What to Expect from a DBS Check

image by Drazen Zigic

A DBS check, also known as a Disclosure and Barring Service check, is a way for employers to ensure that the people they hire do not have a criminal record that would potentially make them unsuitable for the job. 

In the United Kingdom, DBS checks are a legal requirement for certain jobs, such as those involving contact with children or vulnerable adults. While they’re a common requirement, it can still be a little confusing what to expect from the whole process.

The application process

When applying for a job that requires a DBS check, you will be asked to provide some personal information, such as your name, address, and date of birth. This information will be used to run a search of the DBS’s databases, which contain records of criminal convictions, cautions, reprimands, and warnings.

Three checks

What happens next depends to a certain extent on the type of check you need to undergo. 

1. Basic

The most common basic DBS checks only provide information about convictions and cautions that are considered “unspent” under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. This means that certain older convictions and cautions may not be included on a DBS check, even if they are relevant to the job you are applying for.

2. Standard

The standard check includes both unspent and spent criminal convictions and cautions. It’s slightly more regulated than the basic check and is a common requirement for those working in niches such as the legal profession or financial services.

3. Enhanced

In addition to the information provided in the standard check, the enhanced check will also include any information that the local police department considers relevant to the role being applied for. It might also include information about any “barring decisions” that have been made about you, which may prevent you from working with children or vulnerable adults.

After the check

If the DBS finds no records that would make you unsuitable for the job, you will receive a certificate, which confirms that you have no recorded convictions relevant to that check level.  If the DBS finds records that may be relevant to the job you are applying for, your potential employer will be notified; this may or may not have an impact on your chances of getting the job, depending on the role and your employer.

Overall, a DBS check is an important part of the hiring process for certain jobs in the UK. By providing employers with information about an applicant’s criminal history, DBS checks help ensure that people who are unsuitable for certain roles are not hired to work with vulnerable groups.

If you’re an employer and you’re not quite sure about what kind of check you need to carry out on a certain role, or you’re just finding the whole process too time-consuming, it may be worth outsourcing your checks to a company such as Personnel Checks. They’ll be able to help ensure that you remain compliant with the necessary regulations, and help you to employ only the best talent out there.

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