DBS Checks & Criminal Record Checks Register Now Care Check...Read More
DBS Checks & Criminal Record Checks
Care Check is a leading umbrella body for the Disclosure and Barring Service and has been named one of the top 8 providers for criminal record checks in the UK.
Sign up to our newsletter
DBS Employer Checks
How To Request & What To Look For
Each year, millions of Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are performed by employers in the UK. These checks serve to ensure the safety and security of organisations when hiring new employees, by preventing unsuitable individuals from being placed in positions of responsibility. They play a crucial role in protecting vulnerable groups from potential harm.
Depending on your industry, UK law may mandate that you conduct DBS checks on job applicants within your organisation. This blog aims to provide you with a better understanding of the various levels of DBS checks, who is eligible for each type and what you should look out for when reviewing the results of a DBS check so that you can make the best hiring decision.
What is a DBS Check
A DBS check is a process that aids employers in making safer recruitment decisions and ensures that unsuitable people aren’t employed in certain positions, such as those that involve significant power or where vulnerable groups of adults and children are involved.
Types of DBS Checks
There are four levels of DBS checks that an employer can request, depending on the role. For the majority of these checks, only the employer will be able to submit the request, should they have received permission from the candidate to do so. It is only the basic DBS check that can be requested by the individual themselves.
- Basic DBS Check: A basic disclosure reveals any “unspent convictions” – convictions and cautions that have not yet been removed from the individual’s criminal history. It is often required for roles such as shop workers or airport staff.
- Standard DBS Check: This level of check reveals spent and unspent convictions an applicant has, including cautions, reprimands and final warnings. Standard checks are often requested for positions in the financial and security industries.
- Enhanced DBS Check: This check reveals the same as a Standard DBS Check and any relevant information held by the local police authority of the applicant. The Enhanced DBS check is required for any role that involves contact with children and/or vulnerable people. This can include contractors, engineers and technicians who may come into contact with children or vulnerable adults as part of their role.
- Enhanced DBS Check with Barred List Check: The most comprehensive level of check provides a notification if the candidate is on any of the barred lists. This is needed for professions such as teaching and healthcare. Teachers, social workers and caregivers engaged in regulated activity, such as working with children and vulnerable adults in a supervised or unsupervised capacity. To qualify for this check, you must carry out this role at least once a week, or four days in a 30-day period or overnight.
Who needs a DBS Check?
Potential employees of specific roles and industries require certain levels of check. It’s important to remember which level you need to request in your industry. Examples of roles and the levels of check required include:
- Basic DBS Check: Delivery drivers and shop workers can apply for a basic check.
- Standard DBS Check: Ideal for positions in financial and security industries including solicitors, accountants, locksmiths and security guards.
- Enhanced DBS Check: Required for any role that involves contact with children and/or vulnerable people. This can include contractors, engineers and technicians who may come into contact with children or vulnerable adults as part of their role.
- Enhanced DBS Check with Barred List Check: Needed for professions such as teaching and healthcare. Teachers, social workers and caregivers engaged in regulated activity such as working with children and vulnerable adults in a supervised or unsupervised capacity. To qualify for this check, you must carry out this role at least once a week, 4 days in a 30-day period or overnight.
How Do Employers Review The Results Of A DBS Check?
When an employer or a voluntary organisation submits applications to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) through the paper method, they must request the applicant to provide them with a hard copy of the certificate. This is because only the applicant will receive the physical copy from the DBS.
On the other hand, if the employer or organisation uses the electronic e-Bulk application system, they will receive a notification and will have access to the disclosure number, issue date, and result after logging into their client account. The result will indicate if the applicant’s certificate is clear or if it requires review by the organisation before work can commence.
If the certificate requires review, the organisation must ask the applicant to present them with the hard copy once they receive it from the DBS. This has been a mandatory requirement since 2013, following the DBS’s decision to only send Standard/Enhanced DBS certificates to the applicants, not the organisations that requested it. This is to give the applicants more control over the information being requested about them. However, if the check is at the Basic level, the applicant has the option to send the certificate directly to the employer for review.
What Should Employers Look For On A DBS Certificate?
Having convictions does not automatically bar an applicant from working unless they have been placed on either the adults’ or children’s barring lists. If this is the case, it is unlawful for them to apply for a role involving either of those groups.
If an applicant has convictions in general, then the procedure would be for the employer or voluntary organisation to review that certificate with the applicant. A discussion should be had with the applicant, at which point they should be given the opportunity to explain the circumstances behind the convictions listed.
The organisation should take into account what the convictions are, when they were and the circumstances surrounding them. The organisation can then make an informed recruitment decision and establish whether they believe the applicant to be a risk to their service users.
What Other Relevant Information Is Disclosed At The Chief Police Officer’s Discretion?
On an Enhanced DBS Check, one part of the application checking process is a section called ` Other relevant information disclosed at the Chief Police Officers Discretion’
If an applicant is investigated for a crime, but not convicted, the chief police officer may decide to disclose this to the organisation via the Enhanced DBS certificate. This will generally only happen if what the applicant was investigated for poses a relevant risk to service users of the organisation that they are applying to.
When information such as this is disclosed, the certificate will go into great detail as to what happened, information surrounding the arrest and investigation and the outcome. It is very important that information such as this is reviewed very carefully, and it may be worth an organisation taking legal advice before a recruitment decision is made.
DBS Checking Service For Employers
At Care Check, we offer an online DBS application service. Registration is simple, and once you have received your unique login/reference details, you will be able to start requesting checks on potential or current employees. Both employers and applicants can track a DBS application online during the process. For more information on our DBS Check services, get in touch with Care Check today.