Changes to DBS checks

During the Pandemic the Government adjusted the way in which employers could conduct Right to Work and DBS checks. The Home Office has confirmed these adjustments end on 30 September 2022, from 1 October 2022 all employers will be required to carry out Right to Work checks in person and virtual checks become unlawful.

The Disclosure and Barring Service generally follow the Governments lead with ID checks so we will be reverting to face-to-face ID checks whilst we await further guidance.

Changes to DBS checks from 1 July 2021

From 1 July 2021 new rules for right to work checks will apply. EEA and Swiss nationals (with the noted exception of Irish nationals) will need to provide evidence of a lawful immigration status in the UK. Passports and identity cards will no longer be sufficient for this. In response to these changes, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) has updated the ID checking guidelines for all levels of applications. Whilst an EEA passport will continue to be acceptable as proof of name and date of birth as part of the identity verification, it will not be valid on its own to satisfy the right to work requirement.  Instead, the candidate’s immigration status must be verified either through providing a physical document such as a biometric residence document, or through the Home Office’s online right to work check service. As EEA and Swiss nationals will largely not receive physical documentation as evidence of their right to work, the online right to work check service will be required in the majority of cases. 

This online service is a two-stage process requiring the employer to access a portal using a candidate-supplied share code, and printout a copy as evidence of the candidate’s right to work. Security Watchdog have confirmed with the DBS that the online service cannot be used as proof of an individual’s date of birth. As such EEA nationals with be required to provide a valid identity document in addition to the right to work verification so that the date of birth verification can still be conducted. Previous ID checking guidelines can also be used up until 31st March 2022.

DBS have confirmed that this is to take into account technical changes that Responsible Organisations may need to make in line with the updated guidelines. Security Watchdog are therefore currently in the process of reviewing and updating their eBulk systems and guidance to incorporate the updated right to work and DBS requirements. As the eBulk systems do not replicate the new guidance currently, all we can currently advise is that a ‘best fit’ approach is applied until our systems are fully updated. As mentioned above, DBS have stated previous ID checking guidelines can be used until 1 October to allow Registered Organisations to make the relevant changes, meaning you would not be penalised for using this approach whilst we are in the process of updating eBulk.

Full information on the changes to ID Checking Guidelines