3 Types of DBS Check
A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is a criminal record check, most often requested by employers, educational institutes and volunteer organisations before offering positions to applicants in England and Wales. However, there are 3 different types of DBS check currently available, each one offering differing levels of information on the person being checked. Employers are entitled to apply for any of these checks but if you wish to apply for one on yourself, you will only be able to apply for a basic DBS check. This probably all sounds a little confusing so if you would like to know more about the differences between the different types of checks and what information they contain, please take a look at our concise guide below.
The Basic, Standard and Enhanced DBS Check Explained
If you are an employer, it is essential that you familiarise yourself with the differences between the 3 types of criminal record checks currently available in England and Wales, so you can pick the right ones for the candidates that you wish to screen. In the following sections, we explain what each type of check covers and who is able to apply for these checks. If you have any questions after reading through this guide or you would like us to assist you with the process of applying for a DBS check, we invite you get in touch with us at your convenience. We have a great deal of experience in this field and have helped numerous organisations and individuals to apply for criminal record checks in England and Wales.
The Basic DBS Check
The least detailed of the checks, the basic disclosure is the only level of DBS check that can be requested by individuals to be carried out on themselves. Among the details contained in a basic DBS check is the following information:
- Unspent Convictions – If you have been convicted of a crime and that conviction is still not spent, it will show up on a basic check. However, if it is spent, it will not appear. The rules concerning how long it takes before a conviction is considered spent vary depending on the type of conviction and any associated prison sentence that was served. The easiest way to find out whether any convictions you have received are spent or unspent is to actually apply for a DBS check online, which we will be more than happy to help you do.
- Conditional Cautions – If you have previously received a conditional caution for a criminal offence and the conditions of the caution have yet to be fulfilled, this caution will also appear in the results of a basic check.
As stated above, this is the only type of criminal record check in England and Wales that can be requested by individuals, to be performed on themselves. Employers may also request a basic DBS check but may opt for a standard or enhanced check, depending on their requirements.
The Standard DBS Check
A standard check includes all the details found in a basic check but, in addition, it will also include the following:
- Spent Convictions – Even spent convictions will appear on a standard check, unless they are in the category of protected convictions. The rules governing what constitutes a protected spent conviction are quite complicated. Generally speaking, this category was introduced to ensure that old, trivial and irrelevant spent convictions would be filtered out of standard DBS checks so that people were not unfairly discriminated against by prospective employers. What we can say with complete certainty is that criminal offences of a violent or sexual nature are never filtered out of a standard DBS check.
- Spent Cautions, Warnings and Official Police Reprimands – As with spent convictions, cautions, warnings and reprimands that are no longer deemed relevant or noteworthy may fall under the protected category and be excluded from the results of a standard check. However, those that are not protected will appear in a standard check.
Standard checks can be requested by employers but not by individuals, as noted above.
The Enhanced DBS Check
This is the highest level of criminal record check currently available to employers in England and Wales. In addition to the details contained in a standard check, an enhanced check will include the following:
- Information Held by the Local Police Service – When an enhanced check is requested, the local police service will include any information it holds on the subject that it deems to be relevant.
- A Search of DBS Barred Lists – The enhanced check also includes a search of the barred lists, which are lists that contain the names of people barred from working with children or vulnerable adults.
Again, this level of check can only be requested by employers and not by individuals.
Whatever type of DBS check you are interested in, please feel free to call or email us at any time if you should require expert assistance.