Are DBS Checks Internationally Recognised

Are DBS Checks Internationally Recognised?

DBS Checks are a non-negotiable requirement for jobs that have safeguarding considerations, whether that be the safeguarding of the elderly, the vulnerable or children. A Disclosure and Barring Service check will analyse a person’s past, looking specifically for cautions, convictions and reprimands.

The check and record that is generated from carrying out a DBS check will only give visibility of disclosures that have been committed in the United Kingdom. As a government sponsored service, originally named the Criminal Records Bureau, the Disclosure and Barring Service’s the scope does not extend outside of the UK, and therefore is seldom recognised in international territories or by international businesses.  

 What Are The International Equivalents Of The DBS Check?

We’ve established that DBS Checks are limited to exposing cautions and convictions that have occurred within the UK, so what if you are an international company employing people in the UK and beyond? What is the equivalent of a DBS check in other countries around the world?


1) France’s Casier Judiciaire
France’s equivalent of a DBS Check is the Casier Judiciaire, which is roughly translated to mean a ‘record of good conduct’. A Casier Judiciaire, which is also referred to as a Police Clearance Certificate, is generated by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). It typically takes 2-3 days from request to receipt of the certificate (longer if the certificate is to be posted); and once the Casier Judiciaire has been authorised it is valid for 12 months.

2) Germany’s Führungszeugnis
Germany’s equivalent of a DBS Check is the Führungszeugnis, which is roughly translated to be a ‘certificate of good conduct’. A Führungszeugnis, colloquially known as a ‘Police Clearance Certificate’, is a certificate printed on special green paper, generated by the Bundesamt Für Justiz (BFJ). These ‘Police Clearance Certificates’ can take up to 14 days to be generated from the date of request and is valid for 12 months.  It should be noted that Führungszeugnis will expose any convictions and/or cautions that occurred in the last 20 years.

3) Italy’s Procura della Repubblica
Italy’s record of good conduct, is a document that is generated by the Prosecutor’s Office of the Principality that you reside and/or work in. The process of criminal record checking in Italy is extremely complex and varies from area to area. Advice should be sought from the local Office of Prosecution as to how a DBS check can be secured.

4) Spain’s Certificado de Antecedentes Penales
Spain’s equivalent of a DBS Check is the Certificado de Antecedentes Penales, translates to be a ‘criminal record certificate’. A Certificado de Antecedentes Penales is generated by the Ministerio de Justicia (Ministry of Affairs and Justice). These certificates can take up to 5 days to be generated from the date of request and are valid for 12 months.

5) Portugal’s Certificado do Registo Criminal
The similarities between Spain’s disclosures system and Portugal’s disclosures system are relatively easy to see. Portugal’s equivalent of a DBS Check is the Certificado do Registo Criminal is the ‘criminal record certificate’. A Certificado do Registo Criminal is generated by the Portuguese Ministry of Justice (MoJ). These certificates can take up to 5-7 days to be generated from the date of request and are valid for 365 days.

Just Need a UK DBS Check?

Here at CareCheck we live and breathe everything disclosure and barring; but our scope of services is solely limited to the UK. If you are exploring whether your business requires a DBS check to employ your next staff member get in touch with us and let our decades of experience guide you through the process.