Assessing An Applicant’s DBS Check Results
So, you decided to request DBS checks for your new employees as they are an effective way to improve the quality of candidates and safeguard your existing staff and clients.
According to statistics, the majority of applicants will not have a criminal record. Only 16.5% of UK residents have a criminal record. But the next question is – what level of DBS check should be applied for?
It’s not obvious which DBS check to request – basic, standard, or enhanced.
This article will look at how to check the eligibility of a job role for DBS checks and how to apply for them.
Checking eligibility for a DBS check
First, a quick note on the types of DBS check. A basic check only reveals unspent convictions, while a standard check reveals spent and unspent convictions, as well as warnings, cautions, and reprimands. An enhanced check reveals the same as a standard check, but also any relevant police notes kept on file.
The criteria for deciding whether to process a DBS check, also known as eligibility criteria, applies only to a standard or enhanced check. Standard and enhanced DBS checks can only be requested on behalf of an individual by an organisation, not the individual themselves.
The basic eligibility criteria for a standard or enhanced check is whether the job role involves a regulated activity, as defined by the DBS. The following questions can help to decide whether the role has regulated activities:
- What is the nature of the role?
- What tasks are involved in the role?
- What is the frequency of the jobs or tasks?
- Who will the applicant be working with?
- Will the applicant be expected to supervise children or vulnerable adults?
The answers to these questions should give a good indication as to whether the job role is a regulated activity and requires a standard or enhanced DBS check. If not, but the employer still wants to carry out a DBS check, it should only be a basic one, which can be done online by the individual without input from the employer.
Care and attention should be used by the employer when choosing which type of DBS check to carry out, as doing the wrong one may be considered illegal and could result in prosecution. The main rule is that if the role involves working in a supervisory capacity with any vulnerable groups, then the role is eligible for a standard or enhanced check.
Will the DBS run an eligibility check too?
Yes, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) will assess whether a candidate is eligible for the level of check applied for. If they are unsure whether an application has met the eligibility criteria, they may contact the employer or the registered organisation for further information.
Specifically, they may ask for details such as:
- What is the nature of the role?
- Who will the job applicant work with?
- Does the role involve working with children or vulnerable adults?
In other words, similar questions to the ones we set out in the previous section. Therefore, if you have done your due diligence and assessed eligibility before submitting the application, you should have nothing to worry about.
Make sure that you cooperate fully with any request from the DBS or registered organisation, and provide clear and truthful information.
What if an error is made?
If you apply for a standard or enhanced DBS check on behalf of a candidate in error then contact the DBS as soon as you realise your mistake to avoid any problems.
If you believe the DBS has made a mistake by classifying a check as ineligible when it should be eligible, then contact the organisation to query the decision.
Respect the DBS decision
If you query the decisions and the DBS come back with the same decision, then you must respect it. One second chance is all you get.
One way to avoid mistakes being made on DBS check applications is to use an online application service. The service will automatically scan for mistakes and highlight them.