What is a DBS check ( UK criminal check), and why would you need it?

What is a DBS check ( UK criminal check), and why would you need it?

A DBS (disclosure and barring service) check allows companies to review your criminal background to determine whether you are a fit candidate for employment. This involves determining if you are qualified to work with children or vulnerable individuals.

DBS checks were previously known as Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks, and you may still see or hear them referred to as such. The Disclosure and Barring Service performs DBS checks.

There are four main sorts of DBS checks depending on the job you’re applying for:

Basic DBS Check

A search of your criminal record will reveal any convictions and cautions that have not been served. If you reside or work in England or Wales, you can apply for a basic DBS check yourself.

Standard DBS Check

This criminal record check will reveal information about all spent and unspent convictions, final warnings, reprimands, and cautions on central police records (apart from protected convictions and cautions).

Enhanced DBS Check

This is a criminal record check that will reveal final warnings, reprimands, cautions, and spent and unspent convictions held on central police records (excluding protected cautions and convictions) and additional information held on local police records that are reasonably considered relevant to the job in question.

Enhanced DBS Check with List

This is a check of your criminal record. It will reveal the same information as an enhanced DBS check. But will additionally include a check of the Disclosure and Barring Service’s (DBS) prohibited lists for children and adults. These are the people who are not allowed to work with children or vulnerable adults.

Why Get a DBS Check

What type of DBS check you will get will depend on the employer and what they are looking for. While there isn’t an official expiration date of the DBS check, it is only accurate up to the date it was run. It is up to the employer to decide when or if they will need to redo a DBS check at any time. DBS checks will only cover the person during their time in the UK. It doesn’t cover anything that happened outside of the UK.  

Basically, a DBS check is performed to see your criminal background history. It will provide your employer with detailed information about you. You would need it to work in certain settings such as childcare or medical. Employers use it to ensure the safety of their staff, patients, and customers. The DBS will be looked over before they hire, in most cases, to ensure that you don’t have anything in the past that would be concerning for the role you have applied for.  

The majority of DBS checks will come back in 5-10 working days on average. However, many times they are done in as little as 24 hours. Whether you need a DBS depends on the company you are applying for and the position. Some positions require it by law, but not all. Some common jobs typically involve a DBS are childcare workers, computer and IT managers, financial specialists, government workers, healthcare professionals, and educational workers.  

David Robertson