How Does The Police National Computer Affect DBS Checks?
DBS checks are available in three levels, each of which discloses a different amount of information. Awareness of the different levels and the information they reveal is important if you are an employer who requests DBS checks.
DBS checks come in three levels: Basic, Standard, and Enhanced DBS checks. Each level goes through different stages of processing and reveals different types of convictions and offences. The standard and enhanced DBS checks use the Police National Computer (PNC) to process the criminal record search.
What Is The Police National Computer (PNC)?
The PNC is the central information system of the local police force. The computerised system allows access to a large amount of information on criminal offences by citizens in the UK.
The PNC holds a wide range of information such as details of cautions, warnings, reprimands, unspent convictions, spent convictions, arrests, and other relevant details. The PNC also stores information regarding imminent prosecutions and arrests that resulted in no further action.
The Police National Computer should not be confused with the Police National Database (PND). The PND is a national information management system that improves the ability of the police force to manage and share intelligence more quickly.
What Information Is On The Police National Computer?
If the police stop you for a minor offence, such as littering, parking, or another offence of any nature, the information is likely to appear on the PNC. The PNC holds information about individuals with bookings from the UK police.
Enhanced DBS checks involve cross referencing the details of applicants against the PNC to see if their details match any existing convictions on the system.
An individual’s details are more likely to be on the PNC if they:
- Are presumed missing or wanted
- Have received cautions from police officers in the past
- Have escaped from a registered institution
- Are awaiting legal action
- Have a legal firearms certificate and other related licences.
The DBS cannot refuse a DBS check. Therefore, whenever an employer requests an Enhanced DBS check that meets the correct eligibility criteria, they must carry it out. The DBS can also run barred list checks if requested and the role requires it, for instance in the case of regulated activities.
How Does The PNC Affect DBS Checks?
The police create a PNC record whenever they book, issue a caution to, or charge an individual.
All cautions and convictions stay on the PNC permanently and form part of an individual’s criminal record.
With DBS filtering, some types of cautions become filtered from DBS checks after six years since the caution issue date. Filtered cautions and convictions will not appear on DBS checks, not even an Enhanced DBS check. Of course, cautions that are eligible for filtering are not relevant for severe offences.
After the DBS send your application to the police, they can use their discretion to filter out cautions from your enhanced DBS certificate.
Contact one of our trusted advisors today to learn more about DBS checks and how to get started on your application.