FAQ: How do I get a DBS check?

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (previously known as the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB)) can be requested by a practice to help assure them that an independent contractor – in this case, a GP locum – does not have a criminal record that would otherwise bar them from working as a GP in their practice.

Have locums already had a DBS check?

Yes. All UK NHS Performers Lists require DBS checks; for GP locums, their registration on an NHS Performers List is proof of having had a DBS check.

Once on the Performers List, there is no requirement for a GP locum to have further DBS checks for the Performers List, as this is part of Performers List monitoring.

What does the CQC say?

In their ‘GP mythbuster 2: Who should have a disclosure and barring service (DBS) check?’, the CQC says:

GPs should have had criminal records checks completed as part of their Performers List checks. In some cases, practices may use these checks rather than obtaining an additional DBS check when the GP begins working for the practice. If so the practice should be able to demonstrate they have suitable assurance from NHS England that an appropriate check has been completed.

What DBS check does a GP locum need?

GP locums need to have an ‘enhanced’ DBS check. This level of disclosure will also perform checks against both the Adult & Child barred list.

How can a GP locum get a DBS check for themself or, as a practice manager, how can they get one for their employees or self-employed locums?

NASGP has partnered with www.cbscreening.co.uk, a DBS Registered Body that is able to provide practices and GP locums with the DBS check they require. They are able to offer an easy online process to complete and submit your application.

To request a DBS check, please contact our CBS Key Account Manager, Cerys Conway, using the form at the bottom of this page.

How much will a DBS check cost and how long will it take?

The processing times for enhanced level checks vary, however, CBS average around 1 week or less to complete the enhanced level check which is charged at £55.60 inc VAT.

Once an enhanced DBS check has been performed on a locum, can it be used in other practices?

Yes. You the locum can apply for the DBS Update Service within 30 days of your certificate having been issued, and then use this service for anywhere else they work.

Do locums need a DBS check if they’re on the Update Service?

No, they are not likely to need to do another DBS check, assuming the one you they subscribed to is the enhanced level with checks against both barred lists.

See also

CQC adds advice for practices engaging locum GPs


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Dr Sarah Steed

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