Under 18 and asked about a DBS Check

Before 2012, teenagers as young as 13 were required to undergo the necessary DBS checks when applying for volunteer work or part time jobs that were included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. The age limit was later adjusted in 2012 and disclosure certificates for children can only be provided for those who have attained 16 years of age.

When should the checks be considered?

It is a major necessity for students to be exposed to a real working environment as a way of providing them with some experience in their area of training. There are positions that require employees to undertake DBS checks and teenagers that have attained 18 years will also be required to undergo the same.

Those looking for part-time jobs, training or voluntarily positions in schools, home cares and hospitals may be required to go for enhanced checks. This means that their disclosure certificates will be more detailed compared to those of other students required to apply for basic or standard disclosures.

If the teenagers are students, their schools will need to have details of the places where they will be working. This is important to determine if their supervisors will also need to have a disclosure certificate, especially where they will be working with the under 18 for long hours. There are cases where they may be required to go for Enhanced Check with Barred List Checks.

Are these checks mandatory?

DBS checks are not mandatory for persons below 18 years of age, and the need to have a disclosure certificate will depend on kind of work that the teenagers will be handling. It is, therefore, important for them to understand the eligibility criteria for the various positions that they may be interested in. DBS checks are prohibited for children under the age of 16.