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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/disclosure-application-process-for-volunteers/disclosure-application-process-for-volunteers
Basic DBS checks can be used for any position or purpose, however certain roles may require a higher level of check.
More information about eligibility can be found here.
Basic DBS checks cost £23 for all applicants including volunteers.
You can apply for a DBS check online, through the DBS online application route here or through a Responsible Organisation – an organisation registered with DBS to submit basic checks.
Standard and enhanced checks
Applicants do not pay for standard or enhanced disclosure checks for volunteer positions. The checks however are processed in the same way as for a paid position.
When applying for a standard or enhanced DBS check, you need to consider if the position is eligible for the check in accordance to the relevant legislation. This is the case for both paid and voluntary positions.
All standard and enhanced DBS certificates now show if a fee has been charged by DBS, so applicants can see if the certificate was issued for a paid role or a volunteer role.
Please note, an administration fee may be charged by the organisation that submits the application to us. This is not the same as the DBS check fee and will not appear on the certificate.
To qualify for a free-of-charge volunteer check, the applicant must not:
- benefit financially from the position for which the application is being submitted
- receive any payment (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses)
- be on a work placement
- be in a trainee position or undertaking a course of study that will lead to a full-time role/qualification
- be a paid foster carer or a member of a foster care household
How to apply for a standard or enhanced DBS check (for a voluntary position)
Establish if the role is eligible for a standard or enhanced DBS check, using our eligibility guidance. If you are still unsure, ask the organisation that you will be volunteering for which level of check is required.
If the role is eligible for a standard or enhanced check, consider whether it meets our definition of a volunteer:
‘A person engaged in an activity which involves spending time, unpaid (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses), doing something which aims to benefit some third party other than, or in addition to, a close relative.’
If the role is considered volunteer in line with Step 2, complete the relevant sections of the application form.
The application form should be provided to you by the organisation that you will be volunteering for.
Volunteer applications are monitored and we will take action if we believe that inappropriate volunteer applications are submitted.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via one of the telephone numbers below:
- Customer Services: 03000 200 190
- Welsh Language Line: 03000 200 191
- Minicom: 03000 200 192
- International: +44 151 676 9390