My right to work with children and vulnerable adults

Explains what a DBS check is and what you can do if you are unhappy with the information held about you by the police. Applies to England and Wales.

Jobs that require DBS checks

What jobs require a DBS check?

Jobs that involve regular work with children or vulnerable adults. An organisation cannot decide to just DBS check everyone it employs – the decision about whether a DBS check is needed has to be based on each individual role.

For some jobs, a DBS check will always be required – for example:

  • teachers
  • social workers
  • childminders
  • foster carers
  • medical professionals

Some jobs in particular settings will also always require a DBS check – for example:

  • schools
  • children’s homes
  • hospitals

There are also jobs that require a DBS check when you enter the profession – for example:

  • solicitors
  • barristers
  • veterinary surgeons
  • accountants

There is guidance on what jobs require a DBS check, but it does not provide a list of jobs. If you are unsure whether a DBS check will be needed for a particular job, you should contact the Disclosure and Barring Service or you can use their online eligibility checking tool.

What if I’ve been asked to have a DBS check but I disagree?

If you have been asked by a prospective employer to have a DBS check, but you don’t think the job requires one, you can ask the Disclosure and Barring Service to investigate. Read this guide on the website to find out how to do this (scroll down to 'Applicant eligibility enquiries').

When is a DBS check carried out?

DBS check should only be carried out at the point a job offer has been made to you.

What if I’m a volunteer?

DBS checks are carried out on voluntary roles in the same ways as paid roles – the only difference is that there is no charge for checking someone for a voluntary role. If the voluntary role involves regular unsupervised contact with children or vulnerable adults, there will be a DBS check.

What if I change jobs?

DBS check does not expire, but it is only accurate at the date the check is carried out. It is up to your new employer to decide whether to accept a DBS certificate that you got for a previous job, or ask you to get another DBS check.


This information was published in February 2017. We will revise it in 2019.

Mental Health A-Z

Information and advice on a huge range of mental health topics

> Read our A-Z


Helping you to better understand and support people with mental health problems

> Find out more

Special offers

Check out our promotional offers on print and digital booklets, for a limited time only

> Visit our shop today