Individuals who have a disability (either physical or mental) will sometimes need a helping hand. Whether that means requiring assistance on a daily basis or every once in a while, one thing is clear: the people providing the support need to be trustworthy and experienced.
There are different ways to assess if someone is up to the task of working with vulnerable groups. For example, looking at prior employment history, speaking to references and carrying out DBS checks.
Understanding DBS Checks
If you’re not familiar with what a DBS check is, it’s a way for employers to check a person’s criminal history. It can be requested by using a provider, such as Online DBS Checks.
A DBS check has different levels, with more information being provided the higher you go. The main ones are:
- Enhanced With Barred List
Basic – This one is the cheapest of the three. It provides information about unspent criminal convictions (in relation to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) that an individual may have. If there aren’t any unspent convictions, then the check will say so.
Standard – Next is the standard type. This version provides a higher level of screening compared to the basic DBS check. Alongside a report on unspent criminal convictions, it provides spent convictions, cautions and reprimands.
Enhanced – Lastly, we have the enhanced version. It includes everything discussed in the standard DBS check plus additional information acquired from barred lists, local police forces, and other government institutions where applicable.
Why They’re So Essential
As workers in our industry are typically in close contact with vulnerable groups, their backgrounds must be checked thoroughly. When employers carry out the check, they will be given access to information that will determine if an individual is suitable to be around those with learning disabilities.
From the perspective of someone who has a learning disability or a family member of that individual, this check provides reassurance. It helps remove some fear that may be experienced with interacting with a new person, as they’ve passed all the initial checks.
How It Works
The basic check doesn’t have any eligibility requirements, meaning that anyone over the age of 16 can apply. This is perfect for self-employed individuals who want to show clients that they are trustworthy or companies wanting to check unspent convictions of individuals who are applying for their roles.
A standard check is a little more complex. Only employers can request this type on behalf of potential employees, and there are only certain positions that are eligible for this version of the check.
The enhanced check follows the same rule as the standard one, only an employer can request it for a potential new staff member. Also, only some roles are eligible for the check. For instance, social workers typically need an enhanced check.
Keeping individuals with learning disabilities safe is a top priority. To ensure that can be achieved, DBS checks can be used alongside other methods to screen people who interact with them.
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