Preparing to use the ESR DBS Link

To ensure employers are prepared for the implementation, there are a number of activities that should be undertaken. These include: 

  • Ensure that the pre-employment process includes the recording of DBS information within ESR.
  • Encourage new and existing staff to subscribe to The DBS Update Status service, when a new Disclosure is requested.
  • Ensure that the DBS requirement for each post is recorded against the position information in ESR, including if the position requires a check against the Adults and or Children’s Barred list. This can be done, using the features available in the workstructures functionality of ESR.
  • Make regular checks to ensure that the workforce has the appropriate level of DBS Clearance. An employee occupying a post should have the DBS clearance level required for their position – For example: Standard or Enhanced with/without a check against any of the vulnerable groups barred list.  
  • Within your organisation the Safeguarding Lead should familiarise themselves with the Prescribed Information requirements (information required by law, as part of a referral, as set out in Schedule 1 of the legislation) in readiness for a referral submission being made to the DBS Barring Team.  

Implementation Approach

As this is a central development there is no financial cost associated with the implementation or on-going maintenance of the link.  However, in order to prepare for go live, there are a number of prerequisite steps that your organisation should take. Further details regarding these steps are provided below.

The NHS ESR Central Team is managing the implementation with the link being deployed in a number of phases on a VPD by VPD basis. Support for the implementation has been agreed untill October 2014. The first, second and third phases for implementation have already been completed. Any organisation wishing to go live, should raise a Service Request on the ESR Servicedesk within the relevant timeframe. The ESR Lead within the organisation will be able to advise who has access to the Remedy system. Further details of the timeframes for processing SRs and implementation dates are listed in the table below:

Implementation Phase

Opening Date for Go-Live SRs

Closing Date for Go- Live SRs

Implementation Date

Phase 1




Phase 2




Phase 3




Phase 4

11th August 2014

22nd August 2014

1st September 2014

Phase 5

8th September 2014

26th September 2014

1st October 2014

For NHS Organisations wishing to deploy the link in the next available phase, there are three critical steps that must be completed. These are:

1.      All three notification roles should be allocated by each NHS Organisation. This may be completed by your ESR System Administrator.

2.      Where an employee has subscribed to the DBS Update Service and given their permission for you to carry out regular checks, the “Permission to Check DBS Status” flag should be set to “Yes” in the individual’s record within ESR. This field is highlighted within the Extra Person Information form shown below.

3.      An SR should be raised for the attention of the NHS ESR Systems Integration Team.

Please note: If you have allocated the three roles, you may raise an SR even if you do not currently have any employees subscribed, or who have given permission to check.  This simply activates the link for when you are ready to use it.

The SR should contain the following text within the SR Details field:

“FAO: NHS ESR Systems Integration Team. Please include VPD XXX in Phase X of the national DBS and ESR link implementation. This SR provides confirmation that the NHS Organisation has allocated all three roles and any permission to monitor a DBS certificate via the DBS Update service has been correctly recorded within the system. It is also understood that any referral to the DBS can be initiated within ESR following go-live.


Please also include the relevant contact details for the individual at the Organisation who will be dealing with the DBS and ESR link implementation.