Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the UK in 2020, more of us have been working at home than ever. Many business experts are predicting that this shift to working more at home could be permanent, suggesting a hybrid model going forward with some days in the office and the rest at home. In several sectors, roles which were traditionally done in a clinic or educational setting are being carried out in private homes. A home-based position check is a little-known service offered by the Disclosure and Barring Service which allows people undertaking certain activities at home to access a full enhanced disclosure check.


What is a Home-Based position?

Not all work at home positions qualify for a home-based enhanced disclosure check. Anyone can apply for a basic disclosure check, which looks at your most recent criminal record only. However, the more detailed standard and enhanced disclosure checks only apply to workers carrying out “regulated activity”. These rules are the same for people who are working primarily from home, so your work has to fall into the DBS’s legal definition of a home-based position to qualify for a check. The Disclosure and Barring Service defines a home-based position as:

  • One where the employee is providing healthcare services or teaching/training services to either children or adults in their own home, and where the child or adult has to be present rather than dialling in on Zoom.
  • A role involving childminding at home or adopting or fostering children to live as part of the family.
  • A “live-in” position in a school or other educational establishment such as a nursery, secure accommodation for child offenders, or a children’s home.

People over the age of 18 who are living at the same address as a childminder, foster parent or someone who is tutoring or teaching children from home also qualifies for an enhanced disclosure check.

All of this only applies to workers who are carrying out these activities in their own home; not workers who are going into the client’s home to teach, tutor or provide healthcare or related services.


Getting a Home-Based Position DBS Check

The process for getting a DBS check when you are going to be home-based is broadly the same as it is for people working in other settings. Just make sure you tick “yes” to the question asking: Does this position involve working with children or adults at the applicant’s home address?

Complete the rest of the form carefully, paying special attention to the sections about previous names and addresses as this is where most people make mistakes and have their applications rejected. If you have unusual circumstances or any other queries, check with the DBS using their email or telephone helplines rather than guessing and hoping for the best. You will also be asked to prove your identity with a range of key identity documents such as your passport or bank statements. Once submitted, it can take several weeks for the required checks to be done, and eventually, the certificate will be sent to you in the post.