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Know Your Colleague – Part Two – Keeping Your Knowledge up to Date

A couple of months ago I wrote a short piece about Know Your Colleague, asking why organisations take the alternative KYC – Know Your Customer – seriously, but not Know Your Colleague?

A couple of months ago I wrote a short piece about Know Your Colleague, asking why organisations take the alternative KYC – Know Your Customer – seriously, but not Know Your Colleague?

I am referring here to organisations, large or small, background checking the people that work for them. Completing a DBS check is a simple and cost-effective process. If you think about it, it really is a duty of care for colleagues and clients alike as well as a sure-fire way of managing people risk.

Taking this debate to the next level, it is really important that organisations understand that a DBS check is a snapshot taken in a moment in time. A DBS certificate with no content today could change next year, next month or even tomorrow.

Current legislation has certainly helped to protect organisations and more importantly vulnerable individuals, but does it go far enough? In my opinion, and that of the person who wrote the report that triggered current legislation, Lord Bichard, the answer is a definite NO. Following a recent visit to Disclosure Services in Wrexham Lord Bichard had this to say:

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There is no provision for renewal, i.e. the triggering of a new check. Whether you work airside at one of our airports, are a care worker, teacher, taxi driver or whatever there is no minimum statutory standard to dictate if and when a renewed DBS check should be triggered.

The DBS do have an Update Service for Standard and Enhanced checks, but this is wholly reliant on an individual first subscribing and then giving express permission to their employer to view certificate updates.

All roads, therefore, lead back to the employer or their governing body (or not as the case may be!). The Civil Aviation Authority, for example, states that a new DBS check should be carried out when an airport identification card is renewed, potentially every five years. Yes, 5 years! The Care Quality Commission December 2017 guidelines state that it is not a requirement to renew, although best practice illustrates a refresh after 3 years. A lot can happen to a person in 3 years, let alone 5.

No matter where you sit and where your responsibility lies within an organisation, you owe it to all your key stakeholders – staff, clients, the people you are caring for – to Know Your Colleague. Not just when they first come into your organisation but on a reasonably regular basis thereafter.

Disclosure Services will help to make the background checking process as painless, cost-effective and efficient as possible. Get in touch today on 01978 510100 or send us an email

Paul Barlow

CEO Disclosure Services