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By thecheckpeople_admin
Published 2:52 pm

DBS Checks Vs CRB Checks?

Back in 2002, the Home Office introduced the CRB, or Criminal Records Bureau check. This service allowed potential employers to receive a thorough and complete check of an applicant’s criminal history, whether there was one present or not. Eventually, this morphed into something different, but why did DBS checks replace CRB checks?

At the time, CRB checks were a revolutionary idea, and proved highly beneficial for all industries across the board. It was invaluable for those who wanted to get detailed information that could help put them, their employees, and their customers at ease. It helped protect vulnerable persons such as children or the elderly and also helped employers feel more comfortable with who they were hiring.

The CRB check proved useful from its inception, and as the government embraced the rising need for technology, it became even more convenient for applicants and employers. You could fill out and check a CRB online, which accelerated the hiring process and gave made it easier for employers to find the perfect, trustworthy candidate.

DBS Checks Vs CRB Checks

So Why Was The CRB Check Replaced?

The Criminal Records Bureau had always worked with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). Those familiar with DBS checks will recognise this as part of the service that provides the barring element. In 2012, the Home Office sought to improve the process further, and instead of using two separate services that complemented one another, they merged them into what we now know as the DBS check, or the Disclosure and Barring Service.

However, it almost did not work like this. The story may not be as rock ’n’ roll as other almost realities, but in 2009, before the CRB merged with the ISA to create the DBS, the plan was to administer the Vetting and Barring Scheme. This was put on hold for the 2010 General Election and subject to a review. In 2011, a report clarified the benefits of merging the two services, creating the DBS.

To put it simply, the CRB check was replaced with the DBS check to streamline the process and make it so that there was only one organisation dealing with criminal checks for job applicants before they were permitted to start work at any institution.

Benefits of a DBS Check

The benefits of a DBS check are much the same as a CRB check. However, there are a few key differences that make it a more streamlined and effective tool for determining the suitability of a candidate for any role.

It provides a safer and more substantial recruitment process for several industries, the most important being health and social care and education, as it helps protect vulnerable people, including children.

It has also proven useful in the financial sector, while additions to the check, including the Enhanced DBS check, ensures employers completely understand who they are hiring.

The simplified process that a DBS check uses also benefits the applicant along with the employer. Previously, too much time would be wasted between departments, and application could even be lost along the way. These delays are not ideal for anybody, and can quickly affect the progress of the application. Any delays could also keep the applicant out of work for longer than necessary and also force the company to work understaffed.

By streamlining the process, it ensures that all DBS checks are completed within four weeks, and most of the time, they are reviewed and accepted within just two. This gives employers the crucial information they need so they can proceed confidently.

DBS Checks Vs CRB Checks

From One Service to Another

While they may operate under different names, there is not much difference between the DBS and CRB check, and at the very base of it, it’s easy to understand why the DBS replaced the CRB, making a revolutionary service even more effective for hiring the best candidates.


  1. How Do You Know If You Need a DBS Check? – Money Magpie
  2. Safer Recruitment: The Importance of DBS Within the Health and Care Sector – Educare