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DBS Adult First Check

Personnel Checks offer DBS Adult First checks to the Care sector

Formerly known as ‘ISA Adult First’ and 'POVA Check', the DBS Adult First allows an individual to be checked against the DBS Adults’ Barred List. Dependent on the result of the check, this service allows the individual to start work under supervision while waiting for their full DBS check results.

Do I Qualify for an Adult First DBS Check?

This service is exclusive to the care sector and requests for the check must fulfil strict qualifying criteria and are permissible only where it is necessary to take such action because of a real danger of staffing levels falling below statutory obligations.

A DBS Adult First check is not appropriate where a person intends to work with both children and adults. Those working with both groups will need to wait for the DBS Certificate to be returned to find out whether a person is barred from working with children. There is no equivalent quick check of the children’s barred list. However, for individuals working in teaching and tuition, you may be able to obtain a List 99 Check on their behalf. 

Can I Apply for a DBS Adult First?

The DBS Adult First is part of the Enhanced DBS Check process and cannot be applied for separately. At the stage where the Enhanced DBS application form is sent off for processing, we then apply for the DBS Adult First on the applicants behalf.

The DBS Adult First is a service that can be used only in exceptional cases and in accordance with the terms of Department of Health guidance, where a person is permitted to start work with adults before a DBS Certificate has been obtained. This applies to adult services where DBS Certificates are required by law, such as;

  • Care homes
  • Domiciliary care agencies
  • Adult placement schemes

What Will the DBS Adult First Check show?

The employer will receive an email within 72 hours with 2 possible outcomes;

‘No match exists for this person on the DBS Adults Barred list’
(This person isn’t barred from working with vulnerable adults and can commence work)


‘Please wait for the DBS Certificate before making a recruitment decision regarding this applicant’
(The DBS Certificate may include offences which would not allow this person to work with vulnerable adults)

The email will also clearly state that the DBS Adult First only forms the first part of the Enhanced CRB application process and that further information will follow.


Your applicants should not start work until a clear DBS Adult First Check is received.