A Guide to DBS Checks
You may wonder exactly what a DBS Check is or what it is used for. In this article, we will go through everything you need to know about DBS Checks.
To start off, DBS is short for the Disclosure and Barring Service; this is the service that you go through to obtain different DBS Checks.
A DBS Check – What is exactly is it?
So, what is it for and what does it do?
A DBS Check gathers different information about your criminal history, then issues a certificate holding the individual’s result. Even if you do not have a criminal record there may be information presented on the certificate, depending on the level of check carried out.
There are different levels for DBS Checks and each level requires and reveals different things. You must meet certain eligibility requirements in order to obtain the higher levels. The three levels are
Because of the specific requirements, if you do not meet certain criteria then you will not be able to receive that check.
What is a Basic DBS Check?
A Basic DBS Check is the lowest level of check and has no requirements in order for an individual to gain one. A Basic DBS Check reveals any unspent convictions or cautions.
Unlike other Checks, the Basic DBS Check is the easiest to gain since you can apply for this one yourself. Anybody can have this Check done, as long as an individual is aged 16 years or over.
What is a Standard DBS Check?
A Standard DBS Check is the second level of DBS Check and is not as easy to obtain as a Basic Check. This Check highlights any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings.
To check if you are eligible, you can either check the government’s eligibility guide for Standard DBS Checks or you can check to see if your role is listed in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975.
Typically, these jobs hold more responsibility than the Basic DBS Check. To summarise the law, it covers different activities and jobs that would require a Standard Check. For example: veterinary surgeons, barristers, solicitors and football stewards.
Again, to check the full list of who is suitable for a Standard Check, check the government’s guide.
What is an Enhanced DBS Check?
Enhanced DBS Checks are the highest level of DBS Check. The Enhanced Check highlights any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings. If your local police force holds any relevant information then they will contribute.
As the Enhanced Check is the highest and shows the most information, it also has the most eligibility requirements. To know if you are eligible check the ROA and the Police Act 1997 or Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) regulations. Your role must be listed in both ROA and one of the Acts in order to be eligible.
To summarise the acts, to be eligible you must be working with children or vulnerable adults.
The three categories to eligibility roles are:
- Adult Workforce
- Child Workforce
- Other Workforce
What is a barred list check?
Often, you may be suitable for a check of the barred list along with the Enhanced DBS Check. Barred list checks are vital processes for an employer to create a safe and trustworthy environment for employees and clients. Not checking the barred list could lead to harm and damage to others.
The barred list contains details of people who are unable to engage in a regulated activity with children and/or vulnerable adults. A regulated activity is a role in which you are either teaching, instructing, advising, supervising or assisting somebody within your role, three or more times within 30 days.
Some jobs including regulated activity are: teachers, social workers, doctors, school bus drivers, and many other roles. Hence, if your role includes this activity then you will need to get a check against the barred list.
Within the check, the individual’s name will be checked against one of or both of the barred lists and if you are listed, it is against the law for you to pursue the job.
Where do I start?
A Basic Check can be done for yourself and has no requirements, other than being aged 16 or over. In contrast, with higher checks there are more advanced processes for jobs with more responsibility. Therefore, to apply you will need to include information about you and show some documents proving it, along with a five-year address history.
If you are still unsure or have any other questions, feel free to get in touch as we are always more than happy to help.