Our Comprehensive DBS Service

What is DBS?

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. Around four million applications are made each year to the DBS.

If you are volunteering or applying for paid work with children, or to work in a regulated activity with adults, then you will need a DBS check.

DBS checks can be quite daunting to carry out, but they are easy, once you understand the reason for the questions.

The information that you provide on the DBS application is to establish your identity. It provides enough details for checks to be made, so that employers can be as confident as possible that they are recruiting safely.

How can we help?

We have created a set of short videos explaining the mains steps in the process: completing the form as an applicant, checking the form, and signing up for the update service.


Tips for filling in a DBS application form

Tips for checking a DBS form

Signing up to the DBS update service

Liz,  our dedicated DBS Administrator, can also help you through the whole DBS process. This includes:

  • Sending out blank application forms to members
  • Advising on the level of DBS clearance that is appropriate for the job in question
  • Checking completed forms for accuracy
  • Checking documents for proof of identity
  • Sending the completed forms to DBS for processing
  • Chasing up applications that are with DBS


Training for members

We offer training to our members in filling out these forms and avoiding the most common mistakes. This is especially useful for members who recruit a lot of volunteers or staff and is offered free of charge.

“This training greatly increased my confidence and I now have improved skills in this area. Liz is a very good trainer and the training was very clear and straightforward.”

For more information or help with DBS, please contact Liz by email at [email protected] or by phoning 01865 767 899. Liz usually works Tuesdays and Fridays.

Need help with DBS?

Got Questions About DBS?

Please click on a question to find out more.

What does a DBS check involve?

The applicant fills in an application form, giving personal information to identify themself. They also provide three original documents which give evidence of their name, date of birth and address. These are checked and signed off. The form is then checked for completeness and signed off as a whole, and sent to DBS.

How long does the DBS check take?

DBS says that a check usually takes around 8 weeks but it can take longer if:

  • the details given for the check are incorrect
  • several police forces need to be involved in the check

The quickest turnaround we have had was less than one week. The slowest has been well over two months. A slow check does not mean that lots of information is being uncovered about you. It may simply mean that more than one police force is involved, if you have lived in different areas. You can’t pay more to get a faster check.

What does a DBS check cost?


Changemakers (affiliated)Non-affiliated: not-for-profit organisationNon-affiliated: for-profit organisationChangemakers (affiliated)Non-affiliated: not-for-profit organisationNon-affiliated: for-profit organisation
Volunteer check£5£15£50£5£15£50
Paid staff check£33£43£73£50£60£90


What are the documents that I need to provide for a DBS application?

You need to provide evidence of your full name, date of birth and current address.

To do this, you should provide three documents. If you have them, the easiest to use are your driving licence photocard, your passport and a recent household bill or bank statement showing your address.

You will need to show these documents to someone from the organisation who is employing you. They will check them and confirm that they prove your identity. The documents must be originals, not photocopies. Not everyone has access to driving licences and passports. Here is a link to the DBS webpage which explains what you can use instead: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/documents-the-applicant-must-provide.

What do the DBS checks look for?

There are 3 different types of criminal record check an employer can request:

  • a standard check shows any spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings
  • an enhanced check 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 barred lists shows the same as an enhanced check plus whether you’re on the list of people barred from doing the role
Who can see if I have a criminal record?

There is a strict Code of Practice for employers regarding the right to view and record information relating to criminal records. Confidentiality regarding sensitive private information is taken very seriously. A link to the code is here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/dbs-check-requests-guidance-for-employers.

Can I track my application online?

Yes. You will need the reference number from your application form, plus your date of birth. Go to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/track-a-dbs-application and follow the link. If your application was sent by Oxfordshire Youth, we can track your application for you.

What is the DBS certificate?

The certificate is a record of a DBS check. It is the property of the applicant and is posted to their home address. The employer should request to see it.

What is the online updates service?

When you are applying for a DBS check you have the opportunity to register for online updates, instead of making a fresh application with a new form when you need to update your DBS certificate. All the information is at https://www.gov.uk/dbs-update-service.

Where do I get continuation sheets from?

DBS continuation sheet for addresses and name changes can be downloaded here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dbs-continuation-sheet