What Shows Up On A DBS Check?
It’s one of the most common questions we’re asked at The Check People. So, we thought we’d come up with a definitive guide.
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as writing a list of all the different things that can show up on a DBS check. There are different levels of DBS check that show up different details about your criminal record.
There are three different types of DBS check – basic DBS check, standard DBS check and enhanced DBS check. In this article, we’ll break down all three and tell you what shows up on each. We’ve also included an explanation of the terminology relevant to each level of DBS check.
Basic DBS check
A basic DBS check will show up any unspent convictions or conditional cautions.
What is an unspent conviction?
With most convictions, there is a set period (as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) after which a conviction becomes spent. That means it won’t show appear on a criminal record or a DBS check. Convictions that result in a prison sentence of two and a half or more years never become spent.
What is a conditional caution?
A conditional caution is issued when the offender admits the crime and accepts the condition of the caution. An example might be causing criminal damage and then having to pay for the damage caused. All conditional cautions are spent after the condition end or after 3 months, whichever is sooner.
Standard DBS check
A standard DBS check will show up details of spent and unspent convictions, cautions, warnings and reprimands. However, some of these might not show up if they’re protected (which is explained below).
What is a protected conviction or caution?
In May 2013, the government rolled out a system to filter out certain old or irrelevant convictions and cautions. Before that, all convictions and cautions would appear on a DBS check. The idea behind the new filtering system is to stop people being unfairly discriminated upon because of old or irrelevant crimes.
There are over 1,000 offences that will never be filtered including:
- Specific sexual offences
- Terrorism offences
- Manslaughter and murder
- Drug supply offences
- Safeguarding offences
There’s a complete list of the offences that will never be filtered on the gov.uk website. If it’s a serious crime, it won’t ever be filtered from a DBS check.
What cautions will be filtered?
- If you received a caution when 18 or over, it will be filtered 6 years after being issued. That is unless it is included on the list of specified offences.
- If you received a caution when 18 or under, it will be filtered 2 years after being issued. The same rule applies – it must not be included on the list of specified offences.
(Cautions include the youth equivalents – reprimands and final warnings)
What convictions will be filtered?
If your conviction meets all of the following stipulations, it will be filtered from your DBS check.
- 11 years have elapsed since the conviction.
- It’s the only conviction on your record.
- It did not result in a custodial sentence.
- It doesn’t appear on the list of offences that will never be filtered.
The same rules apply for convictions issued under the age of 18, except that the time elapsed is 5 and a half years.
Enhanced DBS check
An enhanced DBS check will show the same information as a standard DBS check, as well as any ‘other relevant information’ held by the local police force.
What does ‘other relevant information’ include?
The information held by local police forces can also be called ‘police intelligence’ and ‘non-conviction information’. It can include Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN’s), Penalty Notices for Disorder (PND’s), findings of innocence, cautions and convictions of people you live with, and other allegations. Whether this information is included is up to the discretion of your local police Chief Constable.
Enhanced DBS check with a check of the barred lists
This is another level of the enhanced DBS check. It is the same as a normal enhanced DBS check, except that it will check if you have been barred from working with children or vulnerable adults.
Your other DBS check questions answered:
Can you pass or fail a DBS check?
No, your DBS check won’t come back as a pass or a fail. If you don’t have a criminal record, the DBS check will say so. If you do have a criminal record, the DBS check will show the relevant details.
Which jobs require a DBS check?
This is a complicated question that requires a separate article. If the job you’re applying for requires a high level of trust (childminder, care worker, teacher, locksmith, police officer), the employer will ask for an enhanced DBS check. However, there are hundreds of jobs that don’t require a DBS check.