Many employers use the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) at the recruitment stage to check whether the prospective employee can undertake ‘regulated activity’.  This may be for work with adults or children in various sectors. 

The DBS produce a number of leaflets and guidance documents on their Website.

From 01 October 2019, the DBS check fees are reducing.  The 10 September 2019 announcement from the DBS says that this is because of ‘the significant improvements in efficiency that DBS has achieved over the last few years’.

There are different types of checks and employers are well-advised to look at the DBS tool that to find out what type of check is applicable.  The table below shows the current fees and those applying from 01 October 2019:

Type of Check Pre-01 October 2019 From 01 October 2019
Basic £25.00 £23.00
Standard £26.00 £23.00
Enhanced £44.00 £40.00


There is no change to the fee for the Update Service which remains at £13.00 per year and Standard and Enhanced applications for volunteers remains free of charge.

The DBS only applies to employers in England and Wales, though issues checks for the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.  There are different disclosure services in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

In Scotland, the check service is provided by Disclosure Scotland where the fees are £25.00 regardless of the type of disclosure.  There is also the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme.

In Northern Ireland, the check service is provided by AccessNI where the fees are £18 for Basic and Standard and £33 for Enhanced.  Applications generally have to be made through as AccessNI registered-body.

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