COVID-19 CVS DBS Check Support - Updated 17th April

CVS is able to support with carrying out DBS checks for individuals that are volunteering and supporting their community in response to COVID.  


When you need a DBS Check

The frst thing to say is that a DBS check is not a legal requirement and that it should be one part of a rigourous safeguarding process for your service.  

The Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) membership scheme is managed and delivered by DBS Gov UK. It helps ensure people whose behaviour makes them unsuitable to work with children and protected adults cannot do ‘regulated work’ with these vulnerable groups. For more information on what is meant by ‘regulated work’ please click on the following link: Regulated Work

In order to qualify for a DBS check, new volunteers would need to be carrying out a regulated work activity with children or protected adults regularly and as part of their normal duties with an organisation. As we are in the very early stages of self-isolation, it’s currently not possible to determine if the activities will be regular or normal duties. 

Informal groups of neighbours coming together to support vulnerable people in their community are of course not covered by legislation which formal organisations are legally obliged to follow but it is still important that risk is assessed and such measures as are possible are taken to reduce risk.  We would be expecting the informal groups to grow and people may potentially be then becoming part of a more formal network and we would recommend that DBS Checks are considered.  


Updated Guidance

Following additional guidance from our national bodies, roles that we have previously advised should be considered for a DBS check are no longer being considered as working with vulnerable adults

The change comes not in the activity they are doing but whether the role is specifically designed to work with vulnerable adults in line with the regulations. 


When thinking about whether a DBS check is needed you should consider if before COVID -19 that person was vulnerable and needed support with activities.  If they didn't then it's less likely that a DBS check would be required now just because they are self isolating.


As community volunteers are not specifically working with vulnerable adults and could be supporting anyone in the community there are very few roles that would require a DBS check. 


This is a good guidance document to help you decide if your role needs to be DBS checked and to what level

   DBS Checks: Working with Adults in the Charity Sector

Please also see the Government guidance here

  Safeguarding Factsheet Community Volunteers During COVID-19 Outbreak


If after reading these documents and the information below your organisation/service feels that a DBS role is appropriate then CVS can support you to complete these. 

We can only support a service coordinator and will not be making checks for individual requests.  If you are an individual we ask that you contact the service you are volunteering for to contact us.  

If you want CVS to support this process you will need to complete the attached spreadsheet with the details of your volunteers and the people they will be supporting.  

DBS Check Form - Organisations - Excel Doc

Information we need includes:

  • Contact details for your volunteers Name, email, phone number
  • If you have checked the ID what have you seen or if you require us to contact the volunteers
  • The role title of your volunteers
  • Whether your volunteer role will be supporting the whole community or targeted at vulnerable adults or Children 

Please send this to  

For additional information on checking ID please download our Guidance Document


Further information on DBS Checks


The following activities do NOT need a DBS Check 

  • Paying for and Managing shopping deliveries.  
  • Delivering medication  
  • Telephone Befriending   
  • Managing the admin of the group
  • Dog walking
  • Carrying out general welfare checks via phone

Roles that would need a DBS check are those that are specifically designed to provide personal care to or managing money for a Vulnerable Adult.  We would not be expecting volunteers to be going in to provide personal care at this time.  If a person needs this then they should be referred into the People Helping People Cheshire East Council Scheme. 


What checks you should still consider

While DBS checks aren't necessary it does not remove all of our responsibilities to ensure we are safeguarding the volunteers and the people they are supporting.  Unfortunately there are occasions where people will use this situation to take advantage of peoples concerns or fears. 

We would recommend if you are coordinating volunteers that you carry out the following:

  • Ask volunteers to complete an application form providing all contact details (template here)
  • Provide them with a volunteer role description (samples here) keep it short but ensure they know what is expected of them.
  • Carry out an ID check, have more contact with the volunteer than just email correspondence.  This could include a phone/video call and seeing ID that matches the information on the registration form and the volunteer in front of you.
  • If possible check at least 1 reference.

You may consider a different process depending on the volunteer role.  If someone is managing payments or delivering medication then we would recommend carrying out the ID checks. 

If you do wish to carry out a DBS check on the role as you believe it does meet the criteria then see the information below and make contact with us.

If the volunteer will be driving as part of thier role you may want to consider requesting to see  a valid driving license, insurance and MOT for the vehicle. 


What to do if someone already has a DBS Check

DBS checks are applicable to the group of people a volunteer or employee is going to be working with, such as children or vulnerable adults.


For example, if someone usually drives adults to and from hospital, but they are now also helping with shopping, a new DBS check would not be needed. If the same person now wishes to supervise children, then the organisation should assess this change in role and consider whether a new DBS check is appropriate.

If someone who has been working in a nursery wishes to help in a school, for example, then a practical decision can be made about accepting their current certificate for the new role.


Are DBS checks transferrable between the organisation that obtained it and the new voluntary group or charity?

If someone has a check from their current or previous role with children or adults, then new voluntary groups can make a practical decision about accepting this for their new role. Although ordinarily a check for a role with children would not be sufficient for working with adults, groups may consider this is a reasonably safe thing to do, based on the information on the check and the surrounding circumstances.


Some individuals may have linked their DBS check to the Update Service, which shows whether their certificate is still valid or if there is new information that could be disclosed.


How long do DBS checks last for?

DBS checks do not have an expiry date.


In the case of new voluntary or community groups, national guidnace suggest that if a check is older than three years a decision should be made based on the individual and the role they will be carrying out. We would urge you to consider if it is older than 6 months to consider the role and whether a new one should be completed. 


Individuals wanting to assist those in their local community

If someone has a criminal record they can still volunteer for most roles. You discuss anything that is disclosed on the certificate with them.


The only people who are legally prevented from volunteering with children and vulnerable adults are those who have been barred from doing so. If someone has been barred by the DBS, they will have been informed by DBS, so they will know they have been barred and from what type of work. If they have been barred by DBS from certain types of work, then they would be committing an offence by trying to do that work.


How to get a DBS Check

If after reading this you feel your volunteers or staff need to be DBS checked then please contact us for support. 

Please note we are not accepting enquiries from individuals you must be someone who is coordinating a response as we want to ensure that people are volunteering as part of the coordinated support available.   

If you want CVS to support this process you will need to complete the attached spreadsheet with the details of your volunteers and the people they will be supporting.  

DBS Check Form - Organisations - Excel Doc

We are able to provide support to ID check the volunteers please make it clear on the spreadsheet if you have checked the ID already. 

Please send this to  

For additional information on checking ID please download our Guidance Document

Please contact us at if you are a member of CVS please contact your account manager.  

Related News

Changes to DBS ID checking guidelines

Temporary changes to ID checking guidelines are being made as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Added - 26th March