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May 16 2019

UK Criminal Record Checks

Many of our clients are supporting the NHS with a variety of ways, and the question keeps popping up whether or not they should be getting their staff checked for standard or enhanced DBS checks.  We have recently received several enquiries regarding the level of check that is appropriate for contractors visiting NHS Trust sites, including Medical Sales Representatives and Service Engineers.

Eligibility with regard to roles held by contractors visiting NHS Trust sites, including Medical Sales Representatives and Service Engineers, has not changed, and the guidance provided by both NHS Employers and DBS advises that in the majority of cases, basic level checks are appropriate. However, standard level checks may be requested where the contractor is providing a health service and has access to patients while carrying out their role.  

Verifile pays particularly close attention to applications for such roles to ensure that checks are not submitted at a level that is above and beyond eligibility laid out in legislation. 

We would also take this opportunity to remind our clients that any contractual statement they may have with their NHS client regarding the level of check required for contractors as part of any broader accreditation arrangements does not override eligibility as laid out in legislation.  In such a scenario it is important that clients challenge requests made by NHS Trusts for levels which seem unjustified.

Our industry page for the Health and Social Care industry covers additional guidance.

Important update from DBS - Undisclosed addresses for enhanced level checks

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) are changing their process for handling undisclosed addresses identified during enhanced level checks. Undisclosed addresses are those that the candidate did not declare in their application, and the DBS or a local police force have reason to believe that they did reside there during the last 5 years. Previously, DBS updated the address history and proceeded with the check. Going forward, DBS will instead cancel the check and so a new order would need to be placed that includes the undisclosed address. We understand that DBS will tell us the undisclosed address and we share that address with you.

Checks on joining a profession

Having recently reviewed eligibility guidance issued by the DBS, we are updating our own guidance on criminal checks for individuals entering certain professions, and individuals changing employer or role in those professions.  

The professions are:

  • Master locksmiths
  • Barristers
  • Chartered and certified accountants
  • Veterinary surgeons
  • Actuaries
  • Registered foreign lawyers
  • Chartered Institute of Legal Executives – legal executive and other authorised person

DBS guidance states that individuals are eligible for a standard level check upon entry into these professions. Subsequent checks undertaken when changing employer or role are eligible for a basic level check.

If you need to update your DBS job roles or packages to reflect these changes, please let us know.

Checks in Northern Ireland

AccessNI has added an Irish marriage certificate to its list of acceptable documents. AccessNI now asks that their new form is used during the ID checking process for each application. You can find the form here (you will need to log in. If you do not have an account with us please register for one).

An update from    CIFAS

As there is no legal requirement to screen against Home Office Immigration data either during pre-employment screening or for existing employees, and due to restrictions imposed on not viewing this data outside of the EEA, CIFAS has taken the decision to stop returning Home Office Immigration data on their Internal Fraud Database.