New DBS ID checking guidelines

The Disclosure and Barring Service (“DBS”) has introduced new ID checking guidelines which employers must follow to check ID documents as part of the DBS check application process. These new guidelines were introduced in October 2017 and were running in tandem with the old guidelines until 25 January 2018. Therefore, from now on, the new ID checking guidelines are the ones to use. The new guidelines can be found here.

The new guidelines were introduced so that the DBS identity checking process is aligned with national ‘right to work’ checks. These state that employers must prevent illegal working in the UK by carrying out document checks on people before employing them to make sure they are allowed to work.

The main changes are that the new guidelines:

  • Include the following documents in the list of valid ID documents:
    • Group 2a – Immigration document, visa or work permit (see notes on page 4 of the new guidelines).
    • Group 2b – Bank or building society statement for countries outside the EEA (see notes on page 4 of the new guidelines).
  • No longer includes the following document in the list of valid ID documents:
    • Group 2b – Work permit/visa (UK) (UK Residence Permit).
  • Have changed the identity documents needed depending on UK/EEA/Non-EEA status. For example:
    • For an EEA national in the UK for less than five years, applicants can only proceed via route 1 or 2 for a DBS check.
    • Applicants for voluntary work who are not UK or EEA nationals must use route 1. 

You should ensure that any documentation you use internally, either to explain to employees how to check applicants’ ID, or any information given to the applicants about this, is updated to reflect the new guidelines. Any print outs of the guidelines in the office should also be replaced with the new version.

The law and practice referred to in this article or webinar has been paraphrased or summarised. It might not be up-to-date with changes in the law and we do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided at the time of reading. It should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice in relation to a specific set of circumstances.

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