Regulatory requirements for the provision of DBS checks

The following announcement is only relevant for clients who are applying for Standard or Enhanced DBS Disclosures. 

Protection of Freedoms Act: what it means for me? 

Regulated Activity focus on work which involves close and unsupervised contact with vulnerable groups. Regulated Activities are those which a person who has been barred by the ISA must not do. If you have Regulated Activities in your organisation, you must order the Enhanced Disclosure to ensure you are not employing a barred person to carry them out.
The activities and work that are being taken out of Regulated Activity will still be eligible for Enhanced DBS checks but they will no longer be eligible for barred list checks.
Being clear about the definition of regulated activity matters because:

  • An organisation which knowingly allows a barred person to work in regulated activity will be breaking the law;
  • If you dismiss or remove someone from regulated activity (or you would have done had they not already left) because they harmed or posed a risk of harm to vulnerable groups including children, you are legally required to forward information about that person to the ISA. It is a criminal offence not to do so. If you believe that the person has committed a criminal offence, we also strongly advise you to pass the information to the police.
  • From 10th September, if you consider that a role is within the new definition of Regulated Activity, then if you ask the individual to apply for an Enhanced DBS check you should request the appropriate barred list check (for children, adults or both). Enhanced DBS checks for work within a regulated activity will tell you (where requested) if the person is on one of the ISA's barred lists. Going forward, Enhanced DBS will not include information from the barred lists for work outside regulated activity.

For further information on the proposed changes and the new definition of Regulated Activity, please refer to the guidance leaflet

What you need to know

Minimum age enforcement

Applications can now only be submitted to the DBS for Standard or Enhanced checks where the applicant is aged 16 or over at the time of making the application.

Controlled Activities no longer allowed

Applications for Controlled Activity positions can no longer be submitted, as this provision will have been repealed. This category covered people who might have less contact with vulnerable groups including children than people in regulated activity - for example, some people who deal with records. At the moment, you can check whether those people are barred; from September, you will not be able to do that (although people in those roles may still be eligible for a DBS check, depending on the role).

How Additional Information will be communicated going forward

Additional Information (eg. police intelligence) will no longer be sent to Countersignatories as part of the Enhanced DBS application process. This is the information that used to be sent separately, where applicable, from the police via the DBS but will no longer appear on an applicant's certificate. The police still retain the right to share information under their common law powers.

Disputing information on DBS certificates

Persons other than the applicant can raise a dispute if they believe any information contained on a DBS certificate is inaccurate.

  •  All of the above changes will be implemented from 10 September this year and we will, of course, provide you with more detail as it becomes available.
Enhanced DBS identification checking process 

The DBS's identity checking changes in 2012 made it more difficult for individuals to conceal previous criminal records by changing their name. These changes are part of an on-going improvement process that will enable easier detection of undeclared changes of name in the future. The guidelines offer three routes to follow to verify ID: Route One, Route Two and Route Three. You should be able to validate the identity of the vast majority of applicants using the new Route One process. In extreme cases where this has not been possible Route Two and Three should be used as detailed below.

Valid ID documents are redefined as Group 1, Group 2a and Group 2b.

Please see below for full details:

Identification checking process - what stays the same?

The applicant must provide a range of ID documents as part of the DBS application process.  You must only accept valid, current and original documentation; you must not accept photocopies or documentation printed from the internet e.g. online bank statements.   
The identity checking process must validate the applicant's name, date of birth and current address as recorded on the DBS application form.

Identification checking process - what changes?

The document confirming the applicant's address should preferably be a utility bill, bank statement or financial statement. The driving licence should not be used for this purpose.  Where the applicant declares a previous change of name they should endeavour to supply documentary proof to support the change of name e.g. marriage certificate or Deed Poll.  Non UK versions of some forms of ID can be used, however, non UK driving licence is only valid if the applicant is residing outside of the UK at the time of application.




Can the applicant produce a Group 1 document? 
If yes, then the applicant must produce three documents:

  • One document from Group 1 (refer to list of Valid Identity Documents); and
  • ​Two further documents from Group 1 , 2a or 2b, one of which must verify their current address, 

If no, then the applicant must go to Route 2.

NOTE - EEA Nationals (Non UK):

Where an EEA National has been resident in the UK for five years or less, you should validate identity via Route One through the checking of a current passport or current UK photocard driving licence plus two further documents. In the absence of a Group 1 document you must satisfy yourself of a valid reason for using Route Two.

NOTE - Non EEA Nationals:

All non EEA Nationals should be validated via Route One. Routes Two and Three do not apply for non EEA Nationals.


