The new Update Service of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), launched on 17 June 2013, is welcome news in cutting employment costs for agency doctors, nurses and care assistants, says Penny Streeter OBE, managing director of A25 Group medical staffing agency.
DBS was established when the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) merged in 2012.
“ Millions of agency workers and volunteers will no longer have to apply for a new criminal record check each time they apply for a job. Working with a main employer and a number of agencies has required a criminal records check for every single one of them. The cost has been high, with a long waiting time for criminal records checks to be completed,” says Penny Streeter.
“ With the new rules, when a disclosure is issued staff can register with the DBS Service for the update for £13 annually. Workers can give permission to the agencies for which they work to access this information. So you can start work as soon as any other agency compliance checks are done - and you won't be stopped from working when your disclosure is 12 months old.”
The Update Service puts individuals in greater control of their own information, the Government says (*see reference below). It allows DBS certificates to be reused when applying for similar jobs, and reduces bureaucracy:
“ The new service should save the customer time and money and improve the overall safeguarding landscape. Workers may never need to apply for another DBS check again.
Individuals can choose to subscribe to the Update Service for an annual fee of £13 which will keep their DBS certificate up-to-date so that they can take it with them from role to role within the same workforce. As a result millions of employees and volunteers will no longer have to apply for a new criminal record check each time they apply for a job.
“ If an individual has subscribed to the Update Service their employer will be able to go online, with the individual’s consent, and carry out a free, instant check to find out if the information released on the DBS certificate is current and up to date.”
The A24 Group is a privately-owned medical staffing agency. It has traded successfully since 1996 and now operates in the UK and South Africa, supplying locum doctors, agency nurses, AHPs and HCA care assistants to healthcare service organisations, who include hospitals and primary care providers, prisons and care homes, insurance and other companies.
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