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TerraQuest News

- Mar 2022

DBS Checks for Cleaners: Our Guide.

What is a DBS check and why are they important?

In 2012, the Criminal Records Bureau and the Independent Safeguarding Authority both merged to form the Disclosure and Barring Service, which is the non-departmental government body responsible for ensuring that employers can make the right decisions about who they employ when it comes to certain job roles.

The simple fact is that when you’re bringing someone new into an organisation, whether as a full-time employee, contractor, or part-time employee, you’re introducing some uncertainty. DBS checks help ensure that the right decision is being made, especially for sensitive roles, such as those responsible for vulnerable people.

Being a cleaner means that you may be asked to work in several different organisations, some may involve being around children or vulnerable adults. This could include schools, nurseries, care homes, hospitals, people's homes, etc. This means that there is a good chance that you as a cleaner/cleaning organisation will need to partake in the DBS checking process. Which level of check a cleaner may need will completely depend on the role and organisation for which they are working for.

DBS checks for self-employed cleaners

Self-employed cleaners will usually need to apply for a basic DBS check for themselves. Basic DBS checks will only show convictions that are not 'spent' e.g. some types of cautions will disappear after three months. The checks will not disclose any convictions which are spent, cautions, fixed penalty notices, or allegations.

If you do have unspent convictions, the check will give details of:

  • The date of the conviction
  • The name of the court you appeared in
  • The offence committed
  • The date of the offence
  • The sentence received

If the cleaner is hired to complete other duties in the home, including personal care of vulnerable adults or children. This could mean they are eligible for an enhanced DBS check, which their agency can apply for on their behalf.

Cleaners in care homes

Working in care homes means that you will come into contact with vulnerable individuals. This means that cleaners working in adult care homes are eligible for an enhanced DBS check but not a check against the barred list as cleaning is not defined as regulated activity.

Cleaners in dental practices and medical centers

Cleaners would be working outside of practice opening hours, so they should not have any access to any patients. This means that they would be eligible for a basic DBS check.

Cleaners in schools

Working as a cleaner in a school means that they’re more likely to come into contact with children, so they’re eligible for an enhanced DBS check. The only difference between care homes and schools is that there is a chance that the employee could receive a check against the children’s barred list. However, this is not a mandatory check (as cleaning is not a regulated activity) and will only be performed if requested by the school.

Cleaners in hospitals

Due to the way hospitals are run, it is very unlikely that the cleaner would interact with patients. Therefore, they would be eligible for a basic DBS check

Cleaners in office, industrial and warehouse spaces

If you work in office, industrial and warehouse spaces, there is no/little chance of contact with children or vulnerable adults, therefore you won't be eligible for a standard or enhanced DBS check. However, many organisations are choosing to check staff at a basic level as part of their own recruitment process to keep their businesses safe.

In conclusion, most cleaners may need to obtain a basic DBS check if it is a requirement for the business's recruitment process. However, some organisations, such as schools and care homes may ask you to partake in an enhanced DBS check.

AuthentiQuest is a secure online solution that allows organisations to electronically submit applications to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Disclosure Scotland (DS) to perform criminal record checks on job applicants and employees.

If you would like to find out more about our pre-employment solution, please visit our website and/or contact a member of the team today.