What is the process for a DBS check?

DBS is the Disclosure and Barring Service which carries out criminal record checks on individuals, on behalf of organisations who may need to know whether a prospective employee has a criminal record. Here we look at what to do to get a DBS check.

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According to the Government there were 4.2 million disclosure certificates issued between April 2015 and March 2016, and of these, there were 868,000 applications in relation to volunteer positions. This goes to show what an important role the DBS check (previously known as a CRB check) plays in organisations appointing people, whether as employees or volunteers.

What type of DBS check?

The only people who can apply for a DBS check are employers and licensing bodies. You are not eligible to apply for your own DBS check, but if you are applying for a role that requires one, then the employer will decide what sort of DBS check is required. This will be either a Standard DBS check, an Enhanced DBS check or an Enhanced DBS with list check. The enhanced checks are usually done where a position involves working with children or with vulnerable adults.

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Role of employers

The employer provides the prospective employee with the DBS application form which they will need to return, with identification documents. The form is then sent by the employer to the Disclosure and Barring Service directly or via an umbrella organisation. Alternatively, employers can use an organisation such as http://www.carecheck.co.uk/ who can deal with most of the administration, particularly when lots of checks are required.

The necessary checks are then carried out. For standard DBS checks and enhanced ones, this involves searching the Police National Computer. In the case of an enhanced check, local police records will also be searched. Once all searches have been done and providing nothing has been found, the DBS certificate will be sent out. There will be a charge, but most checks for volunteers are free. The certificate is valid indefinitely but employers can use an update service to make sure the information is still correct.

Whether you are an employer or an employee, your role in the DBS checking process is important and cannot be taken lightly. Hopefully, this has given you some insight into what is involved in the process for carrying out the checks.

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