DBS Check – Is it Transferable?

DBS check transferable jobs
There is often a lot of confusion about whether a DBS check can be transferred from one place of work to another. It’s not uncommon to find the question “are DBS checks portable?” met with contradicting and conflicting information on whether you need to apply for a DBS check more than once.


You have 30 days to register for the DBS Update Service once you have received a DBS certificate. By having access to this service portal, only then can your checks become portable. How and why is this the case? More details are further down this page.

Here, we will clear up any confusion as best we can, for those of who that either need a DBS check for individuals (either Basic, Standard or Enhanced), or whether you are an employer seeking multiple DBS checks.


Are DBS Checks Transferable Between Employers?

When it comes to whether DBS checks can be reused it’s vital to remember the following key points, which are arguably the most important factors to consider.

The following must match the applicant’s new job position if you need a DBS check transferred to a new role:

  1. The position type
  2. The information on the certificate

For DBS checks to be transferred, the new position should match the applicant’s current job role, as well as the field of work and whether any Barred List checks have been requested.

The reason for this is because should an applicant change job roles, moving to a different employer, their DBS certificate may not disclose the required amount of criminal record information that their new employer is legally eligible to view.

In some instances, DBS certificates might disclose more information than what the new employer may be allowed to view. While on the opposite end of the spectrum, a new employer may require more information than what an applicant’s current check discloses.

To clear up any confusion, the following criteria must match both existing and new roles, before anything is considered:

  • The role itself
  • The workforce type
  • Barred List check information


Company Discretion

The decision to reuse a DBS check lies with a particular organisation or company. They hold jurisdiction over whether they will accept a previously-issued DBS application, or whether they will request an applicant to apply for a new DBS check.

The decision whether a company will accept a Basic, Standard or Enhanced DBS check that’s already been issued, will depend on the following:

  • Company policy – it’s possible that the new employer may have policies in place that require every new employee to apply for a DBS check online, before employment. It can also be a deciding factor in the employment of a candidate.
  • Regulatory body policy – there might be regulatory requirements that the new employer must adhere to, which state that new DBS checks are needed when hiring new employees.
  • Elapsed time since the certificate was issued – typically speaking, organisations have all of their DBS checks renewed every 1-3 years. It’s important to note that there are no official DBS check expiry dates, but employers might benefit from considering the time that’s passed since that previous check was issued.
  • DBS Update Service – many people aren’t aware of this, but you have 30 days to register with the DBS for their Update Service, once you’ve been issued with a certificate. Only when you’ve registered successfully does a DBS check become portable. We’ve outlined more on this below.


DBS Update Service

This online subscription service lets you keep your DBS certificates up-to-date, while also allows employers to check the status of a certificate. This often means you won’t have to apply for a DBS check again.

It essentially means that whenever you are due to start work with a new company or organisation, provided you are registered with the DBS Update Service, the employer can go to the DBS website to confirm whether anything has changed since the last certificate was completed. The certificate issue dates will also be visible for employers to see.

But as specified, it is ultimately the employer’s discretion as to whether they accept an existing DBS check.

The registration fee for this Update Service is only £13 annually, unless you are a volunteer in which case no fee applies. Please note this service applies to Enhanced and Standard DBS checks only, as Basic DBS checks cannot be registered.


Apply for DBS Online

Here at Online DBS Checks, whether you are an individual applying for a DBS check, or an employer handling several DBS checks at once, the process has never been simpler. We provide fast, seamless DBS check services.

We process DBS checks online, meaning you are getting an efficient, proactive submission process that provides timely results. While applications can be done via paper, we’d recommend 7 reasons to apply for DBS checks online.

Ready to apply?

Any questions, please reach out to us today. Or refer to our FAQs and common DBS questions blog.



Posted in DBS Check