Amy’s guide to DBS

What is DBS?

The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) merged to become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). CRB checks are now called DBS checks.

Do I need one?

Most of our customers have opted into DBS. We can only book locums to work for these customers if they have a DBS certificate that is signed up to the Update Service. If a locum doesn’t get a DBS certificate we can only book them for the customers that haven’t opted into DBS. We strongly recommend that you get a DBS certificate if you want to work as a locum pharmacist in England or Wales.

How do I get one?

Individuals cannot get a DBS certificate by themselves. An “employer” needs to apply for one on their behalf from DBS or an umbrella company. Pharmaseekers uses the umbrella company Due Diligence Checking Ltd (DDC) for DBS applications.

What kind of DBS do I need?

The level of check that is required for pharmacists is Enhanced and the position applied for should state “Child & Adult Workforce Pharmacist”.

How to apply?

If you would like us to apply for DBS on your behalf, please register with us and request a DBS check during the registration. If you are already registered with us, click on the grey banner on your online diary and press the “Submit your request” button for an application form to be posted to you. We require some form of commitment from you before we will apply on your behalf so you will need to provide contact details of your referees, upload your documents & complete your Locum ID check.

The Update Service.

YOU MUST REGISTER FOR THE UPDATE SERVICE TO WORK AS A LOCUM WITHIN 30 DAYS. You can do this with your application reference whilst your application is going through or with your Certificate Number once your DBS has been issued.  You must do this within 30 days of the date of issue. If you don’t register within this time you won’t be able to. The beauty of this is that if you renew your subscription every year you will only pay £13 per year and will never have to pay the £65 charge for the certificate again. This will keep your certificate up to date and you will be able to take it with you from role to role. To register go to this website, click here.

Annual Renewal of the Update Service.

It’s an annual subscription to The Update Service. We previously recommended that locums opted into the automatic renewal but it isn’t always successful. If you don’t renew it you would have to get a new DBS certificate which takes time and costs more. DBS will remind you 30 days prior to your subscription expiry date, advising that renewal is required. Go to this site for more information & there is a helpline if you forget your Update Service ID – Tel 03000 200 190

If you already have a DBS certificate.

If you have obtained a DBS certificate from another organisation and want to let us know, please either send the original certificate to us by recorded delivery (both ways) or ask a GPhC registered colleague to witness the certificate using our DBS check form (you can download this form from the “Downloads & Customer set up forms” page of your online diary. This is accessed via My Details on the mobile site)


We recommend that GPhC registered Technicians get a DBS check. It’s not necessary for dispensers that aren’t registered with the GPhC to get one.


If you live & work in Scotland you will need a Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme (PVG) enhanced check to be done. You can apply for one with DDC in the same way as DBS described above.