The applicant must produce three documents from Group 2 comprising
  • One document from Group 2a; and
  • Two further documents from Group 2a or 2b, one of which must verify their current address

Verifile will conduct an appropriate external ID validation check using variety of databases as defined by the DBS to establish the applicant's name and living history footprint in the UK. A nominal £4 charge will be added to the cost where this option was required.
The external ID validation check will provide a Pass / Fail answer. Pass means that the DBS will now accept the application and Fail means further documents must be obtained from the candidate. You should also conduct an interview to fully understand why the ID has not been confirmed so far and proceed with Route 3 only if you are satisfied with the reasons provided by the applicant.


Route Three is only permitted where applicants failed both Route One and Route Two (the external ID check).  If the applicant cannot meet the requirement of Route One or Route Two, you should have a discussion with them to establish why they could not meet these requirements and whether there has been a recent or previous change of name that has not been declared.
The applicant must produce:

  • Birth Certificate (UK and Channel Islands) issued after the time of birth by the General Register
    Office/relevant authority i.e. Registrars - Photocopies are not acceptable; and
  • Four further documents from Group 2 comprising:
    - One document from Group 2a; and - Three further documents from Group 2a or 2b, one of which must verify their current address


If the applicant cannot provide the three ID documents to satisfy Route One, the application will guide them to provide a total of five documents; one document from Group 2a and a further four from 2a or 2b, one of which must verify their current address e.g. utility bill.  Verifile will use these five ID choices to verify the application to follow Route Two in conjunction with the external ID validation service. If Route Two cannot be satisfied then Route Three will be followed.
If the applicant's identity cannot be established in accordance with DBS ID guidelines then they will be asked to give their consent to have their fingerprints taken in line with current procedure. You should be aware that this will require attendance by the applicant at a Police Station at an appointed time, and may add delay into the overall application process. 

List of Valid Identity Documents from August 2012: 

Group 1 - Primary Trusted Identity Credentials
  • Current valid passport
  • Biometric residence permit (UK)
  • Current photocard driving licence (UK) (full or provisional) Isle of Man /Channel Islands, with the associated counterpart licence
  • Birth Certificate (UK and Channel Islands) - issued at the time of birth; full or short form acceptable including those issued by UK authorities overseas, such as Embassies, High Commissions and HM Forces 
Group 2a - Trusted Government/State Issued Documents
  • Current UK driving licence (old style paper version)
  • Current non UK photo driving licence (valid only for applicants residing outside of the UK at the time of application)
  • Birth Certificate (UK and Channel Islands) - issued after the time of birth by the General Register Office/relevant authority i.e. Registrars - photocopies are not acceptable
  • Marriage/Civil Partnership Certificate (UK and Channel Islands)
  • Adoption Certificate (UK and Channel Islands)
  • HM Forces ID Card (UK)
  • Fire Arms Licence (UK and Channel Islands)
Group 2b - Financial/Social History Documents

Mortgage statement (UK or EEA)** (Non EEA statements must not be accepted)

  • Bank/Building Society statement (UK or EEA)* (Non EEA statements must not be accepted)
  • Bank/Building Society account opening confirmation letter (UK)
  • Credit card statement (UK or EEA)* (Non EEA statements must not be accepted)
  • Financial statement ** e.g. pension, endowment, ISA (UK)
  • P45/P60 (UK & Channel Islands)**
  • Council Tax statement (UK & Channel Islands) **
  • Work Permit/Visa (UK) (UK Residence Permit) **
  • Letter of sponsorship from future employment provider (non UK/Non EEA only - valid only for applicants residing outside of the UK at time of application)
  • Utility Bill (UK)* - not mobile telephone
  • Benefit Statement* e.g. Child Allowance, Pension
  • A document from Central/ Local Government/ Government Agency/ Local Authority giving entitlement (UK & Channel Islands)* e.g. from the Department for Work and Pensions, the Employment Service , Customs & Revenue, Job Centre, Job Centre Plus, Social Security
  • EU National ID Card
  • Cards carrying the PASS accreditation logo (UK and Channel Islands)
  • Letter from Head Teacher or College Principal (16/17 year olds in full time education) only used in exceptional circumstances when all other documents have been exhausted

Denoted with * - it should be less than three months old
Denoted with ** - it should be issued within the past 12 months
Not denoted - it can be more than 12 months old

The following documents will no longer be accepted by the DBS as a form of identification:

  • NHS Card (UK)
  • National Insurance Card (UK)
  • Exam Certificates e.g. GCSE, NVQ, O Levels, Degree
  • TV Licence
  • Insurance Certificate
  • Disclosure Scotland Certificate
  • DBS Disclosure Certificate
  • Vehicle registration document
  • Addressed payslip
  • General Medical Council (GMC) Certificate
  • Connexions card
  • Mail order catalogue statement/card statement
  • Store card statement
  • Court claim form (UK)
  • Documentation issued by Court Services
  • Mobile phone bill
  • Convention Travel Document (CTD) Blue
  • Certificate of Identity (CID) Brown
  • Stateless Person's Document (SPD) Red
  • Application Registration Card (ARC)
  • Certificate of British Nationality (UK)