DBS Checks – Employer’s Questions Answered
We get lots of queries and questions from employers regarding DBS Checks. Often we find that we get similar questions coming up over and over.
That’s why we decided to put together this brief article that gives you answers to the most common questions about DBS Check from employers.
Which roles qualify for a DBS Check?
The most common question we get asked is to confirm what types of roles are eligible for DBS Checks. The answer is that employers can request a DBS Check for any role where they think it will help them to make safer recruitment decisions.
However, for higher level DBS Checks, certain eligibility criteria must be met before the employer can request a DBS Check.
If the role is classed as a ‘regulated activity’ that involves working directly and unsupervised with either children or vulnerable adults, then they will be eligible for an Enhanced DBS Check, which is the highest level of criminal background check available.
Roles that are eligible for higher level DBS Checks are listed in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975.
What are the different levels of DBS Check?
There are three levels of DBS Check – Basic, Standard, and Enhanced. Each type of disclosure has different eligibility requirements and reveals different types of convictions. You can also get a DBS barred list check that can be requested alongside an Enhanced DBS Check which indicates whether an individual has been banned from working with children or vulnerable adults.
- Basic DBS Check – available for anybody aged 16 years or older and reveals only unspent convictions and conditional cautions.
- Standard DBS Check – reveals spent and unspent convictions, cautions, warnings, and reprimands. For information on the type of roles that are eligible for a Standard DBS Check, read the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act guidance.
- Enhanced DBS Check – reveals the same information as a Standard DBS Check, as well as any relevant information that is held on police file.
Do DBS Checks expire?
The simple answer is, no, DBS Checks never expire. But, it is important to realise that the information given on a DBS certificate is only accurate and valid on the day it is issued.
The reason for this is that the individual named on the DBS certificate may receive a conviction at a later date and it will not appear. The criminal background information is just a snapshot of any convictions that are present on the person’s record on the data of issue.
For this reason, most employers and organisations will request that the DBS Check is updated one every three years, especially in roles that involve safeguarding of children or vulnerable adults.
In some roles, such as teachers or healthcare workers, the regulatory bodies that govern them will set a minimum timeframe to get the DBS Check renewed. For instance, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commision (CQC) mandate that DBS Checks are updated at set intervals.
How do I react if an applicant has convictions on their criminal record?
The whole point of a DBS Check is to see whether a person has any criminal convictions, and if so, what those convictions were for. Therefore, if an applicant has a criminal record, you need to carefully consider what to do next.
If the role is a safeguarding one involving children or vulnerable adults, then you need to see if the crime or crimes committed are relevant to that role or not. Any sexual or violent crimes, for instance, will mean that they are unlikely to be suitable for a safeguarding role.
If the conviction is not relevant to the role, then it’s best to stay open-minded about employing the individual. In fact, there is legislation in place to make sure that reformed criminals get a fair shot at employment under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
In other words, it may be illegal to discriminate against an applicant based on their criminal record if the conviction has nothing to do with the role and does not affect their suitability for the role.
How do applicants apply for a DBS Check?
Applicants are not able to apply for a DBS Check by themselves, unless it is a Basic DBS Check. Standard and Enhanced DBS Checks must be verified by their employer or registered body before being submitted.
We provide an online DBS application service that lets you offer DBS Checks to your employees that can be submitted online. The advantage of submitting a DBS application online is that you get the results more quickly (usually within 48 hours) and it also detects common mistakes and omissions that would otherwise slow down the process.
Summary of DBS Checks for employers
The brief guide above gives you an insight into the DBS Check application process and how employers can request them from applicants.
If you want to find out more about DBS Checks for employers or any other related matter, then get in touch today.