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Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks

Care Inspectorate Wales pen lying on registration application form

Information about how to apply for DBS checks.

We want to make sure that people receiving services are safe. 

The DBS is responsible for:

  • Processing requests for criminal records checks
  • Deciding whether it is appropriate for a person to be placed on or removed from a barred list
  • Placing or removing people from the DBS children’s barred list and adults’ barred list for Wales, Northern Ireland and England.

We are required to share information with DBS where necessary.

Changes to how you can apply for a DBS check

We have changed the way we process DBS checks. If you are registering with us for the first time or are already registered with us, but need to renew your DBS check and are eligible, you must apply following the new process.

Please visit our FAQs page for the latest DBS changes and requirements in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Who must apply for a DBS check

All social care workers in Wales must hold a current DBS certificate which has an ‘Enhanced with Barred List’ check for the relevant work force area. Most people will be able to get their check through their employer or an umbrella body.

If this is not possible and you want to apply to register with us or you need to renew your certificate, we can help you with your check.

You can apply for a DBS check using our online service if you are working in one of the following roles or are one of the following:

  • Registered person
  • Responsible individual
  • Child minder
  • Child minder assistant
  • Household member (of a child minder) or,
  • Person who ‘lives  in’ or on the premises, for example an adjoining annex or flat.

How to apply for a DBS check

  1. You must contact one of our offices to request a DBS check
  2. We will confirm if you are eligible for a check, if you are unable to get your check through your employer
  3. Once confirmed, we will refer you to our third party provider
  4. You will receive an email confirmation from our third party supplier that will include the log in details  you will need to complete your online DBS application
  5. You must use these details to log in to our online service and complete your DBS check application
  6. Once you have completed your DBS application, you will be given details about how to make an appointment at one of our offices for us to check your identification (ID check)
  7. You must attend your ID check appointment where we will verify your identity
  8. During the Covid-19 outbreak ID checks will be temporarily conducted by video link using Skype for business (apps such as WhatsApp and Zoom cannot be used)
  9. Once we have verified your identity, we will confirm this with our third party provider
  10. Our third party provider will counter sign your DBS application and will send it to DBS for processing
  11. DBS will complete their checks and issue you with your DBS certificate. They will also tell us that your check has been completed and its outcome
  12. If a certificate contains ‘positive’ information for example, convictions or barred listings then we will consider this further.

Can I use my current DBS certificate when I apply to register?

For most services (apart from those registered under the Care Standards Act 2000) (External link) you may use your current DBS certificate to support your application to register if:

  • It is no more than three months old since it was issued
  • It is for an enhanced with barred list check and relates to the workforce area you are applying for
  • We have seen your original certificate.

If you cannot meet the above requirements, you will need to complete a new DBS application.

Register with the DBS Update Service

The DBS Update Service (External link) lets you keep your DBS certificate up-to-date so you can take it with you when you move jobs or roles within the same workforce area. 

By registering with the DBS Update Service means that you do not need to renew your certificate as long as you maintain your annual subscription and your certificate remains ‘current’ – that is no new information becomes available. 

You can register for the DBS Update Service when completing your online application form.

If you choose to subscribe to the Update Service before April 1 2019, Welsh Government will pay your £13 fee via our online service. If you subscribe, we will need to see the original certificate you used to subscribe to the service (if it contains information) and have permission from you to carry out periodic status checks of your online certificate. 

The Update Service is operated by DBS. More information and guidance is available on their website. (External link)

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