DBS GUIDANCE

This is to provide guidance for Employers and Clients with the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) process through United Medicare and a list of guidance documents are provided. Please feel free to call the friendly team at United Medicare with any doubts as they will be happy to help. This guidance is only provided for United Medicare's registered client organisations.

Some guidance documents are listed below:

  1. Guidance for Employers
  2. Employing any individual with Criminal Record
  3. Storing and destroying DBS Disclosure documents
  4. Receiving DBS Disclosures
  5. Which DBS Disclosure for Vulnerable Adult

 

Guidance for Employers

The process of obtaining a DBS Disclosure through United Medicare may be a simple process but introducing the requirement for an employee or volunteer to apply for a DBS Disclosure does have implications with employment law. Please consultant your legal counsel in this regard.

Since there is no pre-existing contract Incorporating the requirement for a new employee to apply for a DBS Disclosure is relatively straightforward . However it should be made clear from the start that a DBS Disclosure will be required and this should be reflected in any employment advertisements, application forms and subsequent employment contracts.

The following process will be a helpful guide:

  • Decide if a DBS Disclosure is necessary for the position
  • Decide which level of DBS Disclosure is appropriate
  • Include the requirement for a DBS Disclosure in any employment advertisements
  • Include in the job application form a statement requiring a DBS Disclosure.
  • A written policy must be in place for the recruitment of ex-offenders (sample copy available from United Medicare)
  • A written policy must be in place for the security of DBS Disclosures (sample copy available from United Medicare)
  • Incorporate "exempted questions" about spent convictions and inclusion on Government lists in any application forms
  • Discuss any convictions at interview stage in the context of this position
  • Incorporate clauses about DBS Disclosures in the employment contract, such as Renewing DBS Disclosures, offences committed during employment, results of committing an offence, references to Data Protection.
  • Make provisional offer of employment to preferred candidate in writing "subject to..."
  • Include DBS Disclosure application form with employment offer letter or provide United Medicare with details of candidate to send directly.
  • View the applicant's copy of DBS Disclosure and verify this by telephone with United Medicare.

Processes for introducing DBS Disclosures for existing employees:
Introducing the requirement to obtain a DBS Disclosure to existing employees is more complex since it involves amending, or adding to an existing contract of employment. Changing employment conditions should be handled carefully, so we suggest it is best done individually with the concerned employees. The process to introduce the requirement for DBS Disclosures should comply with current employment legislation but United Medicare cannot generalise about the process of terminating employment if an existing employee refuses to agree to the proposed changes to their contract of employment. If this situation arises employers should consult a qualified Human Resources professional or legal expert.

General:

Whilst obtaining a DBS Disclosure through United Medicare is a simple process, introducing the requirement for an employee or volunteer to apply for a DBS Disclosure does have employment law implications, which are different depending on whether the individual to be checked is new or incumbent in the role. Please consultant your legal counsel in this regard.

Incorporating the requirement for a new employee to apply for a DBS Disclosure is relatively straightforward since there is no pre-existing contract. However it should be made clear from the start that a DBS Disclosure will be required and this should be reflected in any employment advertisements, application forms and subsequent employment contract.

The following process will ensure this:

  • Decide if a DBS Disclosure is necessary for role
  • Decide which level of DBS Disclosure is appropriate
  • Include in any employment advertisements that a DBS Disclosure will be required
  • Include in the job application form a statement to the effect that a DBS Disclosure will be required.
  • Create a written policy for the recruitment of ex-offenders (sample copy available from United Medicare)
  • Create a written policy for the security of DBS Disclosures (sample copy available from United Medicare)
  • Incorporate "exempted questions" about spent convictions and inclusion on Government lists in application form
  • Discuss any convictions in context of role at interview stage
  • Incorporate clauses about DBS Disclosures in contract of employment e.g. Renewing DBS Disclosures, offences committed during employment, results of committing an offence, references to Data Protection, etc.
  • Make provisional employment offer to preferred candidate in writing "subject to..."
  • Include DBS Disclosure application form with employment offer letter or provide United Medicare with details of candidate to send directly.
  • View the applicant's copy of DBS Disclosure and verify this by telephone with United Medicare.

Processes for introducing DBS Disclosures for existing employees:
Introducing the requirement to obtain a DBS Disclosure to existing employees is more complex since it involves amending, or adding to an existing contract of employment. Changing employment conditions should be handled carefully, so United Medicare suggests it is best done individually with those employees concerned. The process to introduce the requirement for DBS Disclosures should comply with current employment legislation, but United Medicare cannotgeneralise about the process of terminating employment if an existing employee refuses to agree to the proposed changes to their contract of employment. If this situation arises employers should consult a qualified HR professional.

