Most large organisations have designated first aiders to help out in emergencies. These are the workers who are trained to provide basic first aid to colleagues or members of the public who need it. Usually companies ask for volunteers, and provide training free of charge. We all know that usually healthcare professionals need DBS checks. But how does this affect first aiders? Do they have to be police checked too? And if they do, what’s the process for going about it?
Regulated Activities and Provision of Healthcare
One of the phrases you’ll hear a lot in connection with DBS checks is “regulated activity”. This is how the government refers to the types of jobs or voluntary positions which need police checking. If you look at the guidance, it clearly states that healthcare roles usually fall into this category. Therefore, you can safely assume that if you’re working as a carer, nurse or even a hospital cleaner, then you’ll go through the checking process.
DBS Checks for Ad-Hoc First Aiders
Read a bit deeper into the legislation though and you’ll see that first aiders fall into a category of their own. The rules say that if you’re employed as an accountant or restaurant manager but are a designated first aider as well, then you don’t need a DBS check. That’s great news for most first aiders. It’s also great news for their employers, who don’t have to navigate the DBS application maze. All employers need to do is make sure that they are happy with the number of first aiders they have. It’s also good practice to ensure first aiders get good quality training and regular refresher courses.
First Aid Organisations
The one exception to all of this are people who carry out first aid duties on a more regular basis. This includes people who volunteer for organisations like St John’s Ambulance, St Andrew’s First Aid or the Red Cross. Volunteers from these organisations are often seen at large events. Their role is to provide first aid to spectators or competitors at football matches, pop concerts and large outdoor events. Because these volunteers are there only to provide first aid when needed, they do require DBS checks.
Applying for a DBS Check as a First Aider
Large first aid organisations have lots of experience in applying for disclosure checks on volunteers. Volunteers don’t pay for disclosure checks, so there is no cost to the organisation or volunteers. The application process is just the same as for all other DBS checks. It starts with completing the application form, which is easiest to do online. Then a nominated person in the organisation will ask to see identity documents and proof of address. Once the form arrives with the DBS, they’ll check it to make sure that everything is in order and send it off to the police. Police admin staff run checks against the national computer and finally your certificate will be printed. There’s lots of guidance online if you have any queries about how it all works, or just give us a call and we’re happy to help.