Can I Pass a DBS Check With A Criminal Record?
If you have some kind of criminal record, even for a minor offence, it can be a big worry when it comes to applying for a job or position that requires a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
But there are lots of misconceptions and myths out there about the DBS check.
This article will take a look at what DBS checks actually are, what they show, how they are assessed, and whether people are likely to be disqualified from a job role or voluntary position based on the possible outcomes.
The Main DBS Check Misconception
Let’s start by dispelling the most common myth about DBS checks.
DBS checks are NOT a pass or fail test.
In other words, if you have a minor conviction for something unrelated to the role you’re applying for, you won’t necessarily be disqualified. There is much more nuance to the decision.
All the DBS check does is highlight certain offences and convictions that are held on your criminal record.
Also, there are three different levels of DBS check that each search for different offences and return different results.
What Results Are Shown On Different Types Of DBS Check?
Basic DBS Check Results
The Basic DBS Check highlights any unspent non-capital offences and convictions. Capital offences such as murder will never be spent, no matter how old the conviction is, and will always show up on a Basic DBS Check.
Standard DBS Check Results
The Standard DBS Check reveals more details from any criminal record held on you. They tend to be used for more responsible positions, especially those involving a duty of care. The Standard DBS check searches for spent AND unspent and highlights them to potential employers. There is no time limit, so even if you committed a minor non-capital crime 30 years ago, it will still be revealed on a standard check.
On a more positive note, employers will be able to see how old any offences are, and it’s unlikely that an employer in this day and age will hold a very old crime against you, especially if it is completely unrelated to the role in question. For instance, a conviction for shoplifting 30 years ago shouldn’t count against you when applying for a job as a childminder.
Also be aware that the Standard DBS Check also reveals official warnings, reprimands, and cautions held against you on file.
Enhanced DBS Check Results
An Enhanced DBS Check covers everything that’s included in the Standard DBS Check, but also includes a direct query to local police for any extra information they hold on you that could be relevant to the position you’re going for.
For instance, if you are applying for a role as a school teacher, but you have previously been arrested for an assault against a minor, but were subsequently cleared, the police may reveal the notes made by the arresting officer, or observations that were recorded about you while held in custody.
The purpose of the Enhanced DBS Check is to add an extra layer of safeguarding, especially for vulnerable groups.
Enhanced DBS Check (with Barred List) Results
An Enhanced DBS Check with Barred List is the highest level of DBS check available. It includes everything that is revealed on an Enhanced DBS Check, along with a check against the government’s Barred List.
The Barred Lists is a register of people that are banned from working with vulnerable groups such as children, or disabled or elderly adults, due to a crime they have previously committed related to these groups.
If your DBS check reveals that you are on the barred list it is highly unlikely, or impossible, that you will be even considered for the position in question.
So, Will A Conviction Stop Me From Getting A Job with a DBS Check?
As stated above, it depends on the type and level of DBS check that is carried out.
If you have old, spent convictions and you are obliged to undertake a Basic DBS Check, then it’s unlikely that you will be disqualified from the role you applied for based on the result.
If you have unspent convictions, or you are subject to a Standard or Enhanced DBS Check, then you may be disqualified from taking the role, but it depends on the nature of the offence, type of conviction, and the responsibility of the position you have applied for.
If you are on a barred list and are required to take an Enhanced Check with barring list, then it is very unlikely you will be considered for the position.