The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Update Service allows:
- applicants to keep their DBS certificates up to date
- employers to check a DBS certificate
The service is for standard and enhanced DBS checks only.
You need to register for the Update Service.
It costs £13 per year and you can pay by debit or credit card. There’s no charge if you’re a volunteer.
If you are in the process of getting a standard or enhanced DBS check
You will need your application reference number (called ‘form ref’ on your application form).
DBS must receive your application form within 28 days.
If you already have a standard or enhanced DBS certificate
You will need your certificate number. You must register for the Update Service within 30 days of the certificate being issued.
For basic DBS checks
For basic checks, register for an online services account instead of using the Update Service.
Once you’ve registered, you can sign in to the Update Service to:
- add or remove a certificate
- give employers permission to check if anything’s changed on your certificate
- see who’s checked if anything’s changed on your certificate
- view your details
You’ll be able to take your DBS certificate from one job to the next, unless:
- an employer asks you to get a new certificate
- you need a certificate for a different type of ‘workforce’ (for example, you have an ‘adult workforce’ certificate and need a ‘child workforce’ certificate)
- you need a different level certificate (for example, you have a standard DBS certificate and need an enhanced one)
The employer can tell you what DBS certificate they need you to have.
Renew your subscription
A subscription to the Update Service lasts for one year.
You can renew your subscription through the Update Service, either:
- when you first register, by choosing automatic renewal
- up to 30 days before your current subscription ends - but you cannot renew on the last day of your subscription
Sign in to your account to renew your subscription.
If you do not renew your subscription before it ends, you’ll need to apply for a new DBS check and register for the Update Service again.
Employers and other organisations
To check a DBS certificate status online, you must:
You do not need to pay or register to carry out a status check. You can see the results from the check straight away.
Read the detailed guidance for employers.
If you need help
Sensitive applications team
PO Box 165