Why Are DBS Checks So Important For Employers?
Why are DBS Checks so important for employers? Firstly, because employees that perform or behave poorly can damage a company’s reputation and financial integrity. Secondly, because the actions of dangerous individuals can create massive liability for employers. And lastly, because ensuring the individuals in your employ are not preying on society’s most vulnerable citizens is a fundamental responsibility and in many cases today, one that is mandated by law.
The practice of background checks goes back nearly a century. That’s when employers in Western nations first began being held responsible for the actions of those they hire. As the liability cases began rolling in, employers started looking into the backgrounds of their workers as a way to protect their own interests. For several decades these checks were largely informal and consisted mainly of verifying a person’s professional credentials. Gradually though they were expanded to include court records.
In 2002, the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) was established to provide an easy way for employers to check both a person’s professional credentials and their criminal history. And in 2012 the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) was created when the CRB was merged with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). Today, DBS Checks are the most reliable method available for ensuring the safety of vulnerable groups and protecting companies against various types of fraud.
Why are DBS Checks Important for Safeguarding?
While the police and the courts have long kept records of an individual’s criminal activity, most of this information was not available to employers. As a result, employers had no way to be sure the person they were hiring was the fine upstanding person they claimed to be. CRB Checks – and their successor the DBS Check – finally provided a way to make this information available without infringing on a person’s (even a criminal’s) right to privacy. Access to court and police records is controlled through a series of carefully managed steps that limit access to sensitive information to only those with a legitimate right to know.
Are There Different Types of DBS Vetting?
There are currently 4 different types of DBS Checks. Each one slightly more involved to reflect the different levels of responsibility a person will be expected to assume in their new position. Those 4 checks are as follows:
- The Basic DBS Check – This is the simplest type of check and looks for any unspent convictions on a person’s record. In many cases, companies are not compelled to perform Basic DBS Checks but do so out of an abundance of caution. It is often in the interest of the potential employee to request a Basic DBS Check themselves. This way they can present it to potential employers as a way to increase their odds of being hired. The Basic Check is the only one an individual can obtain in this fashion. All other DBS Checks must be requested by potential employers.
- Standard DBS Check – Whereas the Basic check looks only for unspent convictions, the Standard DBS Check scours the record looking for spent convictions too, as well as official warnings and cautions that may have been issued by the police against an individual. The Standard Check usually applies to those working in financial, legal, security services and other positions were criminal tendencies could be damaging.
- Enhanced DBS Check – With the Enhanced DBS Check the background check is taken to another level of thoroughness. This type of check looks for spent and unspent convictions, cautions, warnings and official reprimands. It also queries police regarding any relevant information they may have regarding a particular individual. Only certain positions call for this type of check. Often those involving work performed in environments where children or vulnerable adults may be present.
- Enhanced Check with Barred List – This is the most intensive sort of DBS Check and is reserved for those who wish to work directly with children or vulnerable adults. Teachers, eldercare workers, childcare providers and the like are all required by law to submit to an Enhanced DBS Check with Barred list before they are allowed to perform a regulated activity with members of these groups. Barred Lists are maintained by the government and contain the names of those who have proven by their past actions that they should not be allowed to work with vulnerable groups.
The Advantages of DBS Checks
Today, there are more ways than ever for an employee to bring harm to a company or institution and/or the people served by that company or institution. These range from electronic theft and online stalking to direct physical threats. As such, it is more important than ever that employers have a way of vetting the people who would work for them. DBS Checks are the best, most comprehensive way yet devised to do so.
At the same time, it is vital that employers understand the limits and responsibilities involved with these types of background checks. Not everyone qualifies for an Enhanced DBS Check with Barred List for instance. And attempting to perform one without proper justification can land an employer is some very hot water. Potential employees must also recognize the importance of this type of safeguard and not provide false or misleading information, lest they themselves end up in serious legal trouble.
Contact The Check People
If you have questions about how to apply for DBS online or whether a position requires a DBS Check, or if you are an employer needing to vet potential employees, contact The Check People today. We’re here to help.