Why are DBS checks important?
More and more employers are requesting DBS checks to be carried out at the application stage. But why are so many employers keen to get them done and what are the benefits?
What is a DBS check?
DBS checks involve searching through an individual’s criminal record to highlight any convictions or prior offences. The individual fills in a form which they then submit, or is submitted on their behalf by an employer or organisation, to the Disclosure and Barring Service, who then check the Police National Computer (PNC) and highlight convictions. The types of convictions that show up on a DBS check depend on the level:
- Basic DBS Check – Reveals unspent convictions only
- Standard DBS Check – Same as basic, but also spent convictions, cautions, warnings, and reprimands.
- Enhanced DBS Check – Same as standard, but also any notes recorded by the police and can also include a barred list check.
DBS checks were initially called CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) checks, but changed in 2012 when the CRB and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) merged.
Why do some employers request a DBS check?
The most common reason for employers to request a DBS check is if the role applied for involves working directly with children or vulnerable adults. In this case, the purpose of the DBS check is to flag up any previous criminal behaviour that may place vulnerable people in danger, such as sexual or violent crimes.
Some other reasons that employers may request a DBS check are:
- If the role involves a high degree of honesty and good character, such as working as a police officer or social worker.
- If the role places the person in charge of large amounts of money.
The benefits of getting a DBS check
For the individual
The following benefits of getting a DBS check apply to the applicant or employee:
- Increases employer trust in the person
- Increases the trust of colleagues
- Gives you peace of mind
- Makes you more employable
In some cases, you can claim benefits or compensation from a trade union that you belong to, if you are required to complete a DBS application.
An individual is entitled to apply for a basic DBS check without any validation required from an employer or hiring organisation. Basic DBS checks do not expire, so you can get one done and supply it alongside job applications for many years to come. You can apply yourself online for a basic DBS check.
For the employer / organisation
There are several benefits of requesting that people complete a DBS check for employers, including the following:
- Improved safety and security of other employees, customers or clients
- Comply with regulations
- Support if any criminal incident occurs involving an employee
- Helps to hire trustworthy employees
- Checks whether an applicant is legally allowed to work in the UK
Many employers and organisations require a standard or enhanced DBS check, such as schools, hospitals, social services, etc.
What kind of employers request a DBS check?
Any employer or organisation can ask for a DBS check. But there are some places of work where DBS checks are required by law or are part of a strict company policy. These may include:
- Children’s homes
- Elderly care homes
- Disabled care facilities
- Solicitor firms
- Veterinary practices
- Child minders
These are just a few examples of jobs that can require a DBS Check.
How to apply for a DBS check
Applicants can either apply by hand which involves submitting the form by post, or online which is automated.
Online applications are much easier and we can provide the results by email within 24 hours, rather than waiting two weeks to get postal results.
To find out how you can quickly and easily apply for a DBS check online, contact us today.