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Debunking the Myths Surrounding DBS Checks

DBS or Disclosure and Barring Service checks are primarily used to help employers make better decisions during their recruitment process. It helps employers assess whether a candidate is fit for a certain role, especially if it involves children and vulnerable adults, by looking at their criminal record.

A lot of people are still unfamiliar with this service consequently creating a lot of false beliefs around DBS checks. If you are looking to find out more about DBS checks, here are our answers to some of the most common myths surrounding it.

Myth #1: Anyone can request a DBS check

Usually, a DBS check is only required for people planning to work with vulnerable groups or for certain positions that have a higher level of responsibility. This requirement varies on different organisations in various sectors. There are certain jobs that won’t require it.

There are also different levels of DBS checks. An individual can only request a basic disclosure. The standard or enhanced DBS check, on the other hand, can only be requested by an employer on behalf of their employee or potential employee. This ensures that only the employer has access to the information contained in the check since they are legally entitled to be familiar with their employee’s criminal record. Employers will only demand a DBS check on a successful candidate and only withdraw their offer if the check shows anything that would make the candidate unsuitable for the job.

Myth #2: You can pass or fail a DBS check

The DBS checks do not indicate if an individual has passed or failed. DBS checks are only intended to assess an employee’s suitability for a job so it simply provides the details of a person’s criminal record including spent and unspent convictions, cautions, warnings, reprimands and other information depending on the level of the DBS check. If a person has a criminal record from the past, this does not mean that they have failed the DBS check, rather they will receive a certificate that details information of their record. If a person does not have a criminal record, the certificate will come back clear.

Myth #3: A record on your DBS check means you won’t get the job

Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act of 1974, individuals who have served a prison sentence for a certain amount of time and do not commit related crimes in a set rehabilitation period after being released can have their conviction spent and the record will no longer show in their DBS check.

Having a criminal record would not necessarily mean that an individual cannot qualify for a job. As the act mentioned above states, employers are required to take into consideration the nature of the crimes of a candidate and give them the same treatment or chance of being employed as their contemporaries without criminal records.

If you still have uncertainties with DBS checks, we at Care Check will be happy to answer your questions. For your inquiries, contact us on 0333 777 8575 or email us at