What are CRB/DBS Checks?
A CRB/DBS Check (or Disclosure as they are now called), is a document containing information held by the police and Government departments. It can be used by employers and voluntary organisations to make safer recruitment decisions. Disclosures are provided by the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly the Criminal Records Bureau), an executive agency of the Home Office.
The DBS/CRB’s Disclosure service provides access to a range of different types of information, such as those:
- Held on the Police National Computer (PNC). This includes convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings in England, Wales and those recorded in Scotland. There is also some data from Northern Ireland held on the PNC
- Held by local police forces relating to relevant non-conviction information
- From the Independent Safeguarding Authority’s Vetting and Barring Scheme
- Held by the Department for Education (DfE) under Section 142 of the Education Act 2002 (formerly known as List 99)
To provide this service, the DBS/CRB offers two levels of Disclosure, each representing a different level of Check. The two levels of Disclosure are Standard and Enhanced.
These Disclosures cannot be obtained by members of the public and are only available to organisations for those professions, offices, employments, work and occupations listed in the Exceptions Order to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
A Basic Disclosure (described as a “criminal conviction certificate” in Part V of the Police Act 1997) is the lowest level of Disclosure and is available to anyone, including individuals and the self-employed. It is provided by Disclosure Scotland and we use this check because the DBS/CRB do not offer an equivalent. It contains details of convictions considered unspent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 – or confirms there are no such convictions. It is not job specific or job related and may be used more than once.
Employers and volunteering organisations are entitled to ask prospective employees or volunteers to obtain a Basic Disclosure as a pre-employment check. Please note this is applicable to anyone who works in a role that specifically requires a higher level of Disclosure or within a regulated activity – eg working with children like a teacher or vulnerable adults like a nurse.
Standard Disclosures are for people entering certain professions, such as members of the legal and accountancy professions. Standard Checks contain the following:-
Convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings held in England and Wales on the Police National Computer. The most relevant convictions in Scotland and Northern Ireland may also be included. Standard Checks no longer include a check of the old or new Barred Lists from 12th October 2009. As a result, if you are working or volunteering with children or vulnerable adults you may now require an Enhanced DBS/CRB Check.
Enhanced DBS/CRB Disclosure
Enhanced Disclosures are for posts involving a far greater degree of contact with children or vulnerable adults. In general, the type of work will involve regularly caring for, supervising, training or being in sole charge of such people. Examples include teachers and Scout or Guide leaders. Enhanced Disclosures are also issued for certain statutory purposes such as gaming and lottery licences.
These Disclosures involve an additional level of check to those carried out for the Standard DBS/CRB Check – a check on local police records. Where local police records contain additional information that may be relevant to the post the applicant is being considered for, the police’s Chief Officer may release information for inclusion in an Enhanced Check. Exceptionally, and in a very small number of circumstances (typically to protect the integrity of current police investigations), additional information may be sent under separate cover to the countersignatory and should not be revealed to the applicant. All Disclosure information we receive is passed to our client’s recruitment decision-maker.