From early 2013, thousands of volunteers and employees will no longer have to apply for a new criminal records check each time they apply for a job. Instead they will only have to apply once to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for a certificate which can then be checked online to find out whether it is still up to date.
This will avoid the need for individuals to apply for multiple checks to work with different organisations. Volunteers will be able to use the service for free when they apply for different volunteering opportunities. For paid employees there will be a small annual subscription fee, which will be less than the cost of a new criminal record check.
The change to the current system will speed up the recruitment process for public and private sector employers, saving organisations time and money and making it easier for people to change jobs in the same sector (i.e. the NHS) while ensuring robust safeguarding measures are in place.
Among those who will benefit from the new service are agency workers who may register with a number of employment agencies looking for work, junior and locum doctors who would have previously had to apply for a new check every time they move hospital and volunteers who work with more than one organisation.