Is It Illegal To Carry Out a DBS Check Without Consent?
What should you do if you get a letter in the post from the DBS with the results of a DBS check that you knew nothing about?
It’s unlikely to happen, but from time to time a company or organisation that is unaware of DBS rules may apply for a check without your consent. The question is – are they breaking the law or simply not following the guidelines?
This article will discuss the legality of applying for a DBS check without the individual’s consent and if there’s anything you can do about it if it happens to you.
Is It Illegal For Someone to Carry Out A DBS Check Without The Individual’s Consent?
The answer to this depends on the situation.
If you are applying or have been accepted for a new position that depends on the outcome of a DBS check, the employer needs to ask for your consent. You are required to provide official documents with your application, so your employer needs your consent to attach them to the application.
However, if you are already in a job position that requires a DBS check for some time, your employer can apply on your behalf. For instance, some jobs require a check every two to five years (or even once per decade). In this case, if your employer already applied for the first one with your consent, they can apply to update the certificate on your behalf, without informing you.
The frequency of DBS checks should be stated in your contract or would have been mentioned during the onboarding or induction period.
Therefore, the most likely reason you have received a DBS check certificate in the post is that your employer requested an update to your existing DBS check.
What Should You Do If Someone Applied For A DBS Check Without Your Consent?
If you are not in a position where your employer may have applied for an update on your behalf, then you need to investigate the situation by contacting the DBS.
There will be an email and postal address on the DBS correspondence, or you can find their contact details online here. You should email or write to them explaining that a check has been made without your consent and provide details of the situation.
There are a few reasons why you may have erroneously received the DBS check:
- You have been the victim of identity theft and someone has applied for a job using your name and details
- Someone with the exact same name as you applied for a check
- There has been an administrative error.
No matter what the reason, it’s best to find out what has happened, so make sure to contact the DBS as soon as possible.
Consenting To A DBS Check
In summary, if you receive correspondence from the DBS with details of a check carried out in your name, it could be that an organisation you work or volunteer for has updated an existing DBS check on your behalf.
If this doesn’t apply to you, then you need to investigate with the DBS, as someone may have applied illegally without your consent, or there may be an error in the system.
For more information on DBS checks in general, check out our blog here