COVID-19: Free-of-charge* DBS applications and fast-track Barred List check service


As of Monday 30 March 2020, the Home Office and the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) are putting temporary arrangements in place, and waiving the DBS fee for eligible Standard and Enhanced DBS checks and fast-track Barred List results. This applies to healthcare and social care workers being recruited for provision of care and treatment of COVID-19 in England and Wales.

A full list of eligible roles can be found here. Please note, the roles eligible for fast-track emergency checks are different to those defined as ‘key workers’ for the purposes of childcare etc.

To help determine whether you need to use the DBS fast-track service for your healthcare/social care recruit click here. This emergency fast-track COVID-19 DBS service must only be used for the urgent deployment of health and social care personnel.

*Please note that even though the DBS fee has been waived, a £29.80 admin fee applies.

How results are returned

The Barred List check results will be sent via email by the end of the next working day and will state that no match has been found, or that the employer should await the full completed DBS check before making a recruitment decision.

When to apply for fast-track Barred List checks

This fast track service must only be used where organisations are recruiting for positions that can be found on the fast track service eligible roles. All other roles that qualify for an enhanced DBS with barred list must be processed in the usual way. This is to ensure that emergency checks can be processed without delay.

Using the Adult First Service

Applications submitted through the COVID-19 DBS emergency service do not require a separate ISA Adults First check.

Joining the Update Service

Applicants should not subscribe to the Update Service using the COVID-19 free-of charge DBS and these checks should also not be added to an existing subscription.

Are you an Employer looking to submit multiple enhanced DBS applications?

ID Checking Guidelines for DBS Checks 

As of 24th March 2020

Due to the measures that have been put in place as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, the DBS are increasingly aware of organisations that are struggling following the DBS ID checking guidance.

Up until now, when validating ID documents for DBS checks, it involves a face-to-face meeting of applicant and organisation, with the required physical documents to hand.

Currently, it is now best practice to carry out a face-to-face meeting via video link as an alternative.

Under current guidance, the ID checker must be in possession of the original documents so as to check for indicators of fraud.

While most of the public are being requested to work from home where possible, this is leading to difficulties in receiving the physical documents, and therefore is causing delays to applications. In some cases it is preventing applications altogether.

The required DBS checks can still be carried out, with the following changes in place:

  • ID documents to be verified via video link
  • Scanned images to be used in advance of the DBS check being submitted

The applicant will still be required to present the original versions of these documents when they attend their first employment or volunteering role.

Select DBS check option

Select DBS check option

Make payment for your DBS check

Make payment

Complete DBS application form

Complete form

Make Payment for your DBS check

Verify ID

Receive Results

Receive results

Is this DBS check right for you?

If you’re not sure what type of DBS check you require, please don’t hesitate to get in touch so that we can help steer you towards the correct online application.

Basic DBS Check

The Basic DBS, or Basic Disclosure, check is available to anyone, regardless of profession. This check can be requested by an individual or an employer and only contains details of unspent convictions.

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Standard DBS Check

The Standard DBS, or Standard Disclosure, check is only available for certain professions. A Standard DBS check shows current and spent convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings held on the Police National Computer.

Learn more

DBS Checks for Employers

DBS Checks for Employers enables you to process unlimited multiple applications with no registration fees. The entire process is undertaken online, simplifying the process and providing results promptly via email.

Learn more