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What will show up on a DBS check?

DBS checks can be a daunting arena for those new to the system. As an employer, you are entitled to make a DBS check request; however, you cannot simply apply for the highest level of check unless the role you are recruiting for falls within the eligibility criteria.

The three main types of DBS checks are basic, standard and enhanced. However, there are additional types of DBS checks, such as:

  • Enhanced barred list
  • Children’s only barred list
  • Overseas checks for UK nationals and foreign workers

This post will focus on the primary three checks, each of which will give you as an employer different information. The type of check you request for a potential employee or volunteer will depend on the role they will play within your organisation. 

What shows up on a DBS check?

A DBS certificate will highlight the criminal history of the individual applying for the position. The type of crimes that will surface will depend on the kind of check requested.  If there is no record of illegal activity, this will be shown on the DBS certificate. 

Sometimes, regardless of whether you are requesting a standard or enhanced DBS check, specific cautions and convictions will not be disclosed due to filtering under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act:

Common offences not disclosed in DBS checks due to filteringCommon offences that can be disclosed in DBS checks 
Some motoring offencesDrug offences involving supply
Common assaultViolent offences
TheftSafeguarding offences
Possession of drugsSexual offences

Whether a caution or conviction is filtered depends on the length of time since the act happened and its severity. 

Basic DBS check

What roles require this check: A basic DBS check can be requested for potential employers and volunteers as well as other purposes. 

What will show up on a basic DBS check: Unspent convictions and conditional cautions that fall under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 can surface. 

Standard DBS check

What roles require this check: Employers can only request this level of check for specific roles. These include foster carers, security guards, medical professionals and roles that work with vulnerable adults and children, for example. However, this is not a blanket statement, whether or not a standard DBS check can be requested will depend on the responsibilities involved in the role. There is more information available on the government’s website.

What will show up on a standard DBS check: This will uncover:

  • Spent convictions
  • Unspect convictions 
  • Warnings
  • Cautions
  • Reprimands

That are stored on the Police National Computer. This record of information does not require filtering.

Enhanced DBS check

What roles require this check: The same roles that can be subjected to standard DBS checks could also qualify for an enhanced check. An enhanced DBS check can also be requested for individuals applying for a taxi licence or those applying for jobs in the Gambling Commission. 

What will show up on an enhanced DBS check: The same details that are included within a standard check will be present on an enhanced certificate. As an employer, you can also request that either, or both, of the DBS barred lists are also checked. 

In addition, non-conviction information can be included if it is believed to be relevant.

If you are ever unsure about the type of DBS check you can legally request, you can make use of the government’s eligibility checker. Alternatively, get in touch with the team at Care Check for assistance.