Obtaining a DBS check as a Nanny or Childcare Provider

Can a parent obtain a criminal record check on a childcare provider?

No.  The DBS carries out criminal record checks and they will not accept an application made by a parent employing a nanny or other childcare provider.  Childcare providers need to obtain a DBS check via an organisation.

How can I get a DBS check?

In England, Ofsted has a partially online system for obtaining an Enhanced DBS check for a nanny.  Ofsted calls a nanny a Home Childcarer. In Wales a DBS check is obtained as part of the Childcare Approval Scheme. In Scotland a PVG check can be obtained via a nanny agency.

I have moved home a lot, do I need checks from other places I have lived?

Yes. You need to have five years of address history and checks done on all those locations.  If all those locations are in the UK, then you simply provide the addresses.  If some of the locations are outside of the UK you will need to obtain documentation from the relevant country.  Find out more about criminal records checks for overseas applicants

I have not been in the UK very long, who can I get to verify my identity?

When completing the Identity Check form atyou need to have known the person checking your ID for at least 12 months and they must have an occupation listed on the form.  If you do not know someone suitable, you will need to have your identity documents checked at a Post Office.  Step 3 of the application contains a link to the form to be used. There is an additional charge for processing this form. Find out more about the costs of a DBS check 

The online system asks me for an organisation reference, which one do I use?

You use code OFSTEDP as the 'organisation reference' as you are a new childcare provider but leave the 'organisation code' empty.  If you are already Ofsted registered and are needing an additional DBS check, then use OFSTEDA and provide your Ofsted registration when prompted later in the application.

Does this mean I will be Ofsted registered?

No.  The DBS check is the first stage of registering with Ofsted.  If you decide to proceed to become Ofsted registered (many parents are now requesting this, so it is something to consider doing) then that application is handled separately direct with Ofsted.

Do I need to be on the DBS Update Service?

Yes, this is strongly recommended.  The DBS Update Service enables parents to view the latest status of your DBS check.  

What is the application process?

Step 1Download the Identity Checking form and find someone suitable to confirm your identity.

Step 2Complete the online DBS application.  You will be provided with a reference, write this on to your Identity Checking form.   Payment will be taken at this stage for the DBS check.  The form will ask about employment, select Home Childcarer as your provider type.  You are NOT a volunteer, as you are paid.  You are applying for an Enhanced DBS check for the Child Workforce.

Step 3 – Scan and email your competed Identity Checking form to the address given on the form, or follow the form instructions for returning via post.   At this stage you should also contact Ofsted Watchdog/Capita if you have lived outside of the UK during the past five years and provide any documents they request.   If having your Identiy verified by the Post Office, follow the instructions on the Post Office check form.

Step 4 – Once your Identity Checking form has been processed, you will receive an email from the DBS computer system.  This contains a tracking reference so you can view progress of your check.
Use this tracking reference to apply for DBS Update.

Step 5Apply for the DBS Update Service immediately.  Do not wait for your DBS certificate to arrive.  Apply using the tracking reference that the DBS has emailed to you.

Step 6 – Your DBS certificate arrives.  Keep this in a safe place and show to parents on request.

How long does a DBS check take?

The length of time varies, some checks can come back in a few days, others will take a month or more. 

How does a parent check the status of my DBS check?

Once you have your DBS certificate and you have registered with DBS Update Service, parents can login to view the status of your check.  The system does not give detailed information, so should be used in conjunction with the printed certificate.   Parents will need to know your DBS Certificate Number which can be found at the top of your certificate.  Your Surname and your Date of Birth.

Parents will be asked for their Organisation Name.  They should enter their full name, then enter their name again in the Forename and Surname fields.

Further information

Read a detailed FAQ about the Ofsted DBS application process.

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