DBS Checks: what you need to know

1 minute read | 31 October 2022

DBS stands for the Disclosure and Barring Service and it’s essentially an official recording describing a person’s criminal convictions. This service is responsible for issuing the checks that allow employers to check a potential candidate criminal record, and therefore to help decide whether you are a suitable person to work for them. DBS checks are significantly important to find candidates to work with vulnerable groups such as children.

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Types of DBS Checks.

It is essential to know the various DBS types and levels to ensure that employees go through proper screening and for you to understand your privacy rights. These are the levels and types of DBS checks:

  • Basic
The basic DBS check is the lowest level of criminal record check that both individuals and employers can request. The basic check will show a person’s criminal history from the PNC (Police national Computer) as well as the cautions or convictions that are considered “unspent” under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974. This is available for everyone living in the UK – employers from all types of industries can ask for this. Its costs around £30 (£18 DBS Fee and £12 Admin Fee).
  • Standard

A standard check is an in-depth criminal record mainly used by employers to unsure applicants are suitable for the potential role. This can only be requested by employers. This will unsure the employees have no prior offences as it shows all information on cautions, warning, and reprimands that individual has. This is mandatory is some job roles such as lawyers, accountants, prison workers and any role that is listed under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 – but employers in other industries may request this as well. A standard DBS check costs the same as a basic one.
  • Enhanced
Similar to the standard DBS check, this is only available to employers, who will have to request it on their applicant’s behalf. The enhanced DBS check contains all the information as a standard one, but it also states if the individual is listed on the Children’s Barred List or Adult First list. This is the most effective way to make sure a candidate is not barred from working with vulnerable groups. This level of check is only available for roles that are listed in both the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and the Police Act 1997 regulations. This typically includes most roles that involve health care, working alone with children and education. An enhanced DBS check costs £50 (£38 DBS Fee and £12 Admin Fee).
    • Enhanced with a barred list check

In addition to all the information in an enhanced check, the enhanced with a barred list check also assesses the candidate against the adults/ children’s barred list. This essentially checks the details of all of those who are forbidden to work with specific vulnerable groups. This check is only available for a small number of roles.

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