Who, what and why of DBS Checks

What is DBS and a DBS Check?

DBS stands for the Disclosure and Barring Service. DBS maintains the adults’ and children’s 'Barred Lists' in the UK, and makes considered decisions as to whether an individual should be included on one or both of these lists, which would bar them from engaging in regulated activity.

A DBS check is a check to see whether there is any information on these lists regarding the applicant. Once a DBS check has been completed the applicant will receive a DBS Certificate that will contain details of both spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings that are held on the Police National Computer, which are not subject to filtering.

Why do we need to do DBS checks?

As someone entering the Child workforce, you and all your household members (see details below) need an Enhanced DBS Check by law. This is more rigorous that the Standard and Basic DBS Check, which you may also have heard of.

At tiney, we need to see this information for you and your household members, to make sure we keep our children safe.

Who needs to do a DBS Check for you to register with tiney?

You'll need to submit a check for everyone aged 16 and over living in, regularly visiting or working in your home.

This includes:

  • Weekly cleaners
  • Older children who may be away at university most of the year
  • Anyone who regularly stays overnight in your home - even if they are not there when children are present.

This does not include:

  • Builders doing a one-off job for you
  • Anyone working in your home outside of the hours you are caring for children (e.g. a cleaner that comes in the evenings)
  • A friend who stays over infrequently or comes over once a week.

The DBS Update Service

You, and anyone who needs to do a DBS check based on the conditions above, also need to register to the DBS Update Service. This ensures that their DBS Certificate is kept up to date and it allows tiney to check if any incidents mentioned above occur after the first DBS check has been done. This is a legal requirement to register you with tiney - we cannot register you without it.

How much does the DBS Check & Update Service cost and do I have to pay?

Each DBS check normally costs over £50 per application. This does not include the subscription to the DBS Update Service, which is an annual charge of £13 per applicant.

Tiney cover the cost of everybody's initial DBS application, and we cover the cost of the DBS Update Service.

To complete your DBS check with tiney there are 5 steps

The DBS process is a fairly complex process, but we have tried to make it as simple as possible for you. There are 5 key steps that we need your help with. Each of these steps need to be completed for you, and anyone else who lives in your household over the age of 15 (i.e. 16+). Note that you can complete some of these on behalf of your household members, if you desire. You will find details of which in the sections below.

  1. Complete the DBS online application
  2. Send tiney proof of identity documents
  3. Sign up to the DBS Update Service
  4. Send tiney permission to check the Update Service annually
  5. Send tiney a photo of the DBS certificate that the applicant receives in the post

See the info-graphic below to show the details of each of these steps, and what you, as the trainee, can do on behalf of your household members if that helps make things quicker.


1. Completing the DBS online application

This is the first step of the DBS check. As a trainee, you are able to complete this part on behalf of your household members if you feel it will be done quicker this way. For each application, follow the steps below:

How to complete a DBS online application

  1. Click on this link to start your application.
  2. Select Option 1 ('STANDARD / ENHANCED DBS APPLICATION') on the site.
  3. Use the Organisation reference: TINEY
  4. Use the organisation Code given in the 'Your DBS Online form' card in the Nursery section of the app (not shared on here as this is available to the public)
  5. Proceed through the form.
  6. Please type either 'Childminder - Child Workforce' or 'Living at Childminding Premises- Child Workforce' as the role you or your family member are applying for. Please enter these exactly as shown.

DBS provide their own guidance as to how to complete the rest of the form. Follow this link for a guide to submitting your DBS application.

[mobile walk through]

2. Send us proof of identity documents

Once an online application has been completed, tiney get notified of this. DBS require us to check your identity in order to submit your application to them. DBS set the guidelines of how to do this identity check, which we have to follow.

During the Covid-19 crisis, DBS have introduced changes to the way we're able to check your identity. For each online application, the process consists of two parts:

  • Send over a photo or scan of three identity documents for that applicant via the app
  • At your Registration Visit we will need to see the applicant and their original identity documents

These identity documents must be submitted within 1 month of your online application otherwise your application will be withdrawn and you'll have to do it all again.

What documents do you need to send?

DBS provide a full list of documents you can send to us. Follow the Route 1 or Route 2 guidelines in this link. Please also check the link to check that the documents you send are valid (i.e. a bank statement needs to have been from the past 3 months).

An example combination of the documents you could send us, for each applicant, are:

  • A valid passport
  • A current driving licence photo card - (full or provisional)
  • A copy of your most recent utility bill from the past 3 months (or bank statement, or council tax bill)

How to submit proof of identity documents

Important - you need to submit the identity documents for all you and all your household members at the same time via a form in the app. Sending them 1 by 1 will delay your journey to register with tiney.

  1. Gather three forms of identity for you, and each of the other household members that need a DBS. A list of these documents can be found in the link in the section above.
  2. Make sure they are valid (e.g. all bills - council tax, utility etc. - or bank statements must be from the past 3 months, and P45 or P60 must be within the past 12 months)
  3. Take a full clear screen shot on your phone and click on the 'Upload forms' button in the 'Your DBS identity check' card in the Nursery section of your app.

