DBS checks on staff

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  • Admin: Chris Rushton

Date Reviewed

6th July 2016

Date of Next Review

September 2017

This policy defines the framework that the Practice uses (adopted from PCT) when appointing candidates to roles that have patient contact and require a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check.   This policy content is governed and subject to change by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and reflects the CRB’s code of conduct, section 122 of the Police Act 1997 and the Exceptions Order to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

Scope of the Policy

The policy covers the following groups of employees/agency contractors where DBS is deemed required:

  • External appointments
    Where a disclosure is relevant for a vacant post then all candidates will be advised during the application process, irrespective of the type of contract offered (substantive, fixed term, volunteering, honorarium)
  • Internal transfers/promotions
    Where an existing employee applies for a transfer / promotion into a role then it may be necessary to undertake a CRB check (i.e. when the role has patient contact or where an enhanced Disclosure check is required due to working unsupervised with patients)
  • GPs
    GPs directly employed by a Practice fall within the scope of this policy.  Practice employed GPs are exempt in that they are covered by WYCSA’s performers listing requirements.
  • Agency contracted individuals
    All individuals employed on a temporary basis through an employment agency will if necessary have to have had CRB checks carried out with supplied confirmation of the check.  Where individuals register with a number of agencies, each agency is responsible for undertaking a CRB check relevant to the roles they are sourcing for their employee.

Types of Disclosure checks

There are two types of Disclosure checks that the Practice will request, standard or enhanced.

A standard Disclosure check contains:

  • any criminal record certificates under section 113 of the Police Act 1977
  •  any spent convictions
  •  cautions, reprimands and warnings
  •  information on whether the applicant is barred from working with vulnerable adults or children (Department for Education and Skills and Department of Health) when the role requires supervised  contact with groups

An enhanced Disclosure check contains:

  • any criminal records certificates under section 115 of the Police Act 1977
  •  information outlined in the standard disclosure where training, supervision or being in sole charge of children or vulnerable adults is required
  •  Any non-conviction information that the Chief Police Officer deems relevant with the matter in question

The Chief Police Officer may, in the interests of the prevention or detection of crime, withhold this information from the Disclosure document itself and release this information to the Counter Signatory only, (normally an HR Manager/Director) in a separate letter. This is referred to as ‘additional information’ and is strictly confidential.  It is a criminal offence under the Police Act 1997 to reveal the information contained within the letter without the written permission of the Chief Police Officer.

Job roles requiring Disclosure checks

  1. Roles that require standard Disclosure checks include any role that has patient contact or any role where supervised contact with vulnerable adults and children occurs.
  2. Roles that require enhanced Disclosure checks include those that work with children or vulnerable adults on an unsupervised basis, or where the role holder has sole charge / responsibility.

The definition of a child and vulnerable adult is below:

  • Child, any person below the age of 18 years of age
  • Vulnerable adult, any person aged 18 or over who receives personal care or support to live independently in their own home or any services provided by an independent hospital, independent clinic, independent medical agency or National Health Service body. e.g. A vulnerable adult will be diagnosed with a learning or physical disability, a physical or mental illness, chronic or otherwise including an addiction to alcohol or drugs or a reduction in physical or mental capacity.  Their disabilities require a dependency upon others in the performance of, or a requirement for assistance in the performance of basic physical functions, severe impairment in the ability to communicate with others or impairment in a person’s ability to protect themselves from assault, abuse or neglect.

A list of roles is attached at Appendix A defining the DBS Disclosure checks that are relevant, based on the type of patient contact required.  This is not exhaustive and the PCT HR section can provide confirmation.

Employee’s responsibilities:

  • To complete the necessary documentation and comply with requests for information from the Practice in a timely manner
  • To disclose all information relevant to a DBS check at both interview stage and at any stage during their employment to ensure that the Practice are appraised should any change in circumstance occur that would affect information held on the DBS register

Line Manager responsibilities:

  1. To advise the HR Admin team whether and what level of Disclosure check is required for a vacant post prior to advertising
  2. To work with the HR senior manager should any investigation be required following receipt of a Disclosure check from the CRB
  3. To analyse objectively and without discrimination to the candidate, any risk to the Practice in relation to the vacant role
  4. To investigate thoroughly all issues and take advice from the HR senior manager prior to making a recruitment decision

 Policy

The Practice uses the DBS service to help assess the suitability of applicants for patient contact positions.

The Practice complies fully with the DBS Code of Practice regarding the correct handling, use, storage, retention and disposal of Disclosures and Disclosure information. It also complies fully with its obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998 and other relevant legislation pertaining to the safe handling, use storage, retention and disposal of Disclosure information, as defined below:

  • Storage and access
    Disclosure information will be kept in the person’s personal file. Access strictly controlled and limited to those who are entitled to see it as part of their duties.
  • Handling
    In accordance with section 124 of the Police Act 1997, Disclosure information is only passed to those who are authorised to receive it in the course of their duties.
  • Usage
    Disclosure information is only used for the specific purpose for which it was requested and for which the applicant’s full consent has been given.
  • Retention
    Once a recruitment (or other relevant) decision has been made, Disclosure Information is not kept. If in very exceptional circumstances, it is considered necessary to keep Disclosure Information, the Practice will consult the DBS about this and will give full consideration to the Data Protection and Human Rights of the individual before doing so.
  • Selection of Applicants
    The Practice undertakes to treat all applicants for positions fairly and not to discriminate against any subject of a Disclosure on the basis of a conviction or other information revealed through Disclosure process.
  • Having a criminal record will not necessarily bar an employee from working with the Practice.
    This will depend on the nature of the position and the circumstances and background any offences.
    The Disclosure policy and process are complimentary to existing recruitment Practice and will be sought after a candidate has been provided with a provisional offer of employment or a volunteering placement.
    The line manager only requests a Disclosure after a thorough assessment of the role.  All candidates will be advised at application stage whether the post is subject to a Disclosure check. A copy of the DBS’s Code of Practice is available at www.disclosure.gov.uk.  Disclosure checks will be undertaken at offer stage.
    All candidates applying for vacancies within the Practice are required to provide details of any criminal record at application stage to the Practice.  Where relevant, this information can be sent under separate, confidential cover.
    Unless the nature of the position require questions about an individuals criminal record, the Practice will only ask about unspent convictions as defined in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
    Failure to support or falsification of information that is directly relevant to the position sought could lead to withdrawal the conditional offer of employment.
  • Recruitment Decisions
    Where the Disclosure check has identified criminal records information in relation to the candidate the following considerations will be reviewed prior to coming to a decision:

    • Whether the conviction or other matter revealed is relevant to the position in question,
    • The seriousness of any offence or other matter revealed
    • The length of time since the offence or other matter occurred
    • Whether the applicant has a pattern of offending behaviour or other relevant matters
    • Whether the applicants circumstances have changed since the offending behaviour or the other relevant matters and
    • The circumstances surrounding the offence and the explanation(s) offered by the applicant.

Where a prospective employee or volunteer disputes the information provided in a Disclosure check the PRACTICE HR will liase with the DBS to ratify the information prior to a recruitment decision being made.  Ultimately the Practice reserves the right to withdraw a conditional offer of employment.