A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate is an official document that verifies whether an individual has any relevant information that may prevent them from working with children or vulnerable adults. It is commonly required for individuals who work with these groups or as volunteers to ensure they have no criminal history that could make their involvement inappropriate. Applicants must be 16 years or older to undergo a DBS check.
While self-employed private tutors are not legally obligated to have a DBS check in the UK, many choose to obtain one anyway to provide reassurance to clients, particularly when working with children or vulnerable individuals. Although not mandatory, some tutoring jobs or agencies may expect tutors to have a DBS check in place. This requirement aims to create a safe environment for students, parents, and tutors, ultimately attracting more students to tutoring services.
There are four types of criminal record checks available:
To apply for a DBS check, the type of check required may be pre-determined by the employer or umbrella body. If not, individuals may need to choose the type of DBS check they wish to obtain. An umbrella body is a registered company that can apply for and provide access to DBS checks on behalf of businesses or organisations.
The processing time for DBS applications varies, with standard checks typically taking around a week. Enhanced DBS checks may take longer, up to six months, due to the added complexity. Ensuring accurate and consistent information across applications and supporting documents is crucial to avoid processing delays.
The DBS update service is an ongoing service to keep DBS checks up-to-date. Employers can also use this service to carry out checks on the certificate of a potential employee. A subscription to the DBS update service costs £13 per year and provides access to certificate changes and a list of those who have checked it.
Disclosure Scotland performs similar checks using the same databases. Self-employed private tutors in Scotland, England, or Wales can apply for a basic disclosure through Disclosure Scotland. This is the equivalent of a DBS check for self-employed tutors and offers a convenient option to obtain appropriate background checks for tutors and their clients.
The Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme is designed for people involved in regulated work with children and vulnerable adults. This includes teaching, instructing, training, supervising children, unsupervised contact with children, and providing advice or education to children. While it is unlikely for tutors to require a PVG check, some employers may request it.
Obtaining a DBS check as a tutor demonstrates a commitment to student well-being and provides peace of mind to parents. Although not always legally required, having a DBS check can be mentioned as part of a tutor's marketing strategy to attract clients. It is important to follow the appropriate application process and provide accurate documentation. Additionally, tutors in Scotland can explore the options provided by Disclosure Scotland for obtaining a background check.
More details can be obtained via https://www.gov.uk/request-copy-criminal-record.
When seeking qualified teachers, tutors, coaches, or instructors for children, TutorExtra's database offers a variety of subjects and tutors to choose from.
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