Frequently Asked Questions
Please find below a list of our most frequently asked questions. If there is anything else you would like to know then please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0333 777 8575 or talk to us via our chat system.
What disclosure should I choose for an employee?
It is the responsibility of the employer to decide the correct level of disclosure for an employee and the environment they will be working in. Please refer to the disclosure types page for more information on basic, standard and enhanced disclosures
Can anyone ask for a disclosure?
An individual can request a Basic disclosure on themselves and this will contain information on convictions unspent, however, an individual cannot request a Standard or Enhanced DBS Check (formerly known as CRB) as this would need to be requested by an organisation or individual that is eligible to ask about an applicants unspent convictions. Organisations are allowed to ask such questions if they are to be placing an individual in an working environment that is deemed as restrictive.
What are spent and unspent convictions?
Any individual that has received a conviction, whether it be a caution, reprimand or warning, will have this information put on their criminal record and held on the Police National Computer. As defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, after a certain length of time, this criminal record will become ‘spent’ and would no longer appear on a Basic disclosure. If you would like to know exact time frames for these please contact the DBS directly. Pre-May 2013 legislation saw both Enhanced and Standard disclosures showing all previous convictions, however, since 29th May 2013 certain conditions have seen convictions being ‘filtered’ which means that some offences would not appear on the certificate. There is a large list of conviction types and offences that, under the new legislation, can never be filtered from a certificate.
What happens if I am self-employed? Do I need a Disclosure?
If you are self-employed you would only be able to undertake a basic Disclosure check on yourself and this can be done via Disclosure Scotland.
If you are volunteering or working in certain roles then a Standard or Enhanced check may be needed, but even if you are self-employed you cannot do this yourself. In this situation, the self-employed individual would have to refer to a third party, such as a professional body, to request a check on their behalf.
If I have lost my Disclosure document, can I get another copy?
The DBS will only reprint another copy if the original certificate was lost in the post en-route to the applicant and if it is reported within 90 days of the issue date. There is only ever one paper copy of the certificate and this is issued to the applicant.
Does a DBS check expire?
Contrary to popular belief a DBS certificate does not have an official expiry date and this is largely down to the fact that the information is only 100 per cent accurate at the time the certificate was issued. Consequently, there will be no specific date that will deem information to be inaccurate.
It is the employer’s responsibility to determine how often they require their staff DBS checks to be renewed.
If you require any more information regarding renewal periods, please contact one of the Care Check team on 0333 777 8575.
Do all checks complete within 24 hours?
85 per cent of all Enhanced applications complete within five days and half of this percentage complete within 24 hours. Standard checks take between 2-4 working days and Basic checks can complete in as little as 24 hours.
Although this timescale is mostly accurate, every application is different; some disclosures are processed within 24 hours, but other applications could take slightly longer for several reasons. These often include internal enquiries, a criminal record or an error on an application.
What is the difference between a spent and unspent conviction
Any individual who has received a conviction, whether it be a caution, reprimand or warning will have this information documented on their criminal record and held on the Police National Computer. As defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, after a certain length of time, a criminal record becomes ‘spent’ and would no longer appear on a Basic disclosure. Pre- May 2013 legislation saw both Enhanced and Standard disclosures showing all previous convictions, however, since 29th May 2013 certain conditions have seen convictions being ‘filtered’, which means that some offences would not appear on the certificate. For more information on convictions click here.
I have an old DBS certificate; can I use this for my new employer?
Every DBS certificate will have an employer’s name on the hard copy certificate and the job role intended. The certificate will be regulated to correspond with the intended job role. If an applicant gets a new job with a different organisation, they will be required to undertake a new DBS check as the previous certificate will be linked to their former employer and job role. For example, if a person worked as a cleaner in a care home, but then moved to a hospital to work as a care assistant, they would require a new disclosure because the job role and organisation had changed.
What is the best way to contact the DBS directly?
You can contact the DBS either by email at email@example.com or alternatively you can contact them by phone on 03000 200 19
Are DBS checks a legal requirement?
A company or organisation are legally responsible for ensuring an individual is entitled to apply for the job role in question. The employer is legally obliged to ensure that anyone who is working for their organisation in regulated activity with children and vulnerable adults has not been barred from working with adults or children.
Who pays for the DBS check?
There is no rule that states who is liable to pay for a DBS check. Payment set-up differs for each organisation. Some employers pay for their staff checks, however, other companies opt for their applicants to pay for their own disclosures at time of application. If you are an applicant, please check with your employer before applying so you are aware of your payment options.
Can you fail a DBS check?
It is a common misconception that a person can fail a DBS check. To clarify, no one can pass or fail a criminal record check because it is not a test. It is purely there to check someone’s details so that an employer can be made aware whether an individual has a criminal record or not. If an application does complete and there is information that has been provided on the certificate, the applicant will need to produce this to the employer so they can make a recruitment decision based on the outcome.
Register with Care Check Today
From small care homes and independent schools through to large NHS primary care trusts, we are adept at obtaining Enhanced DBS Checks (formerly known as CRB) for people working and volunteering within regulated industries. We also offer Basic Criminal Record checks from Disclosure Scotland for individuals and organisations not entitled to request the higher level Standard and Enhanced Disclosures.
From small businesses to large employers and charities. We are adept at obtaining all levels of DBS Checks (Formerly the CRB) for any person within any type of industry.
0333 777 8575