Insight 08/09/2021

Back to School: 12 roles that need DBS and Vetting Checks

September brings hundreds of thousands of children and education staff back to school.

Have you thought of every person in a school that needs to have a DBS or Vetting Check?

Some roles might seem obvious to you but it’s always worth checking.

Read on below for the 12 roles that need DBS and Vetting Checks.

Teacher talking to children

What is ‘regulated activity’?

We talk about ‘regulated activity’ throughout this list. Here’s a definition:

‘Regulated activity’ includes where individuals:


Are responsible, on a regular basis, for teaching, training, instructing, caring for or supervising children; or


Carry out paid, or unsupervised unpaid, work regularly where that work provides an opportunity for contact with children; or


Engage in intimate or personal care or overnight activity, even if this happens only once.

The 12 Roles in schools that need checks

1. New Staff

Enhanced DBS Checks are the obvious need for new school staff. If they’re involved in ‘regulated activity,’ a check of the Barred List will also be needed.

For new teachers, a Teacher Status Check is also a good choice as part of your recruitment process.

Understand two key types of DBS Checks for schools

A check of the Police National Computer of spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings, plus additional information such as interviews and allegations (where the police reasonably believes it’s relevant and should be disclosed).

The same information as the Enhanced DBS Check, plus checks of whether someone is included on the national DBS ‘Barred Lists’ of individuals unsuitable for working with children or adults.

2. Existing staff

Don’t forget to consider if existing staff need a checks. Maybe they’ve moved into a role that involves Regulated activity whilst the previous position didn’t. If they’ve had a break in service for 12 weeks or more, then a new check is needed.

3. Trainee teachers

Whether salaried by your school or fee-funded via teacher training provider, trainee teachers need a check.

4. Agency/supply staff

If your school is using agency or supply staff, then the third-party organisation (such as our sister company New Directions Education) will carry out the checks.

5. Governors or trustees

Enhanced DBS Checks are necessary for governors or trustees engaged in regulated activities.

You might need to consider a Section 128 Check. This confirms if a person has been prohibited or restricted from the management and governance of an independent school (including academies and free schools).

6. Volunteers

There will probably some volunteers that you don’t think of immediately needing a vetting check but it’s highly important to consider them. As with most of the roles on this list, if there’s regulated activities involved, it’s a must-do. Some roles might need you to carry out a risk assessment before deciding whether an Enhanced DBS Check is needed. For example, volunteering for a one-off event.

7. Contractors

Again, a necessity where regulated activities are involved, but if the contractors have the opportunity for regular contact with children during their work then an Enhanced DBS Check will be needed.

If the contractor is self-employed, you’ll need to apply for their DBS Check. If they’re employed by someone else, their employer will need to carry out the applications.

8. Visitors

Not quite the same type of ‘role’ compared to the others on this list but you’ll need to consider it just the same.

You likely won’t need to check (parent) visitors if they’re there to watch a sports day but if the visitors are on-premise in a professional capacity (eg social workers, grounds maintenance etc) then ensuring that they’ve have the appropriate DBS Check is required.  The visitors’ employers will need to confirm they’ve carried out the right checks.

9. Work experience students

If the work experience student (at your school) is over 16, then relevant checks are needed.

10. Work experience placement providers

Following on from #9, if the child being supervised (at a provider placement) is under 16, circumstances of the placement and supervision will need to considered to decide on how checks are needed. Regulated activity guidance still applies.

11. Employed sixth form students

Whether you’re employing sixth form students from another school, or you’re employing your own students to carry out any paid work that could involve contact with pupils, you should treat these students like any other employee and get the appropriate level of DBS Check for the role they’ve been hired to do.

12. Out-of-school club staff

Rounding off the list are lunch time clubs, before-school clubs and after-school clubs as the staff running these clubs will need checks. Most likely, these will be completed by the out-of-school club and as a school you might only ask to see DBS Check certificates for relevant club staff, or ask the club for written confirmation that checks have been carried out.

Remember to check every role

As this shows, it’s easy to find extra roles in any community or organisation that needs DBS and Vetting Checks beyond the obvious. Our expert team can help make sure that you’re carrying out the right checks to safeguard people. Get in touch now, or if you know the checks you need register and get started.

Teacher pointing out details of a book to a child

The information in this post is for general information purposes only. While Checks Direct has made every effort to ensure the information is as accurate and current as possible, Checks Direct gives no guarantees or warranties of any kind, explicit or implied, for any losses or damages caused in connection with use of this information. This information does not constitute legal, professional or commercial advice. Checks Direct is not liable for any actions taken that are based on the information in this post.