Renewals of DBS certificates every 3 years

Hi everyone.  I have moved from one school where all staff had their DBS renewed every three years to a different school where once an employee starts with us, they are never asked to redo a DBS application. I also work for another company in the education sector, where I work remotely, so have no actual contact with children, but this company also renews my DBS every 3 years. I'm just wondering whether it is considered best practice to ensure all staff DBS checks are regularly renewed, or whether it is something that we really should be doing. What is everyone else's experience?

  • Hi Nicci

    We don't accept DBS certs from other organisations, we do a new one for staff joining us. We have a 3 year checking cycle, mainly as the DBS check is only 'valid' for the day it's checked. If there are any other offences that have happened in the time since the last check, then unless the employee tells you, you won't know for sure - we write it into policy that employees need to declare anything. You need to agree your re-check schedule but 3 years seems to be popular.
  • Hi Nicci, we do not have any rechecks just on recruitment. Personally not a fan of the recheck as its expensive and time consuming. In reality whatever cycle you pick it is flawed because you can still have someone with a caution for a significant period so in your case up to the three years.

    We would expect employees to self report any incidents to us or you could do an annual self declaration at no cost. The other option could be to make staff sign up to the update service as you take the re-check that would then give you the ability to access their up to date record at any point.
  • We do the re-check every 3 years, accepting its limitations. However, we are now asking all staff to go on the update service once checked, and we will pay for that annually.

    We also have it written into our contracts that each member of staff is obliged to self-report any relevant incident.
  • I think it's best practice but not compulsory. Make sure you do annual disclosures with them so that they sign to say nothing has changed since their last check. The best way forward would be to ask staff to join the update service so you can run a check as and when required (you'll just need to make sure the employee renews it each year!)
  • In reply to Nina Waters:

    just out of interest if you are paying for that as an organisation, is that classed as a benefit in kind for tax purposes?
  • We conduct a DBS once when someone joins- we do not accept DBS' from any other organisation.
    We don't recheck them but ask staff to sign a "Duty to Disclose" statement annually which confirms they understand that they have a duty to do so if anything changes. It's also within the contract that they sign.

  • In reply to Kayleigh :

    HI all

    I'm interested to read that a few of you don't recheck and use the annual declaration approach instead, which is a lot easier to administer!

    Do you feel this adequately covers the safeguarding requirements? If someone chooses not to disclose any new charges you would only be able to take action if you knew something had been withheld and I'm not sure how you'd know without another check being made? Because the employee knows you're unlikely to find out, would someone chance it?

    Sorry if I've missed something in using this process.
  • In reply to Joanne O'Hagan:

    Hi Joanne

    As the regulations for us (an independent School) do not require you to carry out any further DBS' after appointment, we're satisfied that it covers the safeguarding requirements in that case.

    We have relatively high turnover so it's actually more a feasibility issue for us to renew them every 3 years- it's nigh on impossible to keep up with who is due for a renewal with the current resources we have, so we wanted to have an approach that we could consistently carry out, which is when we came to the annual "Duty to Disclose" option.

    It has always baffled me that so many have to rely on this piece of paper to prove suitability when it's only valid on the day it's printed- it would be so much more useful for Education institutions if the update service was made a compulsory part of the DBS process anyway but i suppose the DBS would be losing money that way!
  • In reply to Kayleigh :

    I should add that, while we don't renew DBS' periodically, we have an extremely vigilant safeguarding culture at the School- a whole host of other pre-employment checks accompany the DBS and are heavily scrutinised plus in depth Safeguarding training for every employee plus regular safeguarding bulletins. We go over and above in many ways but renewing the DBS (unless we are made aware of something and need to do so) is not something we are currently doing.