recover the full application fee.

volunteer DBS check

What Level of DBS Check Does A Volunteer Need?

DBS Checks for volunteers can only be conducted at Standard and Enhanced levels. Individuals cannot apply for these checks themselves; the organisation they volunteer for must do it on their behalf. The government waives the application fee for volunteers, meaning the only charge that needs paying is a smaller administration fee, charged by the Umbrella Body (DBS check provider).

The DBS doesn’t issue free Basic DBS Checks for volunteers because Basic Checks are not legally required under any circumstances. If an organisation wishes to apply for a Basic DBS Check for either paid staff or volunteers, this will be subject to the usual fee.

Can I Do My Volunteer DBS Check Online?

A volunteer DBS Check, like all other checks, are much quicker than paper applications. It is quicker and easier to complete any DBS application online.

The Process Explained

DBS checks for volunteers are exactly the same as any other check, they will go through the same scrutiny and checks before the DBS can issue a certificate to the applicant, providing the result of the check.

Volunteer DBS Checks

Conclusion – DBS Checks for Volunteers

In conclusion, to be eligible for a DBS check as a volunteer, you must engage in unpaid work for an unrelated third party, with no expectation of personal gain. Additionally, you must work in a regulated activity involving children or vulnerable adults.

If you have any unanswered questions about DBS checks for volunteers or want more information, please feel free to get in touch with us. Here at Aaron’s Department, we have many years of experience with processing DBS Checks and can usually answer your questions immediately. Call us on 0113 877 0171 or email contact@aaronsdepartment.com, or you can register below for free or even book a demonstration of our user-friendly system.

Further Reading – Volunteer DBS Checks

Want to find out more about Volunteer DBS Checks? Our section on volunteers can help you navigate volunteer checks and any issues you may need to overcome. Read more here – Volunteers

About The Author

FAQ: Do Cautions Show On DBS Checks?

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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