How to get a DBS check

About DBS checks

DBS Checks (formerly known as CRB – Criminal Record Bureau checks) are necessary when working with children or vulnerable adults.

As a mentor running an after school club with regular contact with children you will need an enhanced check with a children's barred list check. If you are mentoring in a different environment, then a basic DBS check may be appropriate – find out which DBS check is right for you.

Getting a DBS check through the school

Most schools require volunteers to have a DBS certificate and should be able to organise a check for you. Ask them about this as soon as possible.

  • The school will require your full name and email address.

  • You’ll be given instructions to guide you through the process.

  • You’ll need to fill in your personal details, including addresses for the past 5 years, and copies of ID documents.

  • You’ll then need to present your ID documents in person to the school.

Getting a DBS check for yourself

If a school is unable to arrange a check, we still require you to follow best practice and complete a check. The way to arrange your own DBS check is by registering as a STEM Ambassador volunteer. This is a government-funded service and free of charge.

You'll need to submit evidence of your ID documents online, and recommend someone you know to verify these documents for you. As part of the registration process, you'll be asked to watch a series of short videos. These videos are well-produced and contain information about working with children and safeguarding which you'll hopefully find useful!

How long does it take to run a check?

Once you’ve presented or sent your ID documents, it can take less than a week to process and receive your DBS certificate.

How much does it cost?

Volunteers should not need to pay for a DBS check.

What do I do once I have received my certificate?

Once you have received your certificate you should present it to the school, they will take a copy and let you keep your certificate.

How long is my certificate valid for and can I transfer it to a different place?

If you register to the DBS Update Service within 19 days of receiving your certificate you can transfer your DBS certificate from one organisation/location to another if the new role requires the same (or lesser) level of check. Subscription to the Update Service lasts one year (unless you opt for automatic renewal) and is free.

A Disclosure and Barring Service or DBS check has no official expiry date although best practice recommends getting a new check every 3 years.