Last reviewed 3 March 2020

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions each year by processing and issuing DBS checks for England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

It also maintains the adults' and children's Barred Lists and makes considered decisions as to whether an individual should be included on one or both of these lists and barred from engaging in regulated activity.

The DBS has recently introduced a new feature for applicants that apply for their basic check directly, using its online application route which can be accessed at www.gov.uk/request-copy-criminal-record.

When an individual applies for their basic check directly to DBS in this way, they can now select a “Someone else is paying” option.

They will then receive an email that contains a payment link, which can be forwarded to the person that is going to be paying for their check. This payment can be made by debit or credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay.

DBS research highlighted that employers wanted to be able to pay for their employees’ checks, but it was often inconvenient, costly and time-consuming, as payment previously needed to be taken during the application process.

Allan Robinson, Product Owner of the basic service, said: “This new payment option is just one of the many features we’ve added since its launch. DBS recognises that people’s lifestyles and working patterns have changed, and so have their needs. The ‘someone else is paying’ feature provides for a simpler way for employers and organisations to pay for basic DBS checks.”

Comment by Andy Willis, Head of Legal at Croner

The simplification of the DBS process will no doubt come as welcome news to employers who require these checks, such as those who work with vulnerable adults or children.

It may also serve to incentivise more employers to request a DBS check before the commencement of employment, something that can help to avoid issues arising later on.

After all, employers must know as much about their potential new employee as possible.

It should be remembered that this does not produce an enhanced check; such a check will still need to be done by the previous, existing system. Some candidates may also struggle to use this online service more than others and, in those situations, employers may still need to provide further support.