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Employing a person with a criminal record

Criminal convictions

Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, individuals who have lived on the correct side of the law since their criminal conviction benefit from this Act if they do not repeat the conviction during a specified period, called the rehabilitation period.

What is an ‘unspent’ conviction?

If you have ever been convicted of an offence for which a sentence of more than two and a half years was imposed (irrespective of the amount of time you actually spent in prison) this conviction can never become ‘spent’. This in effect means it is an ‘unspent’ conviction which you must disclose when asked about your criminal convictions – such as when applying for any employment.

What is a ‘spent’ conviction?

If your sentence was given for two and a half years or less, there are specified times when a conviction becomes ‘spent’ which is called the rehabilitation period and this differs according to the type of sentence passed.

Assessing the relevance of criminal records

The suitability for employment of any individual with a criminal record will vary, depending on the nature of the employment and the detail and circumstances of any convictions. Deciding on the relevance of convictions to specific positions is not an exact science. An assessment of an applicant’s skills, experience and conviction circumstances should be assessed against the risk criteria for this position.

It should be remembered that employing people on the basis of information provided in an application form and a short interview, irrespective of whether they might have a criminal record or not, is never risk free. Staff responsible for recruitment need to identify the risks involved and put in place any precautions in order to provide satisfactory safeguards.

To facilitate this process, an applicant’s criminal record should be assessed in relation to the tasks he or she will be required to perform and the circumstances in which the work is to be carried out. It is recommended that organisations consider the following when deciding on the relevance of offences to particular positions:

Does the post involve one-to-one contact with children or other vulnerable groups as employees, customers and clients?

  • What level of supervision will the post holder receive?
  • Does the post involve any direct responsibility for finance or items of value?
  • Does the post involve direct contact with the public?
  • Will the nature of the employment present any opportunities for the post holder to reoffend in the place of work?

The answers to such questions should help organisations to determine the relevance of convictions to specific positions. For example, paedophile, or child pornography offences would almost certainly disqualify any individual required to work with children; some violent offences would be relevant to positions involving unsupervised contact with the public; fraud should be considered in relation to positions involving the handling of significant amounts of money; and theft in unsupervised positions which includes industrial and warehouse locations.

DBS advised wording for application forms

As a guide you may wish to add the following words to your employment application forms:

  • As stated on the application form, because of the sensitive nature of the duties the post-holder will be expected to undertake, you are required to disclose details of any criminal record. Only relevant convictions and other information will be taken into account so DBS or Access NI or Disclosure Scotland disclosures need not necessarily preclude you to obtaining this position.
  • Have you ever been convicted by the courts or cautioned, reprimanded or given a final warning by the police? (Note the post you have applied for is accepted under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, which means that all convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings on your criminal record need be disclosed.

Yes/No?
If yes, please give details of offences, penalties and dates.

Where the post is subject to an Enhanced DBS Disclosure, the following question should also be asked:

  • Are you aware of any police enquiries undertaken following allegations made against you, which may have a bearing on your suitability for this post?

Yes/No
If yes, please give details.

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Storing and destroying DBS Disclosure documents page

The United Medicare Code of Practice requires that DBS Disclosures are stored in a locked cabinet that is kept separate from other personnel files and only accessed by the minimum number of people; all of whom are directly involved in the recruitment decision making process.

The DBS Code of Practice also forbids any photocopying, faxing, extracting or scanning of DBS Disclosures and even requires that any notes taken that refer directly to DBS Disclosure content are destroyed immediately after use.

The documents themselves should only be retained until the placement decision has been made and then destroyed securely. The guidelines say that this should take no longer than six months, though for some CSCI regulated organisations twelve months is acceptable to allow the document to be seen at the next inspection visit.

United Medicare's standard process is to retain DBS Disclosures in accordance with the DBS Code of Practice for six months or twelve months for CSCI regulated organisations, after which they are shredded and may incinerate the shredding.

Should there subsequently be a legal requirement to re-create a DBS Disclosure as at the time of issue, the DBS can do this based on the document number and issue date. (They store a digital image of the original document issued so the replacement will reflect that and not the records at the time of issue - which could in theory be different)

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Receiving DBS Disclosures & notifying recipients of content

When a DBS Disclosure is received it will be checked for content and any mistakes with subject's details, such as spelling of name. Errors will be raised with the DBS. (If they have no bearing on the DBS check results, such as a mis-spelled middle name or employer's name, then United Medicare will only dispute these at the request of the client or applicant).

