How To Run A Criminal Record Check On An Employee
In this article, when we refer to the individual being background checked as an employee it can equally apply to a volunteer or contractor working on a temporary contract.
With that said, this is a guide for employers and organisations that employ people for roles that require a criminal background check. Many employers these days ask for a Basic DBS Check even if the role doesn’t officially require one, just to make sure that they are getting people that are properly suited to the job and are more likely to be reliable and trouble-free employees.
Criminal background checks in England and Wales are carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) who process and return DBS certificates that reveal various details of criminal convictions, depending on the level of the check requested.
Levels of DBS Check
There are four main types of DBS check. Which one to request depends on the job role in question and what responsibilities and activities are expected of the employee.
The Basic DBS Check
As the title suggests, this is the lowest level (most basic) of the DBS checks. It is usually requested for jobs that involve a degree of responsibility or require personal integrity, such as cashier, shop assistant, alcohol salesperson (or bartender), scrap metal dealer, etc.
Also, some nation states now request a Basic DBS Certificate before issuing a travel visa.
The Basic DBS Check searches through an individual’s criminal record on the police national computer and returns details of any unspent convictions only.
Anybody can apply for a Basic DBS Check, including the actual individual in question. The application can be submitted online these days and is a quick and easy process. Applications are normally processed within 48 hours for online applications and certificates returned within 14 days.
The Standard DBS Check
A Standard DBS Check is the next step up from a Basic DBS Check. It is usually requested for roles such as those in healthcare, financial services, banking, accountancy, legal services, dentistry, veterinary services, etc.
The Standard DBS Check searches for and returns details of spent and unspent convictions, warnings, reprimands, and cautions from a person’s criminal record. Only employers or registered organisations can apply for the Standard DBS Check, not the individual themselves.
The Standard DBS Check is usually processed and returned within 4 to 8 weeks, on average.
The Enhanced DBS Check
An Enhanced DBS Check is the highest level of DBS check available and is usually reserved for roles and jobs that have a safeguarding element. Anything that is defined as a “regulated activity” by the DBS requires an enhanced level check. This mainly covers roles that involve direct, unsupervised contact with children or vulnerable adults such as school teachers, doctors, nurses, etc.
The Enhanced DBS Check searches for and returns details about any spent or unspent convictions, warnings, reprimands, and cautions, but it also goes one step further. The DBS also requests details of any relevant notes held by local police forces that correlate with the person’s previous addresses. The Enhanced DBS Check is typically processed and returned within 8 weeks, on average.
The Enhanced DBS Check with Barred List
For regulated activities, you should also request a check of the DBS Barred Lists. The barred lists are details of any individuals that have been banned from working in contact with children or vulnerable adults. This usually means that they have been found guilty of a crime that poses a safeguarding risk. It is important to get the right details, especially previous addresses, for this kind of DBS check to make sure the results are accurate.
How To Get DBS Checks Online
As an employer that needs DBS checks regularly, you can easily set up an account with a third-party online DBS check provider, such as ourselves. We make it easy to get DBS check application forms completed, checked, submitted, processed, and returned in the shortest time possible.
To find out more about how we can help you with your DBS check and criminal background check requirements, get in touch today.