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DBS Update Service for Applicants

What is the DBS Update Service?

The Update Service is an online service from the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) that lets applicants keep their Standard and Enhanced DBS Certificates up-to-date.

Please note: Personnel Checks are unable to help applicants sign up to the Update Service. Applicants must do this directly with the DBS. See more information about the Update Service

Applicants signed up to the Update Service can take their DBS Certificate from role to role if applying for a position within the same workforce, where the same type and level of check is required. 

The service also allows employers to check an applicant’s certificate online. They can carry out instant online status checks on DBS Certificates that are linked to an applicant’s subscription, with their consent.


How much does the Update Service cost?

The service costs £13 per year and starts from the date your DBS Certificate was issued. There is no charge if you are using a volunteer application or certificate to join the Update Service.


How long does registration to the Update Service last?

Registration lasts for one year.


How to register for the Update Service?

Only applicants that apply for a DBS Check can join the Update Service. There are different ways you can register for the Update Service;

  • Using your application reference number

When you apply for a DBS Check, or during the application process, you can join using your DBS application form reference number. If you're unsure of your application form reference number, you can ask the organisation submitting your application.

If you join the Update Service using your application form reference number, your application must be received by the DBS within 28 days of you joining. When your DBS Certificate is issued, the DBS will automatically add it to your account and your subscription to the service will be live.

  • Using your DBS Certificate number

Once your DBS Check is complete, you will receive your DBS Certificate. You can sign up to the Update Service using your certificate number. If you choose to do this, you must join the Update Service within 30 days of the ‘date of issue’ displayed on your certificate.

  • Using your e-reference number (if applying through an e-bulk Registered Body)

You can join the Update Service using your e-reference whilst your check is being processed. The e-bulk provider will be able to provide your e-reference number. If you have carried out your DBS application with Personnel Checks you will have an e-reference number.


How to register for the Update Service from overseas

If you want to join the Update Service from overseas, the same processes as above apply.


Can you sign up to the Update Service with a Basic DBS Check?

The Update Service is not currently available for basic checks.


For more information on the Update Service, visit www.gov.uk/dbs-update-service or call the Disclosure & Barring Service on 03000 200 190.