A Guide to DBS Checks for Security Guards & Security Staff
Security guards and security staff are in positions of responsibility, which means that employers like to run background checks to make sure that they have the right people for the job.
The most common way of checking an individual’s background is to request a DBS check, which involves searching through their criminal record on the Police National Computer (PNC) and highlighting any relevant offences. The results are displayed on a DBS certificate.
This guide will tell you everything you need to know about DBS checks for security staff.
Who regulates the security industry?
Private security companies are regulated and governed by the Security Industry Authority (SIA). The SIA issues licenses to people that have been verified as safe to work in the industry.
To get an SIA licence, individuals must apply for a DBS check. People living in England and Wales, or those currently overseas, must submit an application to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). People in Scotland apply to Disclosure Scotland and Northern Ireland residents apply to AccessNI.
What DBS check do you need for an SIA licence?
In order to qualify for an SIA licence, you need to apply for a Standard DBS Check. The Standard DBS Check reveals spent and unspent convictions, reprimands, warnings, and cautions.
The Rehabilitations of Offenders Act of 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 makes it clear who is eligible for a Standard DBS Check and who is not. It lists job roles, activities, and professions that are suitable for a Standard DBS Check, and it includes people working within the security industry who need an SIA licence.
Who needs an SIA licence?
To determine whether you need an SIA licence for a certain role, you need to look at the definition of a licensable activity as defined here. If you are doing a licensable activity as part of a ‘contract for services’, then you’ll need an SIA licence.
Please note, that ‘contract for services’ means that either you or your employer are under a contract with another company or organisation to provide them with security services, a third-party security guard at a concert, for instance.
Here are some examples of recognised licensable activities:
- Security guard or ‘manned guarding’. For example, a door supervisor or delivering valuables or cash.
- Vehicle immobilisation staff (Northern Ireland)
- Key holders
If you work internally for a company, such as a security guard in a supermarket or store, then you don’t need an SIA licence as you’re not hired on a ‘contract for services’.
Other security roles that do NOT require an SIA licence are as follows:
- Voluntary role
- Event ticketing staff (except for those with the authority to physically refuse entry)
- Stewards (seeing people to their seats in a theatre, for example)
- In-house staff at a certified sports ground
- Airport staff
Although there is no requirement for a Standard DBS Check for the above roles, many employers will request that you submit a Basic DBS Check application to make sure you’re suitable for the role. The Basic DBS Check only reveals unspent convictions and conditional cautions.
Which security staff roles need an Enhanced DBS Check?
An Enhanced DBS Check is the highest level of criminal background check that you can get in the UK. Some private security jobs will request an Enhanced DBS Check on top of holding an SIA licence.
Whether a private security role requires an Enhanced DBS Check or not depends on the nature and environment of the role. For example, if the security role takes place in a place where there are children or vulnerable adults, then the enhanced check may be required. A check of the barred list may also be necessary, which reveals whether a person has been banned from working with children or vulnerable adults.
Apply for a DBS check online
If you want to apply for a DBS check, you can do it easily and quickly through our online platform.
If you want to find out more about DBS checks and how they affect security staff, get in touch today.