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By thecheckpeople_admin
Published 11:21 am

The Advantages And Disadvantages Of DBS Checks

When applying for a job or working in recruitment, it’s certain you will see DBS checks crop up almost daily. These checks are now a crucial part of the modern employment process, and you will discover that they are necessary for a wide range of roles. But why do companies and organisations put so much emphasis on DBS checks? To answer this question, here is our comprehensive guide to DBS checks: The advantages and disadvantages of getting one to give you a thorough idea of why people get them but also why they may not.

dbs checks

What is a DBS Check?

A DBS check is a criminal record check that analyses and checked or unchecked convictions or offenses that an individual may have committed within a specific time frame. If you are over the age of 18, this information is typically stricken from the record after 11 years at most, whereas those under 18 see their convictions removed after 5 years. However, for terrorism or offenses against children, the information remains on your record forever.

There are 3 levels of DBS check, these include:

  • Basic
  • Standard
  • Enhanced

An individual can apply for a Basic DBS themselves online or via post. Standard and Enhanced DBS checks can only be applied for on behalf of the individual by an employer or third party.

While most jobs may request a DBS check, they are most common for:

DBS Check Advantages And Disadvantages

There are both advantages and disadvantages of getting a DBS check, whether you are an individual applying for one or an employer whose policy involves DBS checks as part of the recruitment process.


  • Better Quality Applicants

Employers who require DBS checks as a matter of company policy report higher quality applicants and employees, which is beneficial for the company. It can help discourage applicants trying to hide something and increases the number of applicants who want to work in a safe environment.

This has a direct effect on the day-to-day running of the company and reduces concerns regarding potential issues further down the line.

  • Workplace Safety

New employees who pass DBS checks lead to an increase in workplace safety. This applies to both fellow employees and customers, and it also concerns safety regarding sensitive information and finances within the company. Employers are responsible for the safety of everyone at the office or workplace, and DBS checks help to minimise the risk of hiring violent personnel who could put the safety of those they work with in jeopardy.

  • Liability Protection

If an individual passes a DBS check, it helps to protect them and the company form liability claims. These claims can include accusations from clients, employees, or customers, or if you work in a school or a hospital, patients and students.

DBS checks also check your right to work in the UK, and if the employer fails to carry out a DBS check, they could be liable to heavy fines for employing someone not eligible for employment whether they knew or not.

  • Reduced Turnover

Turnover can be a massive issue in a range of industries, but DBS checks help companies and organisations hire the ‘Right’ people. These employees spend longer at the company and are less prone to absenteeism that can affect the business’ productivity and finances, as bad hires can be expensive.

  • Meeting Regulations and Requirements

Arguably, the biggest advantage of DBS checks, particularly for employers, is that they meet regulations and requirements. Hiring ineligible candidates can result in fines, but it is also relevant for insurance and tax purposes. Customers also feel more comfortable knowing everyone has had a DBS check, and this makes them feel secure and confident using the service.

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  • Expensive

DBS checks can be expensive, with the cheapest cost for individuals and companies being £23.00. However, they may cost more (as much as £40.00) depending on the level of the DBS check. If you are unemployed, this may not be something you can afford upfront, while companies making many hires at once will need to apply for multiple DBS checks in one go.

If you need to renew your DBS check, you will also need to pay again or pay for the Update Service.

  • Mistakes

While most DBS checks are accurate, they are not perfect and therefore they are prone to mistakes. Mistakes can include incorrect names, dates of birth, and address history. If the application has filled the application out by hand, they could also not adhere to the rules of the paper form, which can lead to delay.

  • Offensive

Some people might consider DBS checks a violation of privacy whether they have been convicted or considered guilty of an offense previously or not. Companies can risk offending quality applicants, and this will see them take their talents elsewhere.

  • Unfair Bias

DBS checks can present an unfair bias to those who have committed offenses in the past, especially if they apply within the clearing time frame. While all recruiters should try to look past this information, not all of them do. This means that they will dismiss an application without giving the candidate a fair chance to explain themselves or make amends.

  • Timing

Most DBS check certificates come back within two to four weeks. However, as with everything this is not always certain. In some areas, DBS checks can take longer, and if there are any mistakes or misunderstandings on the application form, this can cause more significant delays.

The timing issue can affect both employer and employee. One may need to start work as soon as possible, whereas the employers might need personnel in the office as part of an onboarding process that requires everybody.

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Summing Up

While there are disadvantages for getting a DBS check, they are useful when it comes to employability and simplifying the recruitment process, and you could argue that the pros outweigh the cons. If an employer asks you to provide information for a DBS check, understand that this is likely a company policy and even required by law depending on the role you are applying for.

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.


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