What Is A Registered Body For DBS Checks?

Introduction – What Is A Registered Body For DBS Checks?

A Registered Body is an organisation that has “registered” with the DBS to process DBS check applications. They are frequently called “Umbrella Bodies”, although there is a slight difference in the meaning. We’ll go into more detail below…

What Is A Registered Body? Why Are They A Thing?

In order to prevent identity fraud, only Registered Bodies can apply for DBS checks, on behalf of their employees or customers. A Registered Body is an organisation that the DBS can trust to carry out applications securely and responsibly.

What Is A Registered Body?

What’s The Difference Between A Registered Body And An Umbrella Body?

If an organisation does enough DBS checks per year, they can register directly with the DBS to become a Registered Body. However, this is a very lengthy, intensive, and complicated process, and the majority of companies aren’t eligible to become a Registered Body in the first place.

So, they use the services of a Registered Body that does DBS checks on behalf of other organisations.

Umbrella Bodies allow other organisations to apply for DBS checks thanks to their Registered Body status. Aaron’s Department is an Umbrella Body, and without us, thousands of businesses wouldn’t have been able to get their staff DBS checked.

What DBS checks can a Registered Body complete?

Registered bodies can provide employers with all 3 levels of DBS check – Basic, Standard, and Enhanced – as well as Barred List checks, and Adult First checks.

If you’re an individual looking to get a Basic DBS check for yourself, Aaron’s Department does not offer this service – we recommend applying directly via the gov.uk website. Some less scrupulous Registered Bodies will charge a high admin fee for what amounts to somebody double-checking your application. It will take longer, and most likely isn’t worth the extra cost.

What are the advantages of using an Umbrella Body?

For most businesses, it’s impossible to do DBS checks for staff without an Umbrella Body – that’s reason enough to use one! However, for organisations that conduct hundreds of DBS checks a year and thus have the option to do them internally, why would they use an Umbrella Body?

A number of our customers have this option but use us anyway, because the cost of offloading the DBS application process to 3rd party specialists (that’s us!) is much, much lower than training the staff and developing the systems necessary to do checks in-house.

What Is A Registered Body?

What makes a good DBS Umbrella Body?

If your business is looking to choose an Umbrella Body to work with, here are a few points to look out for:

Is personal information safe and secure?

Check the Umbrella Body’s credentials, (for example, Aaron’s Department is Cyber-Essentials certified and uses two-factor authentication for all log-ins) and get in touch with them if your IT department has any extra questions.

What sort of guidance / customer service is available?

Getting staff DBS checks can be a complicated and expensive process, with legal ramifications. You want to make sure your Umbrella body is a helpful, responsive, and attentive as possible. As for ourselves, have a read of our testimonials or google reviews, and decide for yourself.

Does the Registered Body / Umbrella Body charge the correct fee?

The costs of a DBS check can be broken down into two main components: DBS fees, which are sent by the Umbrella Body directly to the government, and Admin Fees, payment for the Umbrella Body’s services.

As of 2024, the DBS fees the government charges are £38 for an Enhanced application, and £18 for Basic and Standard applications. Some Umbrella Bodies ad a couple of extra quid onto these fees, presumably so they can pocket the difference – consider this to be a red flag to avoid.

Is the Registered Body / Umbrella Body transparent on how it charges fees?

Some Umbrella Bodies sneak in extra fees for their customers to pay, or aren’t transparent with their costs. Sign-up fees and fast-track fees are two common examples. At Aaron’s Department, we don’t charge either (all our checks are fast-tracked anyway, at no extra charge). All of our pricing is listed up-front on our Pricing Page.

Does the Registered Body Use E-Bulk Online Submission?

Most Umbrella Bodies use this nowadays, but there are still some that don’t. “E-Bulk” in this context basically means, “the Registered Body can send applications to the government digitally rather than needing to use costly, inefficient paper forms”. Naturally, Aaron’s Department has been using E-Bulk for years.

What Is A Registered Body?

Summary: What Exactly Do Umbrella Bodies Do?

Let’s say you worked for a care home, and your staff were legally required to get Enhanced DBS checks. You aren’t able to apply for these directly to the government, so you’ll have to use the services of an Umbrella Body / Registered Body!

These businesses facilitate DBS check applications for other organisations. Thanks to their expertise and infrastructure, applying for a DBS check has never been easier, faster, or more affordable – at least with Aaron’s Department, anyway.

If you’ve found our article, “What is a Registered Body?” helpful, you might also be interested in these posts:

About The Author

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Matthew Dugdale

Matthew is our go-to when it comes to all things related to Recruitment & DBS checks. His experience and expertise helps make sure that everyone gets the correct level of check.

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