Over the last year, AFF has seen an increase in families struggling to access Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificates when they’re posted overseas.

Applications made from overseas are processed differently than in the UK and this can lead to delays. It’s meant that some of you have been unable to accept roles due to not having the sufficient clearance required by your employers.

This has been particularly problematic for those of you wanting to work in schools, nurseries, and health and care settings, as well as in the financial services sector.

Army spouse Anna explained: “I applied for a check in August when I arrived in Belgium and finally got it in June the following year. I was hoping to do some supply teaching in a school which was desperate for staff, but without a DBS certificate I was unable to pursue this opportunity.”

Jenna Richardson, Employment & Training Specialist at AFF, says: “This is a difficult situation, and it has caused some barriers to employment overseas.

“A new online application system has been set up and is very effective, but at the time of going to print, it’s still in the roll-out phase and not available in all locations yet.”

Before you go

DBS certificates don’t have an expiry date, so it’s a good idea to have a recent certificate in place if you’re heading overseas and might want to work in a profession where it’s required.

The DBS now offers an ‘Update Service’ for a yearly cost of £13, which your new employers can access without you needing to reapply. To take advantage of this service, you’ll need to apply within 28 days of your most recent certificate being issued.

More at gov.uk/dbs-update-service or contact Jenna at employment@aff.org.uk

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