Wednesday 12th August 2015
Volunteers are the backbone of our communities; we appreciate and value the service they provide. In recognition of this the DBS waive the normal disclosure fee for volunteers, even though the check is processed in exactly the same way as for a paid position.
Here at Employmentcheck we are often asked to provide further clarification on exactly how the DBS define a volunteer, as not all unpaid positions qualify for a free check. As they closely monitor all volunteer applications to eliminate any inappropriate requests, it is important that we are all aware of the guidelines.
The current definition, as provided by the DBS, is as follows:
‘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.’
Further to this, 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
A common application error we monitor is where an organisation applies for a volunteer check, as the candidate will be unpaid; however they have failed to take into account that the placement is part of a course or work experience. This means they will gain experience and/or hours towards a qualification, so do not qualify under the DBS guidelines.
Current customers can contact us should you require any further clarification on the matter.