What is a DBS Check?


A DBS check is an official record stating a person’s criminal convictions and cautions which is carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service. Upon completion of the check, an employer can request to see a person’s DBS certificate.

DBS checks are generally used to ensure that employers are making the right decisions during the recruitment process. Criminal record checks are especially important in finding suitable candidates to work with vulnerable groups, including children.

There are three levels of DBS checks, basic, standard and enhanced. It is important to know the variation of the different levels to ensure that employees go through the right screening. In this article, we discuss the differences between these three levels.


Basic DBS Check


A basic DBS check is a criminal record check that can be requested by individuals and employers in the UK. This is the lowest level and is available for all individuals and employers living within the UK. Basic DBS checks a person’s criminal history, convictions and cautions from the Police National Computer (PNC).

Employers from all types of industries, such as construction or hospitality, can ask for a basic disclosure to check a candidates criminal record to help them decide if a candidate is fit for employment. However, for certain roles, you may need a higher level of DBS check.


Standard DBS Check


A standard DBS check is an in-depth criminal record check used by employers on behalf of applicants to ensure they are suitable for the role in question. At this level, it shows information of all cautions, warnings and reprimands a person has and any unspent convictions held on a person’s criminal record in England and Wales and convictions in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Standard DBS check is required for lawyers, accountants and other positions of high responsibility. This check will ensure that employees or candidates have no prior offences such as fraud or financial misconduct.


Enhanced DBS Check


Similar to the standard DBS check, this level is only available to employers who will have to request it on their applicant’s behalf. This level basically has all the information of the standard DBS check. In addition, the enhanced DBS check also searches the DBS Children’s Barred List or the DBS Adult first. This ensures that a candidate is not barred from working with vulnerable groups.


These different levels of DBS checks address different needs. Enhanced DBS checks are needed to protect vulnerable groups by ensuring that employees who have frequent and unsupervised contact will have a clear record, so most roles in education and health care will require the Enhanced DBS Check.

A DBS check will ensure that employers are equipped with the right information to make informed decisions on who they hire. If you are an employer and still have uncertainties in what type of check your current and future employees need, we at Care Check will be glad to advise you. For your enquiries, contact us on 0333 777 8575 or email us at info@carecheck.co.uk