Common issues to watch out for, which have caused people delays:

  • Only 1 applicant's documents submitted via the form in the app. This causes delays for our internal team, and we will have to ask you to resubmit. Please make sure you submit all the identity documents for all your applicants at once.
  • Illegible or unclear scans / photos of documents. Please do ensure you have clear and legible copies of the documents, when taking a photo or scanning.
  • Invalid documents being submitted, or documents that are close to 3 months old that go out of date in the next few days. Please try and send us documents that are the most recent you have (i.e. documents issued in the past 1 month are ideal)

If you have any issues uploading this via the form, please reach out to us via the Chat with tiney in the app.

3. Sign up to the DBS Update Service

Once you have submitted an online application and the identity documents for each person needing a check, tiney then review the application and the identity documents. If everything looks good then we will submit each complete DBS application (i.e. online application and proof of identity).

Within a day or so each applicant will be sent an email from Capita (our application processing partner), at the email address used in the online application, informing them that DBS have received their application electronically.

This email will contain an 'application form reference', which can be seen in bold in the email and will be the letter 'E' followed by 10 numbers (e.g. E0123456789). This is the 'Application Reference' number is needed for each applicant up to the DBS Update Service.

Note if you completed an application on behalf of your household members, this email will have gone to their address, so you will need to ask them to share this number with you if you are wanting to sign them up to the DBS Update Service as well.

Important points to note:

  • DBS set a deadline of 30 days to sign up to the update service after the applicant is issued their DBS Certificate. If this deadline is missed, the application will have to be resubmitted and tiney will not cover the cost of this. Therefore we recommend you make sure each applicant signs up to the DBS Update Service as soon as they receive the email described above.
  • DBS charge £13 per applicant per year to be signed up to the update service. As mentioned above, this is a requirement to be registered with a childminding agency like tiney, and tiney will not cover this cost.
  • Every applicant will need to sign up to the Update Service.

How to sign up to the DBS Update Service

As a trainee, you are able to do steps 1 and 2 on behalf of each applicant, or you can ask the applicant to do these steps themselves.

  1. For each applicant, copy or note down the 'application form reference' from the email mentioned above sent from Capita. This is the letter 'E' followed by 10 numbers (e.g. E0123456789).
  2. Make sure you have a form of payment to hand and then fill in this online form to sign up to the Update Service. NB i) Make sure the email address and surname are spelt the same as in they were in the online application; ii) Select No to the voluntary position question; iii) The Application Reference field is where you enter the 'application form reference' described above.
  3. Once completed, copy or note down the unique 'Subscription ID Number' that will displayed to you on screen. This is a long number that starts with the letter 'C' followed by 10 numbers (e.g. C0123456789)
  4. Send this to us via 'Chat with tiney' in the Messenger section of the app along with the name of the person who the number belongs to

[video showing it being filled out]

4. Send tiney permission to check the Update Service annually

In order for tiney to be allowed to check an applicant's update service each year, we need them to send us written permission to do so.

How to give tiney permission to check the Update Service

  1. Ask all the other applicants in your household whether they are happy for you to give written permission to tiney for tiney request information relating to them from DBS. If they do not, please get in touch with us using Chat with tiney in the Messenger section of the app
  2. In the 'Register to the DBS Update Service' card in the Nursery section of the app there is a button that says Email us your written permission. This will bring up a pre-populated email addressed to community@tiney.co
  3. Copy and paste this sentence for each other applicant who has given you permission to give tiney permission, and replace your name with their full name. (e.g. if you had 2 other household members, you would be sending an email to tiney with the same sentence 3 times, just with the name changed in each sentence)
  4. Press Send to send the email to tiney

5. Send tiney a photo of the DBS Certificate that the applicant receives in the post

Once an application has been submitted to DBS, they will spend some time processing this check. This can take up to 5 weeks to do, and in some cases longer, but we would hope that it should be done more quickly than this.

Once DBS have processed an application, each applicant will be sent a DBS Certificate in the post. Tiney need to see this certificate in order to see any information held on the Police National Computer about the applicant. This allows us to ensure we can make an informed decision as to whether we are happy for tiney's children to be in the household, and ensuring we maintain high safeguarding standards.

How to send tiney a photo of a DBS Certificate

  1. As soon as an applicant who is part of your household receives a DBS Certificate in the post, take a photo on your phone of the certificate making sure the information on it is clearly legible
  2. Go to 'Chat with tiney' in the Messenger section of the app and start a New Conversation. Attach the photo to the message, and write which member of the household it is for, and send it to us.

NB - you will need to send us a photo of the DBS Certificate of every applicant in your household. Do not wait for all applicants' DBS Certificates to be returned before sending them to tiney. Send each DBS Certificate to tiney as soon as the applicant receives it.

What happens next?

After steps 1 to 5 have been completed for everyone requiring a DBS check in your household, tiney's Safeguarding Panel will review the DBS Certificates for each applicant, and make a decision as to whether they are comfortable that children will be kept safe given the background of everyone in your household that they may come into contact with.

You will be contacted by a member of tiney's Safeguarding Team if we want to discuss something that has appeared on any of the DBS Certificates, or if information appears on the certificate, which would prevent you from registering with tiney.

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