DBS Check Eligibility: a Quick Guide

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are a vital step in helping organisations make safe recruitment decisions – yet there’s often confusion around DBS check eligibility.

DBS check eligibility

We’re not surprised – it’s a complicated topic. To make things a little simpler, we’ve put together a quick reference guide to help you out.

Who is eligible for a DBS check?

As a general rule, people working in roles that involve regulated activity with children or vulnerable adults will be eligible for a DBS check.

Individuals cannot apply for a DBS check on themselves. This must be done by their employer.

Different roles require different levels of DBS check. The three different levels of DBS check are:

  • Standard
  • Enhanced
  • Enhanced with barred lists check

Below we’ve explained the three different levels of DBS check and their eligibility requirements:

Standard DBS check

A standard DBS check will reveal any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or final warnings the applicant may have.

To be eligible for a standard DBS check, a role must be included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975.

Some examples of roles that would be eligible for a standard check include medical admin, FCA regulated positions, accountants and veterinary surgeons.

Enhanced DBS check

An enhanced DBS check will reveal the same information as a standard check, as well as any relevant information held by local police.

Roles eligible for an enhanced check must be included in both the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act Exceptions Order and the Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) regulations.

Examples of roles that would be eligible for an enhanced check include those involving teaching, training or providing advice or guidance to vulnerable adults.

Enhanced with barred lists check

Certain roles will be eligible for a check of the children’s and/or adults’ barred lists.

These lists are maintained by the DBS and detail individuals who have been barred from working with children and/or vulnerable adults.

To be eligible for a check of the barred lists, a role must be eligible for an enhanced check and involve working in a regulated activity with children and/or vulnerable adults.

Examples of roles that would be eligible include those that involve working unsupervised with children or providing personal care to vulnerable adults.

DBS check eligibility: a summary

We hope our quick guide has given you an idea of the legislation and requirements around DBS check eligibility.

If you’d like to know more about DBS check eligibility, give us a call – our expert team would be more than happy to help out.