An easy way to keep your DBS checks up to date

Author's position
Advice Worker
Article date
25 February 2016
Primary interest

Keeping Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks up to date can be a constant struggle for voluntary groups as well as being an unnecessary cost. The time it takes to check new volunteers can cause significant delays, time which is precious to you and may in some cases prevent you from volunteering.

If you haven’t already looked into using the DBS Update Service we’d encourage you to take a look. You can register online as soon as possible on receiving your application form reference number or certificate number. Registration must take place within 19 days of a certificate being issued.

Once you have provided the DBS certificate to be checked, the service can then be accessed at any point to check that there have been no changes to the results. This means your checks are kept up to date without the need to go through the application process again. It saves you time and usually saves the charity money.

The service has the added benefit of being able to use your certificate for multiple organisations and proving it is still up to date. As long as the certificate is relevant to the correct workforce (i.e. children’s or adults’) it can be used across different groups. This saves the wait for checks to come through and the knock-on effect of additional supervision requirements or delays in starting your role – a great benefit if you can’t get enough volunteering!

It’s up to you whether or not you use the service, but we do encourage you to look into it. Registration currently costs the £13 per year and the cost is often covered by the voluntary group – but do check with them before committing to it.

If you have any question about DBS checks you can contact the RVA Advice Service on