Timebanking UK have been in direct communication with the Disclosure and Barring Service as a result of several queries from new brokers asking for clarification on when DBS checks should be conducted on time bank members. We sent the DBS detailed information on how time banks work and what activities and time swaps members get involved in.  Below is the statement we have received from them for your information.   

We hope this information is useful, but do let us know if you have any queries by emailing info@timebanking.org. 

DBS Guidelines for Checking Time Bank Members (September 2018)

Many people question whether DBS checks should be taken up on members of a time bank – and TBUK has always been advised that DBS checks were not necessary for the vast majority of timebanking activities. 

In September 2018 we sought clarification from the Disclosing and Barring Service with regard to whether timebanking activities should be considered regulated activity and therefore eligible for a DBS check. This is the statement we received from the DBS Policy Team: 

“From the information provided about Timebank communities and the activities being performed, these individuals would not appear to be eligible for a standard or enhanced DBS check as it is highly unlikely that will meet the criteria required to be in regulated activity or work with adults.  

 It would appear that people enter into these communities and perform activities as part of a personal arrangement, with the Broker facilitating the arrangements rather than being employed to make a suitability decision about the individuals in the Timebank scheme”. 

We would always recommend time banks make their own enquiries if they have concerns, and it should of course be said that all time banks should take the safety of members seriously and ensure their own safeguarding practices are followed. 

DBS Check Guidance For Brokers (September 2018)

If youre are applying for a DBS check for your role as broker or co-ordinator (paid or volunteer) of your time bank, Disclosure Services has confirmed that they will need additional information in order to establish if you are eligible for anything other than a basic level disclosure. 

Phrases like “I visit vulnerable adults” or “I make personal visits to individuals to assess needs” are not specific enough. DBS will need to know what makes these people vulnerable, what activity/service you are providing, how often, is it specifically aimed at certain groups etc. all this will need to be considered. It is not sufficient simply to have contact with children or adults in order to be eligible for anything other than a basic DBS check. 

It is recommended that you look at the following three links to DBS eligibility guidance and highlight what specific activity(ies) you carry out that fits within this guidance in order to establish if eligibility exists.