Do DBS checks ever expire?

When do DBS Checks expire?
 
This is one of the most popular questions we are asked. The reason for that is that there is very little information available on this subject, so we have created a simple guide for you which outlines the key facts and highlights best industry practice.
 
What are the facts?
 
To be technically correct, DBS checks do not have an expiry date. However, the information on the certificate is only fully correct as of the date the certificate has been issued. To put this into a worst-case scenario example, if a certificate for an individual was issued today and they received a conviction the very next day this would not be reflected on their DBS certificate.
 
As a result, there is no specific date when a certificate becomes incorrect. Essentially you should determine your policy for renewal based upon a risk assessment for your business or specific activity. Other factors to consider in conjunction with your risk assessment could be an employers’ internal policies, client’s requirements, industry regulations or industry professional standards, etc.
 
Why would a DBS check need to be renewed?
 
As mentioned above, there are many factors which may affect this. Some organisations such as care homes or schools which are regulated by the Care Commission Quality or OFSTED need to ensure they renew the DBS checks in accordance with the relevant governing body’s requirements.
 
Staff working at airports may need to renew their DBS check every year or every 5 years depending on their position and whether they are directly employed by the airport or a contractor. Another example would be certain staff working in the banking industry whose DBS checks may need to be renewed from yearly to every 3 years.
 
If your accreditation does not specify any requirements for DBS check renewals but your client’s does, then it is possible that your client may request DBS checks and their subsequent renewals to allow you to carry out work on the client’s premises. Again, the DBS may have to be renewed yearly, every 3 years or every 5 years.
 
However, a DBS check renewal may provide with much more than just satisfying industry regulators or client requirements. Firstly, it may act as an important risk assessment tool for an organisation to ensure that existing staff could remain with access to company assets. A DBS check renewal may also serve as a unique selling point to help an organisation stand out from its competitors. This approach is common in the data destruction & shredding industry where staff have a lot of access to confidential information due to the nature of their work.
 
When should a DBS check be renewed?
 
If an organisation’s accreditation body requires the DBS checks to be renewed, strict guidelines should be provided. However, these would typically be from every year to at least every five years depending on the industry.
 
If the reason for renewing a DBS check is a company’s internal decision, the same principles of renewing the checks from every year to at least every five years may be applied. However, given that renewing a DBS check every year may not the most cost-effective approach and that an average UK employee would change a job every three to five years based on research by jobsite ‘Monster’, it would fair to say that renewing the checks every 3 or every 5 years would be most reasonable approach.
 
But based on best industry practise, Security & Vetting Solutions would recommend to renew DBS checks every 3 years. Should you wish to renew these more or less often, we would of course be pleased to assist.
 
Summary
 
It is important to consider the following factors when deciding on how often to renew DBS checks:
 
• Are there industry regulations requiring renewals?
• Do any clients require renewals for an organisation to continue working with them?
• Does the industry require the renewals?
• Have you a fair and consistent approach across your organisation?
• Would renewing DBS checks give a competitive advantage or minimize risks?
• What is the average time an employee would stay with one organisation before leaving?
 
Its ultimately down to the organisation to decide, however Security & Vetting Solutions would be pleased to advise on the most reasonable renewal process.
 
Need Help?
 
Our online DBS platform simplifies the renewal process and the average turnaround for a Basic DBS check is just 48 hours with our record being less than 5 minutes!
 
Do you wish to find out how our DBS platform may assist you with the DBS renewal process? Call us on +44 (0) 1962 600 110 or email sales@security-vetting.co.uk to find out!