From 1 December 2012, the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority merged to form a single body, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Criminal records checks are now carried out by the DBS instead of the CRB.
With effect from 17 June 2013, individuals will be able to subscribe to an update service to ensure that their criminal record certificate is kept up to date, and allowing a degree of portability between jobs: the individual will be able to take the certificate with them when moving to another job with similar checking requirements.
If an individual subscribes to the service, and provided the employer obtains the individual’s permission first, the employer will be able to carry out free online checks to find out whether there have been any changes to an individual’s certificate since it was issued.
The update service has an annual subscription fee of £13, payable by the individual employee (although it will be free for volunteers).
In addition, from 17 June 2013 the DBS certificate will only be sent to the individual applicant and no longer sent simultaneously to the registered person who countersigned the application. This is intended to provide the applicant with the opportunity to review and challenge any of the content before the certificate is released to an employer or potential employer.
This new system is designed to speed up the recruitment process and also enhance safeguarding. Employers will benefit from the free online status checks, and individuals will retain greater control of their own data.