Before starting a DBS application, it’s important to make sure you or the applicant are applying for the right sort of Check.
As an employer, it’s your legal responsibility to ensure DBS applicants are eligible for the type of Check they’re applying for.
There are four main types of Check available. Our handy guide explains them and who is eligible for them:
A basic disclosure is the lowest level of Check available. It’s the only type of Check that individuals can apply for in their own name.
Basic disclosures are available to anyone who lives, or has lived, in the UK. They’re available for any purpose and aren’t restricted by industry sector.
A basic disclosure will yield details of any unspent convictions the applicant has, or will state that there aren’t any.
Employers or landlords may request that potential employees or tenants apply for a basic disclosure to assess whether they pose a risk.
Common reasons for individuals to apply for basic disclosures include for visa applications, for a personal alcohol licence or to give themselves extra credibility when applying for jobs.
Standard DBS Check
The standard DBS Check includes details of both spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings.
Standard DBS Checks must be applied for by an employer or organisation on behalf of the applicant.
To be eligible for a standard DBS Check, an applicant’s role must be included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975.
Roles eligible for standard DBS Checks include barristers, solicitors, legal executives and accountants.
This level of Check is also suitable for people working in an NHS setting in non-healthcare roles, such as catering staff, maintenance workers, administrative staff and cleaners.
Enhanced DBS Check
An enhanced DBS Check includes the same level of detail as a standard Check, plus any other information held by local police considered relevant to the applicant’s role.
Again, this level of Check can’t be applied for by an individual: an employer or organisation must apply on their behalf.
To be eligible, an applicant’s role must be included in the ROA Exceptions Order and in the Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) regulations.
Eligible roles include those which involve regular contact with vulnerable adults in a teaching or training capacity, or involve providing advice or guidance to vulnerable adults.
Enhanced with Barred List Checks
This level of Check is the same as the enhanced DBS Check, but also includes a check of the DBS barred lists.
This type of Check is only available to applicants who will be carrying out a regulated activity as part of their role, and a small number of professions specifically listed in the Police Act 1997.
This includes anyone who regularly works unsupervised with children or young people (under 18 years old) or provides care or assistance to vulnerable adults.
Before applying or asking someone to apply for a DBS Check, it’s absolutely essential to make sure the applicant is eligible.