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What is Regulated activity – Everything you need to know

Working with children and vulnerable adults is a distinct activity. The responsibility is different from any other types of jobs. The role demands a special type of consciousness to match up with the duties. This article will learn what is regulated activity and everything you need to know to match up with the regulated activity’s responsibilities. 

When you deal with children or elderly individuals, the law puts a range of responsibilities on you. The laws aim to keep the vulnerable population safe. So people in charge should take appropriate measures to stop forbidden people from engaging with children or disabled adults. Otherwise, It can cause great harm to the children as well as adults. Incase of vulnerable people, in most cases, a wrong move can scar them for life. So regulating personnel who get to be around vulnerable people is very important.

Table of Contents

What is a regulated activity?

Regulated Activities are jobs that a barred individual is not allowed to do. Regulated activity refers to jobs that need you to deal with children or disabled people. Specific roles like teaching and elderly care involve dealing with children and older people. The aim of cutting off the presence of unsafe people from working with vulnerable groups of people. Such as children, the disabled and older people.

So the person looking to take up such jobs needs to go through an enhanced DBS check. The full form of DBS is ‘Disclosure and Barring Service. The barre lists help DBS keep track of individuals who aren’t allowed to work in regulated jobs. There are separate barriers that forbid specific people to work in a particular specific role.

What is a DBS Check?

A DBS search is an official record of a person’s criminal records. They assist employers in making the best possible decisions during the hiring process.

DBS checks are necessary while picking candidates to work with vulnerable people. So An employer may request to see a person’s DBS certificate for recruitment. As a result, employers can trace back the track record of a person before hiring. 

Regulated activity with children

Regulated activity concerning children is of two categories. It involves both active participation as well as places of work. Personnel involved in the specified activities are the ones regulated. On the other hand, jobs that include working near children are also termed regulated activity. In general, regulated activities regarding children concern jobs like teaching, training, instructing, coaching, caring for or supervising children.

Anyone who is carrying out such a role would most likely be eligible for an enhanced DBS check. The test will also include a children’s barred list check. Regulated professions don’t only have the people directly working with children. People working close to children are also in the regulated activity obligation. 

Given below is a list of professions with children which need proper regulation to join:

  • Jobs related to teaching, training and sports coaching such as teachers, TAs and football coaches.
  • Care supervision and treatment professionals, such as probation officers, childminders.
  • Counsellors and guidance professionals such as careers advisors, Childline advisors.
  • Health care professionals like doctors and nurses. 
  • Personal care assistants such as care workers assisting with dressing or washing.
  • People in charge of transportation used to carry children, such as school bus and ambulance drivers.

Permanently working in these institutions would mean an applicant is engaging in a regulated activity. So anybody working any of the mentioned jobs will go through a DBS check. Here is a detailed guide for you on Regulated activity with children in England. 

Providing health care

Health care encompasses all types of physical and mental health care, plus palliative care. This covers all healthcare work performed or supervised by a Health Care Professional, such as one licensed by the General Medical Council or the Health Professions Council.

Providing personal care

Because of the adult’s age, sickness, or injury, offering physical help in feeding, drinking, going to the bathroom, washing or bathing, dressing, oral care, or skincare is included (this includes someone who prompts and then supervises an adult to undertake the above actions as they are unable to decide for themselves)

Because of their age, sickness, or disability, someone who teaches, instructs, or gives advice to an adult on the above activities is engaging in Controlled Activity.

Social work

A Controlled Behavior is a regulated Social Worker’s practices concerning adults who are clients or prospective clients. Assessing the need for health or social care programs and delivering continuing assistance to individuals are all part of this process.

Transport service and Conveying

The Transports field covers all drivers or assistants who bring an adult to or from areas that they have received, or may receive, health services, specific personal care, or relevant social work regardless of their age, sickness, or disability (as above). This group also includes hospital porters, Patient Transport Service drivers, and assistants.

Registered cab drivers and registered private hire drivers are exempt because they transport passengers for the reasons mentioned earlier.

Regulated activities in school

Children spend a huge chunk of their time at school. So basically everyone working at school near children needs to go through some checks. The following are the parameters of eligibility for a regulated activity.

