How often should DBS checks be repeated?

There is no requirement to re-do DBS checks for existing staff, unless concerns have been raised. However, some schools do repeat checks, sometimes on a 3-year basis, sometimes every 5 years.

In theory at least, schools should know when a member of staff has been arrested or convicted during the period of employment. However, there have been a few cases where this has not worked effectively. To mitigate against this, some schools ask staff to confirm annually in writing (usually by signing a declaration) that nothing has changed that would affect their suitability to work with children.

It should be made clear in contracts and/or the staff code of conduct that staff are expected to inform their employer should they been investigated in any other aspect of the lives or arrested.

One way to keep these checks up to date is by using the DBS Update Service. After a DBS check has been completed, the person can join the update service for a annual fee. This means that the school can enter the person's DBS number and find out if there has been any new information added to the DBS.

The annual fee is currently £13 (March 2017).

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