Frequently Asked Questions

Background information

Security Watchdog, part of Capita plc is the EMEA and international industry leader and subject matter expert in all areas of employment screening services. They have been contracted by Ofsted to undertake DBS applications. They were previously one of three suppliers contracted to the Department for Education to undertake subsidised DBS checks on staff members working within childcare settings and have lots of experience within this sector.

An enhanced DBS check involves a check of an applicant's criminal record against the Police National Computer (PNC) for spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings, plus any information held locally by police forces that’s considered relevant to the activity being carried out. This information is disclosed at the discretion of a Chief Police Officer.


Applicants are required to pay the full cost of a DBS check including an administration charge. The total cost can vary depending on how an applicant applies and how they get their ID checked. The table below outlines the various costs and options. An applicant must choose an option for each section 1, 2 and 3. A typical applicant applying online and checking their ID via a responsible person will be charged £52.10 (£44 + £6.80 + £1.30)


Item Description



DBS Enhanced Disclosure fee



Online application administration fee



Paper/postal application administration fee



ID check completed by responsible person (click here for details)



ID check completed at the post office


Please note applicants who cannot provide sufficient Group 1 ID documentation will be required to go through an additional external verification check. This costs an additional £4.80.

General information

The guidance outlining which 'Capita Organisation Reference' you require can be found on Step Two of this website

Yes. An applicant must choose someone, in line with our guidance, who can verify their ID and fill in the ID verification form.

If applicants' are struggling to find someone suitable to check their ID, we also offer a Post Office checking service as an alternative. However, making an application in this way will incur an additional fee and is more expensive. This is because the Post Office charges their own fee for this service.

Once your application has been received by the DBS you should receive your enhanced certificate in the post within 6 weeks. Please note this is an indicative timescale. If you do not receive your certificate within 6 weeks, please contact the DBS on 03000 200 190 selecting option 2.

If you have not done so already, you must ensure you register for the DBS Update Service when you receive your enhanced disclosure. Depending on the outcome of the DBS check Ofsted may contact the applicant and request an original copy of the enhanced certificate to be sent to them. Applicants must not send original certificates to Ofsted unless they have been specifically advised to do so.

DBS Update service

It is mandatory for all individuals, as part of the commercial agreements to be an Ofsted Inspector, to sign up for the DBS Update Service for an annual fee of £13. Their DBS certificate will be kept up-to-date so that they can take it with them from role to role within the same workforce. As a result individuals may no longer have to apply for a new DBS check every time they apply for a job or change roles. If an individual has subscribed to the Update Service their employer will be able to go online, with the individual’s consent, and carry out a free, instant check to find out if the information released on the DBS certificate is current and up to date.

An individual registers for the Update Service via the link

Registration lasts for 1 year and costs £13 per year (payable by debit or credit card only).

An individual must register for the Update Service within 19 days of the issue date on their DBS Certificate.

The status will change depending on the type of DBS check if:

  • any new convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings are recorded; or
  • any amendment or change to a current conviction, caution, warning or reprimand
  • if the individual becomes barred for that list(s) checked on the Enhanced Certificate