Are You Allowed To Use DBS Checks Abroad? A Guide to Overseas DBS Checks
If you are about to move overseas to work, either temporarily or for a permanent placement, you may be wondering whether your DBS Check will be valid in the country you are going to.
Also, if you are already working overseas, you may be wondering whether you can apply for a DBS Check while you are there.
In this brief guide, we will explain the rules surrounding overseas DBS Checks to answer both of the scenarios described above.
UK Criminal Background Checks
The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in England and Wales (Disclosure Scotland in Scotland and AccessNI in Northern Ireland) process criminal background checks that are valid for the UK. In other words, they run a search of the UK-based Police National Computer (PNC) and reveal details of an individual’s criminal record.
This means that information of offences and convictions from other countries will not be revealed on a DBS Certificate as the UK police do not hold the relevant records.
When can DBS Checks be used abroad?
There are instances when a DBS Check that has been carried out in the UK can be used overseas. The most common situation occurs when the employer or organisation is a UK-based one that is operating overseas.
If a UK-based company is recruiting for an overseas job, but the recruitment process takes place in the UK, then a DBS Check is applicable. For example, if a business has its headquarters and recruitment department in London, but is recruiting for a position that will involve working in Paris, then a DBS Check may suffice as a criminal background check.
In other words, as long as the DBS Check has been requested in the UK, then it is valid for use overseas.
What if the applicant is not UK-based?
If the applicant is not presently a resident in the UK, then the business or organisation will need to wait until they come to the UK before a DBS application can be submitted.
The employer can still request the application while the person is overseas, making sure that they fill in the applicant’s address history section carefully. The applicant will need to provide a UK address to send the certificate to once they have arrived in the country, known as a ‘care of’ address.
Again, to request the DBS Check for an applicant living overseas, the employer must be UK-based with their recruitment activities taking place in the UK.
Summary of overseas DBS Checks
In answer to the question “Can DBS Checks be used overseas?”, the answer is yes, as long as the employer is UK-based. This is due to the fact that the DBS Check only searches the UK police records, not those for foreign countries.
Therefore, a company can apply for a DBS Check for an applicant they are recruiting in the UK, but will be working within their organisation overseas. Also, applicants that live overseas, but are coming to work in the UK can apply for a DBS Check as long as they provide a full address history.
To find out more about DBS Checks, including the rules for overseas applications, get in touch today.