  • Do you play this role more than three times in 30 days?
  • Possibility of coming in contact with children whilst working at the establishment.
  • Work there for the establishment’s sake.
  • Not working on a contract basis
  • Working unsupervised
     

Here is detailed eligibility guidance for DBS checks.

Types of DBS checks

Based on necessity, there are three types of DBS checks. These are basic, Standard and enhanced. Apart from these three, there is also a particular type of DBS check with a barred list.  

Basic Disclosure

The basic DBS check can be issued and obtained by any individual for any purpose. The DBS provides only basic records such as spent and unspent convictions, cautions and reprimands etc. 

Individuals and employees can order a simple DBS check, which is a criminal background check. This is the most simple check, and it is open to both persons and employers in the United Kingdom. A simple DBS can scan the Police National Computer for a person’s criminal records, arrests, and cautions.

Employers in a number of sectors need the simple DBS check to review a candidate’s criminal background. Professionals like construction and hospitality require checks to determine whether or not candidates are eligible for jobs. Certain functions may even need a higher degree of DBS check.

Standard DBS Check

The Standard DBS check is inaccessible by sole individuals. An organisation has to apply for the individuals to get the checks done. The standard check covers everything from the basic package as well as the relevant information from the police. 

A Standard DBS search is an in-depth criminal background review conducted on behalf of candidates by employers. Standard DBS checks ensure that candidates are eligible for the position they are applying for. At this level, it displays all of a person’s cautions, alerts, and reprimands. It would also reveal some unspent arrests in England and Wales. In addition, the check will also show convictions in Scotland and Northern Ireland on a person’s criminal record.

For attorneys, accountants, and other high-level positions, the Standard DBS check is necessary. This check would ensure the person is free of offences like bribery or financial irregularities.

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Enhanced DBS Check

The enhanced DBS check is inaccessible by an individual. Organisations can only issue enhanced DBS checks. The enhanced DBS check provides a thorough check on the records of the person. Along with personal histories, all relevant police information is also provided. 

Like the standard DBS check, the enhanced DBS check is also available to employers who must order it on behalf of their applicants. A regular DBS search includes all the details used in an improved DBS check.

Enhanced with Barred List

The Enhanced DBS check with a barred list is also accessible through a registered body. Along with a thorough checkup of the track record, the check also comes along with a barred list. DBS Children’s Barred List or the DBS Adult First checks ensure the candidate is not prohibited from working in any of them. 

However, an employer may order an improved search to see if a future or existing employee is on the Children’s Barred List or the Adult First List.

The barred lists help the DBS track those who aren’t allowed to work with children or disabled individuals.

This means that an applicant is not prohibited from engaging with sensitive people. But the applicant needs to take part in activities only permitted by the barre list.

The Enhanced DBS Check is necessary for most positions in education and health care. Acting with a party with whom a person has been barred from working is a criminal offence.

Regulated activity from the point of view of DBS checks

Certain job practices are also limited in certain establishments, according to government guidance. For instance, any school environment that is solely or primarily dedicated to offering full-time education to children. As a result, even though an individual is not performing the tasks mentioned above, their job can be considered controlled due to the place in which they do it. This is because they can sometimes come into touch with infants.

The regulated institutions which require DBS checks are:

  • Schools
  • Referral units for children.
  • Nursery schools are a kind of elementary school.
  • Children’s detention centres.
  • Homes for children.
  • Centres for children.
  • Premises with child care.

Penalty for breach of regulated activity

A person who breaches the criteria of regulated activity commits a criminal offence. For actions that breach regulated activity, there is the provision of an unlimited fine and a maximum of 2 years of imprisonment. Breach of regulated activity means inconsistencies in DBS checks and not maintaining proper protocol for children and vulnerable adults’ safety.  

A summary of Regulated activity and DBS checks

Regulated activities, as we’ve shown, can be challenging to define and understand. But first, a brief recap of what controlled behaviour entails:

  • Regulated behaviour is a series of behaviours that qualifies a person for an enhanced DBS check.
  • If appropriate, the individual under investigation can also have to go through a barred list review.
  • The law established the concept of regulated activities and specifies who is eligible for DBS checks.
  • If you’re trying to figure out if a job is regulated, think where they’ll be working and what makes up their daily activities.

