The DBS checking system is constantly evolving and changing, and it can be difficult for both employers and workers to keep up to date with the latest developments. One of the most recent changes concerns the way in which employers have to check identity documents supplied to them right at the start of the DBS process.


What Is Identity Checking?

The first part of the DBS process is making sure that the person presenting themselves for a check is who they say they are. This identity checking applies at all levels of disclosure and is done by the employer, charity or organisation before the forms are sent off to the police. There’s a long list of documents which the applicant has to provide, including standard forms of identification like passports, driving licence, utility bills or bank statements. Employers look at the identification, check that the photograph and address details match the person in front of them and the information they’ve been told, and sign the form to state what they’ve seen.


What’s Changing?

For some applicants, popping into the office of their employer to show their identity documents in person isn’t always simple. The person responsible for doing the identity checks may be based hundreds of miles away, or even abroad. The new guidelines which came into force at the beginning of September 2018 allow for video checking of identity. Under the new guidelines, the applicant can send the originals of their identity documents through the post, and then log onto Skype or a similar video calling platform so that the employer can do the visual checks. Other changes have been made to the types of documents which are acceptable proof of both identity and address. Permanent residence permits issued by the Home Office to someone from the European Economic Area can now be used as proof, as can Irish passport cards in some situations. Originals of all documents must be shown to the body requesting the DBS check, photocopies are never accepted.


Keeping Up To Date

Changes are made regularly to the documents which are accepted for DBS checks, and there are likely to be more changes in the future. Brexit might bring changes to the documents which are accepted from other countries in Europe. It’s important to make sure that you’re working off the most recently issued guidance for documents when applying for your DBS checks as using the wrong forms of identification, or the wrong combination of documents might result in your form being returned to you. The best place to look for the most up to date rules is on the government DBS website. Don’t assume that your employer is up to date with the most recent changes to the rules. Choosing to use a third party website to make your DBS application might offer significant benefits in this respect as it’s their job to keep up to speed with changes to the rules and are best placed to advise on situations where you may not have a lot of identification documents at your disposal.