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By thecheckpeople_admin
Published 4:36 pm

DBS Checks Without Consent – Is It Breaking The Law?

It doesn’t happen often, but occasionally, an individual might receive a letter from the DBS informing them about the results of a recent DBS check. If you have not recently applied for any jobs or attended any interviews, this can come as a shock to you and could be a cause for concern. So what happens if you receive DBS checks without consent – is it breaking the law? Keep on reading to find out.

How to Know If Someone Has Applied For a DBS Check?

Normally, DBS checks are applied for by the individual (you) or the hiring company or organisation you have applied and interviewed to work for. As the average DBS check takes between two and four weeks, this is how long it takes to receive a letter of confirmation regarding the results of the check and information on where you can view it. This will either be online or on paper.

If you know that a DBS check will be carried out, this shouldn’t come as a shock, and you can proceed with your day as normal. However, it’s when you have not applied for or granted a DBS check that this becomes an issue.

If you have not applied for, or had someone apply on your behalf, you will still receive confirmation that the check is complete, and this is how you understand that the someone has applied for a DBS check without your consent.

is dbs check without consent legal

Is It Legal to Carry Out a DBS Check Without Consent?

The short answer is no. It is not legal to carry out a DBS check without your consent. You need to provide documentation for the DBS check to be completed, and if you did not provide such information, then you have not given your consent.

However, this is technically only true of a new position. Maybe your current employer applies for employee DBS checks once every two, three, five, or even ten years (although 2 to 5 years is more common).

If this is the case, then your employer may have applied on your behalf to update the DBS certificate. Even if you did not provide consent this time, you allowed for the DBS check when you first interviewed, which would mean that the consent carries on throughout your time working there.

If it is a company policy to update DBS checks every few years, then this will be why you have received a DBS check letter without applying for one yourself. Information detailing this policy is likely to be in your contract, or was mentioned during your onboarding process.

What to Do If Your Receive A DBS Letter Without Applying For a Check?

If you receive correspondence from DBS outlining details of a check that has been made without your consent, email the DBS detailing your situation. From here, the DBS can determine who applied for the check on your behalf and provide information.

It is possible that you are the victim of identity fraud, and someone could apply for a job under your name. Another reason could be that someone has applied for a DBS check with the same name as you, and there has been a mistake in the system. Regardless, it is best to wait for the DBS to respond to understand what has happened.

is dbs check without consent breaking the law

Giving Consent

While DBS checks without consent are illegal, pre-approved DBS checks, such as those you agree to when joining a business or organisation do not always require additional consent to be given when updating the DBS check. Despite this, you can ask your manager about it to be sure.

If you need more information for everything about DBS checks, make sure to browse The Check People Blog to answer any additional questions you might have.


  1. DBS performed without my consent? – Money Saving Expert