The DBS Update Service: Five Things You Should Know

January 11, 2018

The DBS Update Service is a special subscription service run online that has been created by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to improve recruitment safety and efficiency. This important new service lets a check with the DBS be accessed by employers and passed between organisations to check on the potential employee’s background.

DBS checks allow employers to check the background of an applicant to ensure they are suitable, making for a more secure recruitment process. The DBS Update Service allows DBS checks to be portable. The service has an annual subscription fee which can be renewed to keep the data portable as long as needed. Here are five things you should know about the service.

  1.     Time Limits

There has been a change in the service recently, which means there is now a time limit within which an applicant has to subscribe. The applicant now has 30 days from the date of certificate issue to register themselves with the Update Service. This is an increase from the 19 days they had under the old rules.

2.      Workforces

The Update Service lets applicants take their DBS Certificate from job to job. The exception to this is if you need a new check for a different type of ‘workforce’, such as moving from working with adults to working with children.

  1.     Subscription Times

Applicants should apply to register to the service before their DBS Check is complete. You can apply using your DBS application reference number.

4.      Renewals

You have to renew your registration with the Update Service each year or else you will need to apply for a new check in order to register again. You can opt for auto-renewals when you sign up to make this easier.

5.      Account Details

When you are registered, you can log in to your account. From here you can add or remove a DBS certificate, do a check on any changes and allow employers to see your certificate. There are various companies that can help perform a DBS check for a faster service, such as

If you choose to take advantage of the new DBS Update Service, this gives you an efficient way to check on your status and allow new employers to access your existing records quickly and easily without having to go through another check for each new employer throughout your career.