The Ultimate Guide To DBS Checks
These days most employers will include a criminal record check as part of their recruitment process. All such checks are carried out by the DBS, or Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly known as the Criminal Records Bureau).
Depending on the nature of the position, the check may also include information from the children’s and adults’ “barred list”, as well as information from local police forces (as long as that information is considered relevant to the position in question).
The purpose of the DBS check is to help employers make informed decisions regarding the individuals they hire and to protect the interests and wellbeing of clients and other persons said individual may come in contact with during the performance of their duties.
In this guide we will answer some key questions and issues regarding the DBS check including:
- Where does the DBS check apply?
- What are the different types of DBS Check?
- DBS Checks for the Self Employed
- DBS Checks for Transgenders
- Does a DBS Check Expire?
Where Does the DBS Check Apply?
As Scotland and Northern Ireland operate their own background check systems (Disclosure Scotland and AccessNI respectively) the DBS applies only in England and Wales.
What are the Different Types of DBS Check?
There are four main types of DBS check. They are:
The Basic Check
The Basic Check may be used for virtually any position. It includes a routine search of the Police National Computer database and looks for unspent convictions. With few exceptions, a conviction that did not include at least 30 months of prison time will eventually become spent. Once it does, it will not appear on a Basic DBS Check.
Convictions that did not include at least 30 months of prison time but have not yet been spent will appear on the Basic DBS Check. As will any conviction from any time that resulted in more than 30 months in prison, in accordance with the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) of 1974.
The Standard Check
The Standard Check is a more comprehensive look at an individual’s background and will include both spent and unspent convictions as well as any official cautions or reprimands. While the Basic Check can be requested by an individual, the Standard Check is only available to potential employers. Standard Checks are usually carried out on persons applying for positions that are considered to have a certain level of social responsibility. Those include:
- Chartered accountants
- Solicitors and barristers
- Financial advisors
- Teachers/Youth Club Employees
- Healthcare workers/Hospital staff
- Dental assistants
- Contractors working on regulated sites
- Football stewards
- Airport workers
The Enhanced Check
The Enhanced DBS Check reveals the same spent and unspent convictions as the Standard Check, along with warnings, reprimands, and cautions. It then goes one step further by granting police services the right to include any additional information regarding the individual they may deem relevant.
Some Enhanced Checks will also include checking “barred lists” to determine if an individual is officially barred from working with or around members of certain groups, such as children or vulnerable adults in need of special assistive care. Working with these groups is considered a “regulated activity”. People involved in regulated activity include:
- Any individual who teaches, instructs or otherwise trains children
- Any individual tasked with childminding or providing guidance to children as it relates to their physical, emotional or mental wellbeing
- Social workers who assist elderly citizens with the tasks of daily living
- Healthcare professionals, whether in the service of the NHS or private practices
If an individual’s name appears on a barred list, he or she will be prohibited from being offered or taking on the job for which they are applying. This is non-negotiable. In addition, it is against the law for a person who knows they are on a barred list to apply for a job working in a regulated activity.
The Adult First Check
While it is not considered one of the primary types of DBS check, organisations can request a check of the DBS barred list for a specific individual. If that individual does not appear on any barred lists, they may be allowed to start working with vulnerable adults before the full Enhanced Check has been completed. Although that work will need to be supervised. However, an organisation cannot request a barred list check on just anyone. The individual must be applying for a position which:
- By law requires a criminal record check
- By law is one that would require checking of the DBS barred list
In addition, the employer must have requested a barred list check when they filled out the initial DBS application form. In other words, a company that submits an application for a Standard Check cannot after the fact also request a check of the barred list.
DBS Checks for the Self Employed
Sometimes self-employed individuals will be contracted to perform work that requires a Standard or Enhanced DBS check. Should that be the case, the self-employed individual can ask the organisation requesting their services to apply for the check for them. Self-employed persons can apply for a Basic DBS Check themselves by way of the DBS online application process on the DBS website.
DBS Checks for Transgenders
Transgenders who do not wish to reveal details of their identity history to prospective employers can request a confidential DBS check. Email [email protected] to learn more.
Does a DBS Check Expire?
In a very real sense, the DBS check is only accurate as of the day it is issued. DBS suggests employers carry out periodic checks, especially on new hires, just to be certain nothing slipped in under the radar after the applicant’s initial check. Applicants may also opt-in for the DBS Update Service. This service provides up to the minute information on an individual. Though it is not mandatory, it can go a long way toward building trust between a new hire and an employer.
Contact The Check People for fast, efficient DBS check services.