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The importance of DBS checks when employing or contracting with a paid carer

Posted on 12/05/2014

If you are thinking of employing/contracting with your own paid carer, there are plenty of things that you need to take into consideration (find out more about that in our ‘How to employ a paid carer’ guide). One of these is to ensure that you know as much as possible about the person that you are allowing into your home and will be spending a lot of time with.

If you are employing a paid carer or support worker

When you are considering hiring anyone to work in your home and help you with your care and support needs, we recommend that you apply for a DBS check. DBS (formerly CRB) checks let you know if the individual has any criminal convictions.

In the first instance, make sure that any job adverts that you put up make it clear that having a DBS check will be a requirement, so that it doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone. If someone refuses to have a DBS check carried out, then you should be wary of moving forward with them; if you have already said that this is a requirement of the role, you should not progress their application any further. If you find someone that you like, then you should make the job offer conditional on having seen a completed DBS check – whether this means a new application or seeing the most recent valid check held by the individual.

If you need to carry out a new DBS check, the process will involve submitting information about the person you are thinking of hiring. They will be required to supply you with original documentation to prove their identity, which can be their passport, driving licence or birth certificate, among others. You can get a DBS check through You’re the Boss and we will lead you through the entire process, making it as quick and straightforward as possible.

Find out more about getting a DBS for a paid carer you are thinking of hiring

Once you have received the completed DBS check, you can use your judgement to decide, in conjunction with all the other information you’ve noted through the application and interview process, whether the individual is still right for the job. It is not always the case that any convictions will be relevant to the role the individual has applied for, and even if this is not the case, it is down to the employer’s judgement as to whether to hire the individual.

If you contract with a self-employed paid carer

If you decide to use a self-employed paid carer you will not be that person’s employer, as such you will not be able to apply for a DBS check on their behalf. However, you can ask them to supply you with a copy of a DBS check for you to look at before deciding whether or not to contract with them.

A self-employed paid carer cannot do a DBS check on themselves, as someone must carry it out on their behalf. If you want the carer to provide a DBS, then if they do not have a valid certificate from a previous employer, you can point them to our DBS service. We will carry out the DBS check on their behalf and send them the results, which in turn they can show you.

Find out more about DBS checks for self-employed paid carers

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