According to recent statistics, the number of people who work at home has doubled in recent years. Around 1.5 million people have the type of job which gives them the flexibility to work at home one or two days per week. Thousands more have their own business which they run from the house. Working at home cuts down drastically on commuting time. It can also make employees feel more valued in their roles. But how does the DBS checking process work when you’re being employed to operate most of the time from a desk in the spare room?  

DBS Checking – Role, not Location

The main thing to remember when looking into the DBS process is that the system specifies roles, not location. When you log in to apply for a DBS check, the system doesn’t ask whether you’re going to be based at home for a portion of the week. There is a very long list of different jobs which need a DBS check. There are also different levels of detail disclosed on the certificate. One of the sectors which employs most people with the flexibility to work at home at least a couple of days a week is finance and administration. Not all roles within this sector will require a DBS check. But if you are in a position of trust, or have access to move sums of money around the business, you may be asked to apply. The rules apply to people working at home in exactly the same way as they do to people working permanently in the office. Your employer should be able to give advice and guidance on how the DBS process applies in your situation.  

Getting a DBS Check

There is no difference in the way you’d apply for a DBS check if you’re going to be working from home on occasion. The process always starts with filling in the DBS application, and it’s best to do this online. Take care when completing the form that you give all the details asked for, especially in the address history section. The DBS will soon start rejecting applications at enhanced level without proper address details. You’ll lose your fee, and have to start over from scratch. Get advice from the helpline if you’re not sure what to write. Next, show the required identification to your employer. This is where things can get tricky if you’re working at home most of the time. Unless you’re happy to put originals of your passport, utility bills or driving licence in the post, it’s usually best to go into the office to complete this step. There are other ways of getting documents verified so that you can send off photocopies, but it’s inconvenient and you’ll have to pay to have the copies notarised. When you get your certificate, show the original to your employer. They might want to keep a copy, but should return the original to you. You’ll notice that your DBS certificate doesn’t have an expiry date, and it’s up to your employer to decide how often they wish to repeat this process.