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DBS Checks for Employers Guide

DBS Checks for Employers

Every year, millions of DBS Checks are carried out on behalf of employers in the UK. The checks are there to ensure organisations recruit new employees safely, stopping unsuitable people being placed in certain positions. They are the essential first step for safeguarding vulnerable groups of people from potential harm.

Depending on your industry, UK law may require you to carry out DBS checks on applicants for job roles in your organisation. This blog will help you find out more on the levels of DBS and who is eligible for each type of check.

What is a DBS Check

A DBS check is a process that aids employers in making safer recruitment decisions to ensure unsuitable people aren’t employed to prevent them from working with vulnerable groups of adults and children. The check is usually required when a person applies to be employed or volunteer to work in care, with children or vulnerable people in England and Wales. There are separate rules for criminal record checks in Scotland and Northern Ireland. 

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) started after the merging of the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) and the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).

Types of DBS Checks

There are four levels of DBS checks that can be taken out by an employer on potential employees:

  • Basic DBS Check: A basic disclosure reveals any “unspent convictions” – convictions and cautions that have not yet. Individuals usually request this check while employers can only request one if they have permission to do so.


  • Standard DBS Check: This level of check reveals spent and unspent convictions an applicant has including cautions, reprimands and final warnings.
  • 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.
  • Enhanced DBS Check with Barred List Check: The most comprehensive level of check provides a notification if the candidate has been included on lists of barred people from certain roles and professions.

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:

  1. Basic DBS Check: Delivery drivers and shop workers can apply for a basic check.
  2. Standard DBS Check: Ideal for positions in financial and security industries including solicitors, accountants, locksmiths and security guards.
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.

Why do Employers need to know this?

If you’re an employer within the professions and sectors mentioned above, it’s your legal duty to ensure you never employ someone unsuitable for the role in question. Your business will be held legally responsible for any safeguarding problems where the right checks haven’t been carried out.

You must also remember which level of check the role is entitled to, as you just can’t apply for a check of your choice. If your organisation is legally entitled to request criminal records checks, it’s vital that you do so. If you’re ever unsure of this you can contact the experts at Care Check or use the UK government’s DBS eligibility checker

You must also remember that if the job in question doesn’t legally require a criminal record check, then it’s illegal to not employ an individual because of spent convictions. Conversely, DBS checks have no expiration dates, but in certain industries will need to be renewed regularly to ensure your staff are still suitable for their roles.

How to get a DBS Check for an employee

If you need to carry out bulk DBS checks or individual checks, Care Check has various packages available for all employers. We will help you and your employees through the process, giving individuals their DBS certificate as soon as possible. With prices starting from as little as £28, you will find a package that works for your business.

DBS Checking Service for Employers Registration Process

You can register with Care Check online, through online instant chat or by telephone. Once registered each organisation/user is provided with a unique login/reference details. The reference is required when an applicant or employer starts a new application. It is also needed when an applicant manager wants to log in to the employer management system.

After the emails have been received, an organisation can start processing DBS checks online immediately. 

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.