Regulated activity incase of children

Regulated activity incase of adults

We have outlined regulated activity relating to children. Here is what you need to know about working with vulnerable adults.  

The workplace does not determine regulated activity about vulnerable adults. But it depends on six definite types of activity. There are six categories of regulated activity with vulnerable adults. They are:

All the mentioned activities are specific roles involving vulnerable people. This is why the jobs are classified as regulated. The key factor classifying the works as regulated is the level and nature of the contact.

Regulated activity incase of adults

Providing emergency assistance

This Includes hospital work done by (or under the direction of) a healthcare provider. Emergency assistance services include all aspects of physical and mental health care. 

Providing individual attention

For some adults, assistance with bathing, grooming, toileting, and feeding is a need. This happens due to old age, sickness, or injury, hands-on. Assisting to perform these duties is also regarded as regulated work.   

This will provide a wide range of activities for an adult who requires assistance due to their age, sickness, or impairment, such as:

  • Assisting the adult mentally in feeding, drinking, toileting, shaving, grooming, oral hygiene, skin care, and other tasks.
  • Providing others with experience, preparation, encouragement, or direction in regards to the above events.
  • Prompting and supervising an adult to engage in the functions mentioned above.

Providing government assistance

A social worker associated with social welfare and health services is also a regulated profession. Any social worker who does supervised action with clients or prospective clients, such as evaluating or updating the demand for care, is doing so. Assistance relates to a social or healthcare program as an example.


  • Many recognise an adult’s needs regarding the possible changes to their diet, accommodation, or healthcare.
  • Those who offer information about community groups and programs for people in need of assistance.

Conveying adults for reasons of age, illness or disability

This includes drivers or assistants who drive individuals to and from places where they have received or will be receiving health care, personal care or social work. Job roles include hospital porters and patient service transport drivers.

Anyone who transfers an adult to or from areas for healthcare, personal care, or social work is engaged in controlled behaviour (due to their age, sickness, or disability). People concerned perform these tasks on behalf of a company to allow the adult to use these facilities. Such categories of roles are:


  • Porters are people who work as porters (such as those who move patients on trolleys or in wheelchairs).
  • Drivers and assistants for hospital transportation systems (such as those who drive ambulances and move patients in and out of them).
  • Ambulance technicians and emergency medical assistants are two groups of staff who work in the emergency department.

Helping with general household matters

Assistance with general household matters such as dealing with an adult’s cash, bills or shopping due to their age, illness or is sometimes arranged via a third party.

We support the conduct of an adult’s affairs under a formal appointment, i.e. lasting power of attorney under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

Anyone that offers day-to-day assistance to an adult due to their age, sickness, or disability, whether whose aid requires at least one of the above activities, is engaging in controlled behaviour.

  • Managing a person’s financial resources.
  • Paying the individual’s expenses.
  • Purchasing on their behalf

Assisting with the conduct of a person’s affairs

Anyone who assists an adult in managing their affairs is doing a Controlled Activity. These type of activity include dealing with a bank, social and other financial accounts. Along with the mentioned ones, managing legal problems on behalf of the individual also comprises a person’s personal affair.

Click the linked text For more information regarding Regulated activity with adults in England.

Safeguarding Children Level 3
Whether you are working as a health and social care worker, or your job requires you to interact with children and their families, then this Safeguarding Children Level 3 will help you towards professional excellence.
Safeguarding Children Level 3
Whether you are working as a health and social care worker, or your job requires you to interact with children and their families, then this Safeguarding Children Level 3 will help you towards professional excellence.

Concluding remarks

You should also be aware of the kinds of job practices that are regulated activities and subject to Improved DBS checks. If you’re still confused, take help from the government guidelines. The consequence and punishment for failing any of the requirements can lead to huge fines and prison time. So the regulated activity check criteria should not be taken lightly.

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September 9, 2021

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