Volunteers

Onlinedbs.co.uk can process DBS application for volunteers. Volunteers can get a Standard or Enhanced DBS check for just £8.

To qualify for a Volunteer DBS the applicant must fit the DBS Definition of a volunteer.

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.”

To qualify for a free-of-charge criminal record check, the applicant must not benefit directly from the position the DBS application is being submitted for. 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

Please read through the examples in the table below showing common volunteer errors.

Examples of eligible and ineligible volunteer roles
Position applied for DBS volunteer status Reasoning
Parent helpers in schools Eligible This activity is entirely voluntary, is unpaid and is primarily aimed at providing a service to a third party
Scout/Guide Eligible This 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 old Eligible This 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 old Ineligible This 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 projects Ineligible This 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 training Ineligible This activity is a mandatory course requirement, is usually paid and is primarily undertaken to benefit the student
Update service information for volunteers

Volunteer DBS may be signed up to the update service free of charge. If you move from a volunteer position to a paid position you will need to apply for a new DBS check, rejoin the update service and pay the annual fee of £13 by credit or debit card.

You can’t add a DBS certificate for a paid position to a free subscription which was created with a DBS certificate for a voluntary position; you would need to create a new subscription for the paid-for DBS certificate.

You can however add a DBS certificate for a volunteer position to an update service account that was set up for a paid position certificate.

DBS Check
£ 8.00