DBS Services

Please note that DBS checks are free for SCA volunteers, the information below is for external organisations and individuals.

Why do I need a DBS check?

What types of job require a DBS check?

There are lots of type of job that require a DBS check. And employers may require different levels of check for different reasons.

For example, if your job involves regular work with children or vulnerable adults, you will need to have a standard or enhanced DBS check. This might need to include a children’s and adults’ barred list check.

The employer will tell you if you need a DBS check for any job you apply for. If you need one, they will tell you what level of check is required.

For some jobs, a standard or enhanced check will always be required. For example:

  • Teachers
  • Social workers
  • Childminders
  • Foster carers
  • Medical professionals

Some jobs in particular settings will also always require a DBS check. For example if you apply for a job in a:

  • School
  • Children’s home
  • Hospital

There are also jobs that require a DBS check when you enter the profession. For example:

  • Solicitors
  • Barristers
  • Veterinary surgeons (vets)
  • Accountants

An employer can decide whether any job requires a DBS check. So there are lots of jobs that may require a basic DBS check.

But a job must meet certain criteria for an employer to ask for a standard or enhanced DBS check. It is the employer’s responsibility to check whether a role is eligible for standard or enhanced checks.

If you are unsure whether you need to get a DBS check for a particular job, you can contact the Disclosure and Barring Service. Employers can use the DBS’s online eligibility checking tool to check whether a role needs a DBS check.

The charity Unlock also has a list of which DBS check you are likely to need for various jobs.

Levels of check

Basic Check is the lowest level of check and is available for all individuals and employers living within the UK. Basic disclosure checks a person’s criminal history, convictions and cautions from the Police National Computer (PNC). Employers from all types of industries, such as construction or hospitality, can ask for a basic disclosure to check a candidate’s criminal record to help them decide if a candidate is fit for employment.

Student Community Action cannot help you with these, you need to apply for these at: https://www.gov.uk/request-copy-criminal-record

Standard DBS is only available to employers. This means that employers have to obtain the standard DBS check on behalf of their employees. In this level, an applicant’s criminal history is checked for cautions, warnings, reprimands and convictions received in England and Wales including convictions received in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Standard DBS check is required for lawyers, accountants and other positions of high responsibility. This check will ensure that employees or candidates have no prior offences such as fraud or financial misconduct.

An Enhanced DBS is only available to employers to request. It checks everything that would be on a standard check and also if you are on the Barred List. If you are on the Barred List then it is illegal for you to apply for a position which will put you in contact with children or vulnerable people.

SCA is a DBS umbrella body

This means if you are an individual or an organisation requiring DBS checks then we can help you get them.

Prices per check

We charge:
£10.50 for a check on a volunteer.
£34 for a Standard check on a paid member of staff.
£54 for an Enhanced check on a paid member of staff.

Please follow the instructions for the option that best describes you:

I am an individual (eg nanny, private tutor, freelancer) who needs to have a DBS check:

We do not complete DBS forms for individuals – it has to be through a company – please see below.

I am a representative of an organisation which will do 5 or fewer checks per year:

If your applicants are able to come to our office, contact us to set up this service (we need your billing contact, agreeing to our employment of ex-offenders policy).
Membership and advice are free; we only charge per application.
Once set up, your applicants can contact SCA to arrange an appointment.
We will invoice you at a later date for the DBS checks completed.
(If you are located outside Cambridge, please follow instructions for 5+ application per year)

Please contact us (manager@cambridgesca.org.uk 01223 926101) to make the necessary arrangements.

I am a representative of an organisation which will do more than 5 checks per year:

Membership, training and advice are free; we only charge per application.
You (or a member of your staff) need to undergo training to become a DBS evidence checker.
The training lasts 30-45 minutes.
You will be asked to fill out paperwork (billing contact, agreeing to our employment of ex-offenders policy).
We will provide you with DBS forms to take away with you to complete with your organisation.
As an evidence checker you will then be able to check the DBS forms completed by members of your organisation and send them back to us for countersigning.

Please contact us (manager@cambridgesca.org.uk 01223 926101) to arrange the training.

Helpful Information


Once SCA received the form we aim to process it within two working days.
It takes an average of 3 weeks for DBS to issue a Certificate.
(This can take longer if there are mistakes on the form and during busier times of the year)
We advise to allow 1 month between the time you send us the form and when the applicant needs to have the Certificate.
A single copy of the Certificate is issued to the applicant. The organisation must ask to see the Certificate before the applicant can start work/volunteering. You can make the employment subject to seeing the Certificate.

Update service

The applicant can register on-line for a service at the time of applying for the disclosure or within two weeks of receiving your disclosure. It effectively keeps their DBS up-to-date. This is free for volunteer applicants, and costs £13/year for paid members of staff. Once registered, the applicant can go to any organisation and give them the special code, with which they can access relevant information. For more information please see: GOV.UK
Please note that the update service is only valid with slight of the original disclosure.

Employment of Ex-offenders

If you decide to use us as your DBS provider, you will be asked to sign a Fair Recruitment policy.

Disqualification by association

In the UK there is possibility of being Disqualified – being forbidden from working with children / vulnerable adults. Being on the Barred List is one of the criteria, as well as a few other things.
In 2009 a Disqualification by association was introduced. In simple terms: if the applicant lives with someone who is disqualified, they are automatically disqualified themselves. Before applying for a job, they need to apply for an Exemption.
For purpose of DBS checks we recommend that our client organisations ask the applicant to sign a statement along the lines of “To the best of my knowledge, no-one I live with at ..ADDRESS.. has been Disqualified”.