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Disclosure and Barring Service: Making Checks and Use of DBS Disclosure Information (Wales) Policy

Policy Statement

{{org_field_name}} recognises that to provide care and treatment to the standards required, it must have rigorous selection and recruitment procedures that comply with Regulation 35 “Fitness of Staff” of the Regulated Services (Service Providers and Responsible Individuals) (Wales) Regulations 2017, made under the Registration and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016.

Regulation 35 requires care providers to ensure that staff and volunteers employed by the service must:

Regulation 35(3) sets out the DBS checks that are referred to in Schedule 1, ie

The service makes the required criminal records and, where appropriate, barring list checks through the government’s Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), which was established under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, and which, to protect human rights, requires a proportionate response by employers to the making of criminal records and barring list checks, and a similarly proportionate consideration of the information obtained from the checks.

Scope and Purpose of Policy

This policy outlines {{org_field_name}}’s approach to the handling and security of information obtained from Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal records, and where appropriate, barring list checks. The policy applies to all staff groups for whom criminal records checks are made in line with the above care regulations and the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.

Related policies are:

As the law stands, the service is required to make criminal records checks for successful applicants of all care-related positions, particularly those that fall within the description of “regulated activity” (as defined by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012). These are made by carrying out DBS checks in line with its procedures.

All care worker roles are defined as regulated activity and therefore the service is required to carry out enhanced criminal records checks of all successful applicants for these posts. The service is required to “handle” the information received from these checks with great care and sensitivity in line with data protection laws and the DBS’s Code of Practice.

This service will therefore:

Principles for Making DBS Checks

The service works to the following principles.

Procedures for Making Criminal Records Disclosures and Barred List Checks

• Before confirming someone’s appointment, the service is required to carry out checks with the DBS. Requests for checks in an adult service can be made against one of the following.
a) Basic Check (which is requested by the subject)
b) Standard check
c) Enhanced check
d) Enhanced check and barred list check (adult)
e) Enhanced check and barred list check (child and adult e.g. in a domiciliary care service providing support to children as well as adults).
• For staff who work in regulated activity as defined by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, the organisation must apply for an enhanced criminal records check and barring list check.
• For staff in non-care roles, who have only limited or infrequent contact with service users, the service will generally apply for a standard criminal records check. However, it might seek the person’s permission to make an enhanced check if the post requires frequent or regular contact with service users, though still outside the definition of regulated activity. Where the staff member, volunteer or contractor has no contact with service users and, say, only occasional involvement in the service, a basic check might be sufficient.
• The service is committed to following the current guidance on criminal records and barring list checks issued by the DBS, and reviews its policies in line with any new guidance that it issues.
• A person who has applied for a care role whose name appears on one of the barring lists, will clearly not be eligible for appointment as a social care worker or above.
• [Where applicable]. In a care home, as all employees are likely to have some contact with residents, it is highly unlikely that a barred applicant would be accepted for a non-care role, which does not involve regulated activity. There might be exceptions made to this general rule depending on the reasons for their being on a barred list and the non-regulated activity post for which the person has applied. Such issues would need to be fully investigated and a decision would be made on the outcomes of the investigation and a risk assessment.
• [Where applicable]. In a domiciliary support service it is also unlikely for anyone on a barred list to be accepted for employment, though the service might consider employing a barred person in a non – care role, which did not involve contact with service users, depending on their suitability and risk factors.
• A person who has applied for either a care or a non-care role, who has an unspent criminal conviction as shown by the DBS check (but in the case of care role applicants is not on a barred list) will not automatically be rejected for the post for which they have applied. A decision to appoint or not will take into account the details of their conviction and the outcomes of a risk assessment, which will ensure that no-one is put at risk from any decision to make an appointment.
• In cases where it is not possible to obtain a full criminal record check before a person is due to start work and to maintain adequate staffing levels, the service obtains an Adult First clearance and makes sure that the person is properly monitored and supervised in line with official guidance until full clearance is obtained. Employees are made aware of the provisional nature of their appointment until all checks have been completed.
• The service retains any information held manually or electronically on criminal records checks in secure conditions, observing access to records and data protection protocols like any other personal information it holds on its staff members.
• The service is permitted to keep information held manually that the relevant checks have been carried out until its next inspection after which the information is destroyed, though it will still be recorded that the checks have been carried out together with the recording of information that has been obtained using the DBS online updating service.

The service keeps the following confidential details having seen a person’s certificate.

Volunteers

The service seeks enhanced or standard DBS checks on volunteers providing services to service users or to the service. Volunteers do not carry out regulated activity and are not subject to barring lists’ checks.

Student Placements, Trainees and Work Experience

The service follows DBS and government guidelines in working out the checks needed on students and trainees. It understands that the minimum age for a DBS check is 16, and students under that age will be allowed to visit the service only after careful preparation and a risk assessment and will always receive close support and supervision.

Students and trainees over the age of 16 years will be eligible for a DBS check, and might have received one by way of their educational institution or sponsoring agency; in which cases the service will ensure that it has been made at the right level for the purposes of the work / learning experiences planned.

Anyone engaged to practise in regulated activity will usually require an enhanced DBS and barring list check, particularly with longer placements. The service will assess on a case by case basis the level of check required for the purpose of the placement by making a risk assessment and carefully recording the reasons for every decision.

Foreign Workers

The service employs foreign workers only after confirming their legal status and entitlement to work in this country and after making equivalent checks on their criminal records and fitness to work with vulnerable people.

Agency Staff

The service recognises that it is the responsibility of any employment agency who supplies staff to the home to have carried out all the required DBS checks. The service always seeks confirmation from the agency that it has carried out these checks and can verify that it has done so. It regularly reviews the practices of any agency that supplies staff to the service to make sure that all required checks are being carried out.

Contractors

The service will seek confirmation from any contractors and employers of service personnel, who are likely to have contact with service users, when carrying out their work, that they have been subject to the appropriate level of criminal records checks and are fit persons to be engaged in {{org_field_name}}.

Criminal Records Disclosures and Data Protection Procedures

  1. DBS disclosure information will not be stored on an employee’s personnel file but will be stored separately in lockable storage or secure computer files with access limited to those who are entitled to see it as part of their duties.
  2. DBS disclosure information will only be used for the specific purpose for which it was requested and for which the applicant’s full consent will have been obtained.
  3. Under DBS systems that have been developing since 2012, DBS certificates are sent only to the individual applicant. An annual fee is required to keep registration up to date, otherwise further renewals will not be necessary. Employers are able to check employees’ DBS certificates by registering with the DBS online updating service. They can check the individual employee’s current DBS status at any time by using the updating service.
  4. In line with regulation 35 “Fitness of Staff”, (paragraphs 5 & 6) , the service will check a person’s DBS status at least annually if the person is registered with the updating service, and for anyone who is not, the service will require them to apply for a new DBS certificate every three years.
  5. We would also expect any staff member who, when in our employment, is convicted of a criminal offence that could affect service user safety to inform the service so that the appropriate action can be taken e.g. a risk assessment and further checks or, where applicable, referral to a professional registration body.
  6. Consideration is always given to the data protection rights of the individual. When an employee leaves the employment of the service any DBS disclosure information previously recorded is destroyed or deleted.

The service will amend its policy in line with any changes made to the DBS code of practice and any other changes to the relevant legislation and DBS procedures.


Responsible Person: {{org_field_registered_manager_first_name}} {{org_field_registered_manager_last_name}}

Reviewed on: {{last_update_date}}

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