COVID-19: How DBS is supporting the fight against coronavirus

A collection of factsheets, updated guidelines and news stories related to DBS and coronavirus.

Closure of DBS COVID Fast and Free service

On 11th May 2023, the DBS COVID Fast and Free service will be closing. The service was intended as a temporary support service for those sectors most acutely affected by the pandemic.  It has been used extensively and customers have advised us that it has been of great benefit over the last few years.

The guidance on the pages below is accurate until 11 May 2023 when it will be updated. From 11 May 2023, DBS applications must only be submitted as a volunteer application if they meet the DBS definition of a volunteer and should not include the word “COVID” in the ‘position applied for’ field unless this is part of a formal job title.

Enhanced DBS checks for healthcare professionals

DBS will be offering a temporary new service for certain roles such as nurses, midwives and social workers. When an application for an enhanced DBS check comes in and has been identified as an application for particular roles for COVID-19, we will do a check of both barred lists, within 24 hours.

The Department for Health and Social Care have advised users that if there is no match against the barred lists, the applicant can be recruited in advance of receiving the full DBS certificate.

Guidance for this new service can be found here.

COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We have compiled a list of answers to the most frequently asked questions related to DBS and the coronavirus outbreak. These will be updated regularly and can be found here.

DBS Webinar for Skills for Care

DBS hosted a webinar with Skills for Care to maximise understanding of the new COVID-19 24-hour emergency checks of the Barred List(s) and has compiled a list of questions that were received before, during and after the webinar. The questions and answers can be found here.

Safeguarding Factsheet: Community volunteers during COVID-19 outbreak

DBS and the Home Office have published a Safeguarding Factsheet, designed to address specific concerns that people involved in supporting their community may have at this time. The factsheet includes an FAQ document and covers a number of scenarios, and whether a DBS check would be needed. The factsheet and accompanying FAQ document can be found here.

Updated ID checking guidelines

As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, DBS has made some temporary changes to the ID checking guidelines for standard and enhanced checks - and basic checks, when submitted through a Responsible Organisation. These changes have been made to limit face-to-face contact, and can be found here.

A further update to ID checking guidelines has also been made, which allows expired UK passports to be used temporarily for DBS ID checking purposes. Find out more here.

Updated Subject Access Request guidelines

Temporary changes have been made to the Subject Access Request guidelines to allow requests made via email to be accompanied by scanned images of ID documents. More information can be found here.

Press Statement from our Chief Executive, Eric Robinson

Our Chief Executive, Eric Robinson, outlines the role that DBS needs to play during the COVID-19 outbreak and how we will continue to meet demand. The press statement can be found here.


To confirm, the Barring function within DBS continues to work business as usual during the coronavirus outbreak, so organisations should continue to submit barring referrals as necessary.

We appreciate that referring organisations may be having difficulty submitting referrals and information via post, if they are unable to access their place of work. This information can be submitted electronically via the barring portal or via email to as an alternative.

Other useful GOV.UK content

NHS roles guidance leaflet

Our ‘Applying eligibility to NHS roles’ leaflet may be of use during the COVID-19 outbreak – it contains a sample of NHS roles and their eligibility.

DBS checks for adult social care roles leaflet

Our ‘DBS checks for adult social care roles’ leaflet may be of use during the COVID-19 outbreak - it contains a sample of adult social care roles and their eligibility.

Application form: guidance

Incorrect information on an application could result in delays, or withdrawal, so it’s important to ensure that all information is complete and accurate. Our application form guidance may be of use.

Find an Umbrella Body

Organisations that need to submit enhanced DBS checks, but aren’t currently registered with DBS, can do so using an Umbrella Body. A list of Umbrella Bodies can be found here.

Please note, the ‘Find an Umbrella Body’ page states that applicants may need to visit the Umbrella Body company in person to prove their identity. In line with our temporary ID guidelines, there are other measures in place to limit face-to-face contact. More information can be found here.

Contacting us


Telephone: 03000 200 190

Please note our Contact Centre hours are currently 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday and that due to an increased number of applications, we are experiencing a higher volume of calls than usual.

Twitter: @DBSgovuk

Staying COVID-19 Secure in 2020

We confirm we have complied with the government’s guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19.

Staying COVID-19 Secure in 2020 (PDF, 388 KB, 1 page)

Published 30 March 2020
Last updated 21 April 2023 + show all updates
  1. Update to the guidance in line with government legislation. The DBS COVID Fast and Free service will end on 11 May.

  2. Contact email address for Barring has changed.

  3. Further information added regarding temporary changes to ID checking guidelines.

  4. Link added to a new list of FAQs which were written in response to a webinar that DBS facilitated for Skills for Care.

  5. Information added to confirm that barring referrals should still be submitted as necessary, and can be done electronically if referring organisations are having difficulty doing so via post due to restrictions in place as a result of coronavirus.

  6. 'DBS checks for adult social care roles' leaflet added to page.

  7. 'Temporary amendments to Subject Access Request guidelines' added.

  8. First published.