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.

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DBS Checks for Security Staff

DBS Checks for Security staff

Holding a position as a security staff member comes with much responsibility. To ensure these individuals can handle this correctly, employers should conduct background checks before hiring. 

However, certain roles within the security require different checks based on the nature and environment of the work. Keep reading to learn exactly who in the security industry needs to apply for certain DBS checks. 

Who regulates the security industry? 

The Security Industry Authority (SIA) is responsible for regulating the private security industry. Specific roles within this industry require licences issued by the SIA. 

In order to receive this licence, you will need to complete an application process. During this process, the SIA will conduct a standard criminal background check. 

For those living in England, Wales or outside of the UK, this check will be done through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Applicants from Scotland go through Disclosure Scotland, whilst residents from Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland will submit their application to AccessNI.

What DBS check is required for security staff? 

Security guards and staff only need to apply for a standard DBS check which will reveal whether there are any spent and unspent convictions, reprimands, warnings, and cautions against your name. 

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act of 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 is a piece of legislation that indicates which positions, activities and jobs require a standard or even enhanced DBS check. 

DBS Checks & Criminal Record Checks

Which security roles do require a licence from the SIA?

Not all roles in the security industry require you to apply for an SIA licence and DBS Check. If your role and job responsibilities are considered to be a ‘licensable activity’ or fall under ‘contract for services’ then you will need a licence. 

In the security industry, a ‘licensable activity’ encompasses several activities: 

  • Manned guarding (eg: security guard, door supervisor or guarding cash or valuables in transit). 
  • Vehicle immobilisation (this only applies in Northern Ireland) 
  • Key Holding

On the other hand, a ‘contract for services’ refers to when your services are supplied to an external organisation (this can be done by yourself or the company you work for). 

What roles do not require you to apply for a licence? 

In the security industry, you will find that there are a few positions that will not require you to apply for an SIA licence such as: 

  • Volunteer (if you have an agreement that states you won’t receive any payment or reward for the work that you do). 
  • Stewards 
  • Event ticketing staff (only where you are checking that people have paid to enter or have a valid invitation. However, those who have the power to physically deny entry must have an SIA licence). 
  • In-house staff working as certified sports grounds (in Wales and England)
  • In-house staff at airports (this only applies to staff working in screening, access control or any other security role in which you have been trained under the guidelines of the EU Commission regulation 185/2010. 

While individuals working or applying for these jobs do not need to hold an SIA licence, however, many employers will still ask that you submit Basic DBS Check. This will highlight whether an individual has any unspent convictions or conditional cautions against their name. 

Enhanced DBS checks: Does anyone in security need one? 

As we’ve mentioned above, some security roles require you to have an SIA licence and apply for a standard DBS check. Other roles do not, however, your employer may want to do a basic DBS check before hiring you. 

Then there are enhanced DBS checks. This is the most in-depth criminal background check that can be conducted in the UK. This check is similar to a standard check, however, it will also show whether the local police have any other relevant information about the individual. 

An enhanced check can also include looking at the barring lists. This will draw attention to whether an individual has been prohibited from working with children and/or vulnerable adults. These are usually required for jobs that involve working with vulnerable groups, such as children or the elderly.

However, some private companies will simply require such an advanced level check along with your SIA licence, even if you aren’t working in environments with vulnerable people. 

Summary: DBS Checks for Security Staff

In the security industry, many roles and positions infer responsibility and power. Because of this, it’s essential to conduct DBS checks to ensure that these roles are filled by worthy individuals. 
If you have any questions about which DBS check you should be applying for, get in touch with us – we’re always ready to help.

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