The DBS Disclosure number and issue date will be recorded on our system and for "clear" DBS Disclosures this will be immediately seen in the Client Area tracking system. United Medicare work on the basis that clients only want to know that a "clear" DBS Disclosure has been received and what the number and issue date is, so United Medicare does not do anything else unless the client has no internet access; in which case United Medicare will confirm receipt of the "clear" DBS Disclosure by letter.

If a DBS Disclosure is received with content (about 3%, though this does vary by role) United Medicare  will suppress the number and issue date in the Client Area and e-mail the nominated client contact, asking them to send an e-mail acknowledgement by return and telephone us when they are in a position to do so. If United Medicare does not get an acknowledgement in 24 hours then there is a pre-agreed escalation route. United Medicare consider that if it knows there is content, then have a responsibility to make the client aware of this as soon as possible and take whatever steps are needed to achieve this, though keeping these appropriate to the level of risk.

When the recipient telephones us they are asked a security question, the correct response to which was agreed with them when the account was opened (mother's maiden name, favourite film, drink, place or the like) and once established that we are speaking to the correct people then we may relay limited DBS Disclosure content and give any help or advice on it's interpretation.

Once the content has been relayed United Medicare will release the number and issue date of the DBS Disclosure and it will be seen in the online Client Area for electronic disclosures.

The number and issue date of all DBS Disclosures received will remain on the Client Area for a minimum of three years. There are search and archive facilities so this can be used as a central repository if desired.

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Which DBS Disclosure for Vulnerable Adult

It can be sometimes not clear which level of DBS Disclosure is required and some further information is given below

The Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) has two definitions of a vulnerable adult, one that is entitled to an Enhanced DBS check and the other for a Standard DBS check.

Enhanced DBS check required

An individual who regularly cares for, trains, supervises or is in sole charge of vulnerable adults of the following description is entitled to an enhanced DBS check.

A vulnerable adult for the purposes of an Enhanced DBS check is an individual aged 18 or over who receives services or has issues listed below.

The Vulnerable Adult receives the following services:

  1. Accommodation and nursing or individual care in a care home
  2. Homepersonal care or support to live independently in his or her own home,
  3. Any services provided by an independent hospital, independent clinic, independent medical agency or National Health Service body,
  4. Social care services; or
  5. Any services provided in an establishment catering for anindividual with learning difficulties.

The Vulnerable Adult receives the following have any of the following conditions:

  1. A learning or physical disability,
  2. A physical or mental illness, chronic or otherwise, including an addiction to alcohol or drugs; or
  3. A reduction in physical or mental capacity.

The Vulnerable Adult receives the following disabilities:

  1. A dependency upon others in the performance of, or a requirement for assistance in the performance of, basic physical functions,
  2. severe impairment in the ability to communicate with others, or
  3. Impairment in any individual's ability to protect him or herself from assault, abuse or neglect.

Standard DBS check required

Any employment or other work which is concerned with the provision of care services to vulnerable adults and which is of such a kind to enable the holder of that employment or the individual engaged in that work to have access to vulnerable adults in receipt of such services in the course of his normal duties

A "Vulnerable adult", in the context of a Standard DBS check, means an individual aged 18 or over who has any of the following:

  1. A learning or physical disability;
  2. A physical or mental illness, chronic or otherwise, including an addiction to alcohol or drugs;
  3. A reduction in physical or mental capacity.

"Care services" are defined as:

  1. Accommodation and nursing or personal care in a care home
  2. Personal care or nursing or support for any individual to live independently in their own home;
  3. Social care services;
  4. Any services provided in an establishment catering for an individual with learning difficulties.

 

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Testimonial

We are very satisfied with your service, we have used several companies over the last few years and found yours to be most efficient, we would recommend you to anyone.
Ms Susan Davies, Matron
Oaks Court Nursing Home, Wolverhampton
Excellent service provided. Polite staff who are always available for advice and always professional. I have used other services, but United Medicare Ltd offer a First class Professional service.
Ms Jenny Shaw,Matron
Fleetwood Nursing Home, Lancashire
Excellent and prompt service by very Pleasant and Professional Staff
Mr Montezuma,Manager
Aldbourne Nursing Home, Wiltshire
Since Changing to United Medicare Ltd, I have found the staff very helpful, polite and engaging. The service provided is prompt and act as a very useful resource. The First POVA checks are promptly returned however I understand the CRB`s are longer with strict criteria having to be adhered to. Our plan is to continue with United Medicare Ltd, the service is great. Many Thanks
Mr Adam Hesselden,Manager
Greenview Nursing House, West Yorkshire