DBS Checks (Also Known As CRB Checks)

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They were originally known as CRB checks, but the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) have now merged to form the Disclosure and Barring Service. This has resulted in CRB checks being renamed as DBS checks.

Why Would I Need A DBS Check?

You can be asked to obtain a DBS check if you are taking on certain job roles or volunteering work, such as those that involve you working with children or in healthcare situations. You may also need one if you apply to foster or adopt a child.

Please note that there are different rules for those who reside in Scotland and Northern Ireland when it comes to getting a criminal record check.

Who Can Ask For Me To Have A DBS Check?

The most common person to ask for a DBS check is an employer. This will depend on what role you have or are planning to undertake.

DBS has a guideline for eligibility that lists the majority of roles that require a check. However, if you think you might need one and your role is not listed there, you should contact the DBS to be sure.

If you are a job candidate or an applicant, you cannot do a criminal records check on yourself. You will need to request a ‘basic disclosure’ from Disclosure Scotland and you do not need to be from Scotland in order to do this.

How Do I Get A DBS Check?

There are 4 stages to getting a DBS check

  1. First of all the employer will get an application form. These can be obtained from either the DBS or an umbrella body, which means a registered body that provides access to DBS checks
  2. Then the employer will give the form to the applicant to fill in and it should then be returned with the requested documents that can prove their identity
  3. They employer then needs to send the completed form to DBC or the umbrella company they dealt with
  4. The DBS will then send a certificate to the applicant and the employer will need to ask the applicant for it.

If the applicant opts to subscribe to the DBS update service, the employer will be able to check their certificate online.

How Long Is A DBS Check Valid For?

A DBS check doesn’t come with an official expiry date. Any information that it contains will be accurate for the time that the check was carried out. It is the decision of an employer to carry out a new check if they wish to do so after a certain period of time.

If applicants and employers want to, they can use the DBS update service to keep certificates up to date or carry out checks on certificates of potential employees.

How Much Does A DBS Check Cost?

The cost of a DBS check depends on the type of check that is required, as there are 3 different types available. Employers or the organisation who wants to run the check needs to give the applicant with more details about the level of check that is needed.

Criminal record checks can only be done on applicants that are over the age of 16.

Standard Check

Costs: £26

This type of check looks into spent and unspent convictions, any cautions that have been received as well as reprimands and final warnings. It generally takes about 2 weeks to complete.

Enhanced Check

Costs: £44

This includes the same checks as the standard one as well as any further information that is held by local police and deemed reasonably relevant to the type of work that is being applied for. This can be “adult”, “child” or “other” workforces.

Other workforces cover those who do not work specifically with groups of adults or children but could potentially deal with both, such as taxi drivers. If this is the case, the police will only release information that is related to the post that is being applied for.

These types of checks usually take about 4 weeks to complete.

Enhanced With List Checks

Costs: £44

The has the same information as the enhanced check but also comes with a check of the DBS barred lists. These lists usually detail those who are unsuitable to work with children and/or adults.

Please note that employers can only ask for a barred list check for certain roles and it is a criminal offense to ask for this kind of check for any other sort of roles.

This check type typically takes 4 weeks to come through.

Do I Need A DBS Check If I Am A Volunteer?

Yes if your role is eligible for one. Checks for certain types of volunteers are offered free of charge.

Volunteers are classed as people that spend time helping others and is not being paid (other than travel and other out of pocket expenses that have been approved). It also applies to those who are assisting people that are not close relatives.

Remember that an employer can only make an application for a DBS check if the job or position is eligible for a check. They have to inform the applicant why they are being checked and where they can obtain independent advice.