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The benefits of joining the DBS Update Service

  • Publish Date: Posted over 5 years ago
  • Author:by Collette Negre

​For any private employer hiring domestic staff is a big decision, especially when they are employing them in their own home. Even more so when they are a family choosing a person to help take care of their children.

Thankfully, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps clients make safer recruitment decisions and prevents unsuitable people from working in their home and with vulnerable groups of people, including children and elderly relatives who may live with them.

The DBS Update Service is an online subscription service that lets you keep your standard and enhanced DBS certificates up-to-date and checked online and allows employers to check a certificate online, with your consent, without the need for a new check to be undertaken each time (providing it is within the same workforce and the same level of check is required).

By joining the DBS Update Service, you will gain the following benefits:

  • It will save you time and money

  • You can take your DBS certificate from role to role (if within the same workforce, where the same type and level of check is required)

  • Employers can carry out instant online status checks on DBS certificates that are linked to your subscription

  • The service enhances safeguarding processes

  • You will be able to view the reference details of any applications and/or DBS certificates linked to your subscription

  • You will be able to view the status of any DBS certificate linked to your subscription

  • You will be able to amend your contact details

  • You will be able to add and remove applications and DBS certificates

  • You will be able to view the details of any organisations that have made a status check of your DBS certificates

  • You can cancel your subscription

  • You can renew your subscription (you will be emailed 30 days before your subscription expires)

  • You can view the status and expiration date of your subscription.

The information you will need to join the Update Service

Currently, registration with the DBS Update Service lasts for one year and costs £13 per year and starts from the date your DBS certificate was issued. You can register for the Update Service using your DBS certificate number, but you must do this within 30 days of the certificate being issued.

To apply you will need your:

  • name

  • gender

  • date of birth

  • email address

  • application form reference, e-reference number or your DBS certificate number

  • details regarding payment card for the Update Service fee, if applicable

How often is the service updated?

When a person adds their DBS certificate to their Update Service account the DBS will keep their DBS certificate up-to-date by regularly searching to see if any new information has come to light since its issue.

Criminal record conviction and barring information will be searched on a weekly basis for updates, as this information can change frequently.

Non-conviction information will be searched every nine months for updates, as it isn’t released on many DBS certificates and changes infrequently.

How can employers and organisations check the status of my certificate(s)?

You will need to consent to an employer or organisation carrying out a status check on your certificate(s). You will need to show them your original DBS certificate (DBS check). The employer however, can only make the status check if they could also legally request a new DBS check for the role that you’ll be working in. This is because it is the employer’s responsibility to understand and apply the relevant legislation.

The employer or organisation will need your DBS certificate 12-digit reference number, your name and date of birth. The employer can then go online and carry out a status check on your existing certificate(s).

For more information, visit:

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