FAQs for Volunteer Responders

DBS checking

Will I need to complete a new DBS check?

For some activities a DBS will be required, you will be asked to go through this process if needed.

These checks are processed by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and may be requested when you apply for a job or volunteering role.

The types of check are as follows:

  • a basic check, which shows unspent convictions and conditional cautions
  • a standard check, which shows spent and unspent convictions and adult cautions, from the Police National Computer which have not been filtered in line with legislation
  • an enhanced check, which shows the same as a standard check plus any information held by local police that’s considered relevant to the role
  • an enhanced check with a check of the barred lists, which shows the same as an enhanced check plus whether the applicant is on the adults’ barred list, children’s barred list or both.

This information was taken from the Disclosure and Barring Service website where you can find more detailed guidance.

Do I have to pay for a DBS check?

No. If it is required for the volunteering activity you have applied for we will cover the cost associated. You will just need to complete the DBS screening form as part of your application.

Why am I being asked to complete a DBS for an activity I have already been doing?

The programme has relaunched and now seeks to provide support across the Health and Social Care sector. Due to this there will be instances when volunteers will come into contact with people in receipt of health and care services. In addition, certain activities are defined as ‘regulated activity’ meaning that, by law, we are required to check volunteers.

Who is processing the DBS checks?

The Volunteer Responders programme have partnered with Reed Screening to undertake all Identity Checks and DBS checks on behalf of the programme.

What happens if I do not wish to undertake a DBS check?

DBS checks will be required for certain activities as defined by law. However, there will still be activities that you can undertake as part of the programme that do not require a DBS check. However, a DBS check only takes about 10 minutes an unlocks activities that you can choose to take part in.

I submitted an application but it still isn’t showing as complete on the app.

All applications are submitted to the Disclosure and Barring service within 2 days of the application being completed. Dependent on the level of check will depend on the number of checks the DBS need to undertake, some of which are with local police forces, the time of completion varies form force to force. Please keep checking your GoodSAM profile.

Can I still volunteer if I have a caution or conviction?

All DBS checks that return unspent cautions and convictions will be reviewed by the NHSCVR team, you will be involved in that review process. Following the review a decision will be made as to the activities that you can undertake as part of the programme.

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Page last reviewed: 16 November 2023