DBS Checks for those employed as private tutors

3 min


Most of the times DBS Checks are needed for those people that work with vulnerable adults and children. It is also applicable for those that work as volunteers. For specific positions in the educational field, individuals must confirm that they do not have a criminal background that could be a threat to vulnerable adults or children that they might work with.

Vacancies in education must have most of those applying to undergo an enhanced DBS check along with a Barred List Check. Those that work as teachers in nurseries, schools and universities must apply for a DBS Check. In the case of tutors that may work with kids without supervision, it again is quite essential for them to undergo a background check too.

While it is not legally binding for tutors to undergo DBS Checks, some educational institutions and even tutoring agencies ask for their tutors to get DBS certified before they take up any teaching assignment.

Since private tutors work with kids there are several questions about the correct process to choose when hiring them.

Process for self-employed tutors to apply for DBS Checks 

The three kinds of checks that can be done for tutors are Basic, Standard and Enhanced. For employers, the procedure of DBS Checks is slightly different. If you employ any tutor as a staff member you can request for any kind of DBS Check as the eligibility criteria requirements of the job.

All those that are above 16 years can ask for Basic DBS Check that will reflect any unspent criminal convictions. For those individuals that are self-employed is the only kind of check they can apply for without the need for an employer to make a request.

For the two higher levels of checks, only the employer can request for either a Standard DBS Check or an Enhanced DBS Check. They need to decide whether any prospective employee needs to undergo these checks before being appointed. This helps them to determine if any individual is permanently barred from working with kids or vulnerable adults. If an individual is employed with a tutoring agency, it is the onus of the agency to decide the kind of checks they would like to be carried out. Verifying that their employees have updated DBS certification helps to assure guardians and parents that the staff employed by the agency are of expected standards.

For those self-employed that find a Basic DBS Check is inadequate, they will have to connect with an institution or agency that has employed them.

Majority of private tutoring organisations that hire self-employed or freelancers are required by the law to get their employees certified. Consequently, while working as a private tutor you could still get an Enhanced DBS certification done by the agency.

Subject Access Requests

Those familiar with SARs (Subject Access Request) will be aware that any individual has the right to request their data from a company or organisation that has such information. It is a person’s legal right to gain access to their data. This is free of cost and can be obtained from the local police station. Although, SARs is not in any way a substitute for DBS Checks.

Kind of DBS Check that might be needed

We at CRBdirect.org.uk recommend all employers to apply for enhanced DBS checks for their employees that will be working with children or vulnerable adults.

Getting an Enhanced check will show cautions, warnings, convictions or reprimands along with any other relevant personal data from the local police. It also reveals any information that may be on the Children’s Barred List. It is the highest kind of DBS check that is online and assists employers to get a plethora of information about prospective employees and to determine if they are suitable for the job.

Those employed as private tutors may not have a choice to decide the kind of DBS Checks they will apply for through an institution or agency.

Time taken for a DBS Check

Since they are much more comprehensive Enhanced DBS Checks are completed within 5-10 working days, although around 80% are done within 5 days. For Standard DBS checks, the completion time is 48 hours from being submitted. Basic DBS Checks also take 5-10 days for completion.

The turnaround time for DBS Checks can differ because of the need for any extra info that can be sought by the local police. Other reasons for delays may include inaccurate data, mismatching or incomplete info etc. Therefore, it is vital that when the form is filled all the information provided is accurate and up to date.


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