Frequently Asked Questions on Criminal Record Checks

Below are a number of questions that our team are asked on a frequent basis by colleagues and clients from across an increasingly diverse range of employment sectors. If you do not see the answer you need listed below, contact one of our advisors on 029 2060 2356 or alternatively please email enquiries@onlinedbs.co.uk.

Why choose onlinedbs.co.uk to process DBS applications?
  • Trusted by the DBS since 2002. Our business has worked in partnership with the DBS (formerly the Criminal Record Bureau – CRB) for over 15 years.
  • We have been an umbrella company processing DBS applications for local authorities, schools, care homes and other key sectors for over 10 years across the UK.
  • Our strength is that we provide our clients with a personal, fast, friendly and professional online service. Although primarily an online process, our offer is centred on providing you and your team with excellent customer experience, whilst processing and administering all levels of criminal record checks.
Your organisation will benefit from:
  • No registration fees
  • No set up or annual fees
  • No minimum form requirements
  • No fixed terms contract
 Our experienced compliance team will deliver:
  • Super-fast turnaround: four out of five enhanced applications are currently being completed within seven days. Over 30% of those are returned within 24 hours
  • Results returned online to enable quick, safe recruitment decisions
  • Reduced error rate: built in, smart logic to ensure errors are reduced
  • Reduced administration costs
  • Search facility, giving you instant access 24 hours a day, seven days a week to find any application your organisation has processed
  • Advice and guidance from dedicated DBS advisors. Take a look at our list of disclosure types that your organisation may want to consider for application. If you are still unsure of what level of DBS you need please feel free to contact our team.
How can an application be made for a Volunteer DBS check?
Volunteer DBS checks are exactly the same as normal DBS checks, however they can be issued free-of-charge leaving only the administration fee to be paid. The DBS definition of a volunteer is defined in the Police Act 1997 (criminal records) Regulations 2002 as ‘Any person engaged in an activity which involves spending, 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’.N.B. In order to qualify for a Volunteer DBS, the applicant must not benefit directly from the position the DBS application is being submitted for. An applicant must meet certain criteria in order to be eligible to apply for a volunteer DBS.

The applicant must not:

  • benefit directly from the position for which the DBS application is being submitted
  • receive any payment (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses)
  • be on a work placement
  • be on a course that requires them to do this job role
  • be in a trainee position that will lead to a full time role/qualification

Take a look at this table which identifies the type of voluntary position, eligibility and reasoning.

Position applied forDBS volunteer statusReasoning
Parent helpers in schoolsEligibleThis activity is entirely voluntary, is unpaid and is primarily aimed at providing a service to a third party
Scout/GuideEligibleThis activity is entirely voluntary, is unpaid and is primarily aimed at providing a service to a third party
Adoptive parents and other household members over 18 years oldEligibleThis activity is entirely voluntary, is unpaid and is primarily aimed at providing a service to a third party
Foster carers and members of the same household over 18 years oldIneligibleThis activity is entirely voluntary but foster carers usually receive payments for these activities therefore it is deemed that neither foster carers nor other members of the household are entitled to free checks
Individuals working abroad on volunteering projectsIneligibleThis activity is entirely voluntary and is primarily aimed at providing a service to a third party, but these persons usually receive payment of a local salary, and lump sum payments, above and beyond what could be described as “travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses”.
Medical/teaching/social work student on work placement, as part of trainingIneligibleThis activity is a mandatory course requirement, is usually paid and is primarily undertaken to benefit the student
How do we know what level of DBS check we need to apply for?
If your organisation is unclear about what level of DBS check to apply for, take a look at our disclosure types page. If you still do not see the information you require, contact the team here at onlinedbs.co.uk.
What if the ID document has the applicant’s previous name or address on?
In order for the ID documents to be valid they must show the applicants current name and address. The only exception to this is if the passport shows the applicants maiden name, in which case a UK marriage certificate can be used to support this name change.
Do I need to see original ID documents when completing a DBS check on an employee?
It is essential that you see the original ID for the applicant you are checking. Without viewing the original document it is impossible to determine whether it is a legitimate document. Photocopies or scans are not acceptable.
What if the ID document is out-of-date?
If the document is out-of-date then it is no longer considered a valid form of ID and cannot be used. It is advisable that the applicant renews this document at the earliest possible opportunity to process the DBS application.
What does our organisation do if the person is a new resident in the UK?
If the applicant is unable to provide you with the correct forms of ID to complete the evidence check online then your organisation will have to pursue a Route 4 application process. This involves a paper form and answering ‘no’ to question 59. onlinedbs.co.uk need to counter sign this and the applicant is contacted to go for finger prints at their local police station. If this route is progressed, then no ID is needed.
What workforce should our organisation select?
Once your organisation commences an application for a DBS, you will be requested to provide a workforce – these are explained below:

  • Child Workforce: any position that involves working / volunteering with children
  • Adults Workforce: any position that involves working /volunteering with vulnerable adults
  • Child and Adults Workforce: any position that involves working / volunteering with children and vulnerable adults
  • Other Workforce: any position that does not involve working / volunteering with children or vulnerable adults e.g. Security Guard
Does the DBS check information from overseas?
Disclosure and Barring checks will NOT include any information on the candidate from overseas. If you would like more information on how these can be obtained please feel free to contact us.
How much does a DBS Cost?
Please view our DBS Checks available for up to date pricing details.

Question still not answered? Please contact us for further help.