The problem of getting a DBS check as a Paid Carer

The problem of getting a DBS check as a Paid Carer

Time and time again people in the care industry are coming up against problems getting a DBS check.  For those who are self-employed as a Paid Carer the problem is particularly difficult as you can’t undertake a DBS check on yourself but clients, understandably, want you to evidence having an enhanced DBS check.

In addition to the fact that you can’t undertake a DBS check on yourself, there are two other critical issues that Paid Carers face

  1. Only certain roles are eligible for a DBS check
  2. Only certain people can undertake a DBS check for you

In this article we’ll have a look at these issues and a possible solution from You’re the Boss.

Who can have a DBS Check?

Under the under the law only specific roles are eligible for the different levels of DBS checks.

  • Any form of employment within a care service and which involves some contact with vulnerable adults can be made subject to a Standard DBS check, which would reveal any convictions, or cautions, warnings or reprimands issued through a court.
  • If the employment involves direct contact with vulnerable adults at least once a week in a care home or for the purposes of providing training, advice or guidance then this can be made subject to an Enhanced DBS check. This would additionally reveal relevant intelligence held on the police national computer.
  • For some specific job roles, defined as carrying out a regulated activity by the Department of Health then these can be made subject to Enhanced DBS including barred list check. This is the form of DBS that You’re the Boss requires someone to apply for in order to become an a YtB Accredited carer on the Carer Register (as per our Safeguarding Policy). We will therefore ensure that you are intending to provide these types of services before we process your application.

Who can undertake a DBS check

Contrary to popular belief not everyone can request someone has a DBS check or undertake a DBS check on someone.   It has to be someone who is employed in a job which includes using this information, as part of an appropriate range of pre-recruitment checks, someone who is making a decision about that individuals suitability for the role they’ve applied for.

In a company you often have a HR department, part of their role is to check the suitability of candidates, it’s then the managers who decide who can do the job from the pool of ‘suitable candidates’.  However, this is not an option for many people who are looking to get care or to work as a self employed carer.

Individuals looking to get care

For individuals who are looking to employ or contract with a paid carer – they don’t have an HR department, and they are not employed by an organisation specifically to make this suitability judgement, therefore they don’t have the legal right to ask for or use the contents of a DBS certificate when making a decision over whether to employ a paid carer.  This therefore creates some difficulty for people wanting to make sure someone is suitable to provide care for them or a loved one.

A third party who checks the suitability of someone to undertake the role of paid carer needs to be involved.  They are effectively providing the role of the HR department in this aspect, checking that candidates pass certain criteria so that the you can then pick from the pool of candidates based on your individual need –  ie what specific experience is relevant, do they drive, are they available the hours you need, can they cook.

It’s like when you buy a house, the mortgage company generally says that there has to be a survey and they instruct this to be carried out, the information goes back to them and they say whether the property meets the valuation.  However it’s up to you to see whether the house is actually the one that suits your needs and it’s you that enters into the contract to buy it.

Paid Carers looking to provide care

You are not able to DBS check yourself, a third party who is undertaking a suitability check needs to be involved.  Lots of people who are self-employed come up against this problem.

The Solution

You’re the Boss has liaised with DBS over this issue, by providing a register of YtB Accredited Carers who as part of their suitability check for accreditation have an enhanced DBS check, we are able to provide this service.

YtB Accreditation

  • People who are looking to get care/support for themselves or a loved one can be assured that those who are YtB Accredited on our Carers Register  have an up-to-date enhanced DBS check, are eligible to work in the UK, if they’re self-employed they undertake to use a suitable and fair contract, have demonstrated they have public liability insurance in place and have indicated that they have Safeguarding, risk assessment and complaints procedures in place and available for clients to see.
  • People who are providing care/support can get a DBS check as one element of the checks that You’re the Boss offers for people wishing to have accredited status on the Carers Register.  An added bonus is that this helps with the marketing of your services!


Who Can Apply

YtB Accredited status is only for people who are offering a care service that includes what is referred to as “Regulated Activity” including personal care (see here or here for a full explanation of this term)

You should be aware that we will require you to apply for an enhanced DBS check. This will check as to whether you have a criminal record or are on any banned list. We will not receive any details as a result of this application but it is a requirement of entry on to the register that you have a clear certificate as a result of this application. Please see our Safeguarding policy.

In order to be entered on to our register you must

  • Undergo an enhanced DBS check including barred list check (ID via Post Office ID Checking Service must be submitted for verification)
  • Demonstrate that you are eligible to work in the UK (evidence will need to be supplied)

If you have indicated you intend to be self-employed you must also have

  • Demonstrate that you have suitable public liability insurance in place (evidence will need to be supplied)
  • Indicated that you intend to use a suitable and fair contract with clients
  • Indicated that you have the following policies and procedures in place
  • Safeguarding Policy (could be known as Adult and/or Children Protection from Abuse Policy)
  • Risk Assessment Policy and Procedure
  • Complaints Process for clients

You can find template contracts, safeguarding polices, risk assessment policy and procedures, complaints policy, and training needs assessments here.

Find out more information and Apply Now

Additional Information

You’re the Boss reserves the right to ask for further evidence of your compliance with the criteria if it has any reason to doubt that any statements you make are true.

Any information provided by you through this process will be treated in strictest confidence in line with You’re the Boss’s Privacy Policy. We will normally seek your consent to share any information, but there may be instances when there is a public interest reason to share this information without consent e.g. in relation to a safeguarding alert.

Entry on the Register does not guarantee you any employment. It only indicates that you are a Paid Carer who could be considered by people in need of care or those arranging care for them.  Anyone looking to employ or contract with you will need to make their own decision and take references in order to satisfy themselves that you have the skills and expertise which are going to be able to meet their needs.

From time to time You’re the Boss may become privy to information or allegations concerning a Paid Carer that leads to their suspension or removal from the Register. We will always inform you of the reasons for that, and what will happen next. We may also need to initiate a referral to DBS if we believe that since the issue of the DBS Certificate you have committed a criminal offence.

Otherwise your YtB Accredited Status will remain for 2 years, unless you ask for it to be withdrawn. If you have subscribed to the DBS Update Service then you will need to give your permission for us to inspect the update if you wish to remain on the Register (and there will be a small additional charge). Alternatively, you will need to request a new DBS check in order to continue.

You can check our Safeguarding Policy which gives you more of an idea of what we expect of You’re the Boss accredited Paid Carers.

  • Published on Mar 01, 2018
Comments (2)
  • Joanne Stevens
    Sep 06, 2019

    I am a self employed Carer and need to get a enhanced dbs check could you please give me some info on how I can go about getting this please

    • Nick
      Sep 17, 2019

      Hi Joanna – Thanks for the message (and for pointing out that I’d forgotten to put the link in to take you to applying!! I’ve rectified that now) the page you need is here



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