DBS (CRB) checks for Sound Sense members
All you need to know about getting a criminal records check for your work
What is the DBS?
The DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) helps employers, hirers and commissioners make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with children or vulnerable adults and other vulnerable groups, including children. It replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).
The service decides whether someone should be placed on or removed from a "barred list" for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. And it processes requests for criminal records checks by searching police records - and, in relevant cases, barred list information - and then issuing a DBS certificate disclosing any criminal record and perhaps other information. (These used to be called CRB certificates, and many people still call them that; previously-issued CRB certificates remain valid.)
However, you can't apply direct to the DBS for a check - you have to apply through a counter-signatory service which will verify your identity papers. The good news is that we can arrange this service at a very competitive price - if you are a Sound Sense member.
What jobs require a DBS check?
Because a DBS check contains highly personal information about any criminal past, there are limits to the types of job for which you can be asked for a certificate. The rules are complicated, but the work of a community music practitioner, and some managers, will usually involve regularly caring for, training, supervising or being solely in charge of children and/or vulnerable adults, or having access to their sensitive information - for which an enhanced DBS check including barred list check would be required. We offer only enhanced checks.
How long is a check valid for?
A DBS certificate has no official expiry date. But it is accurate only at the time the check was carried out - anything may be added to your record after that date. It is up to an employer to decide if they think a new check is needed - based on how old the check is (more than year, certainly two, and most employers would get twitchy); whether it covers the type of work they’re asking you to do; and so on.
To reduce the hassle of getting a new certificate - a particular irritation to community musicians, who have frequent changes of freelance jobs - the DBS update service will keep your certificate up to date and should reduce the number of times you’re asked to apply for a new check.
Applying as an individual
If you want a check to cover yourself, ask us for a DBS form here But you must be a Sound Sense member! You simply complete this (with the help of the easy to understand guidance notes) and send it back with appropriate proof of identity and your payment. We will arrange for the paperwork to be checked, countersigned and sent to the DBS for the searches, returning your identity documents to you by registered post - all part of the service. Once completed, the DBS will send the certificate directly to you.
Applying as an organisation
An organisation can’t complete a DBS application on behalf of someone it’s hiring or employing - the application must be completed by the individual that the check is for. But an organisation can request and return a number of applications in one batch; the certificates would then be sent to the individuals directly, not to the organisation.