What is a DBS check?

safeguarding training

If you want to work with children or vulnerable adults, you probably need a DBS check, but is it even possible to apply for a DBS check as an individual? Read our handy guide to DBS checks in 2019 right here…

What is a DBS check?

Even if you think you’ve never heard of them before, you might already know about DBS checks. In December 2012, DBS checks replaced what was previously known as a criminal record (CRB) check.

A DBS check allows an employer to see your criminal history.

DBS checks are often carried out at the start of your employment, or just before an employer decides to hire you. Depending on the level of check required for your role, the employer will be able to find out any criminal convictions you may have, outstanding or otherwise, in order to inform their recruitment process and ensure that safer recruitment practices are enforced in their workplace.

Safer recruitment is necessary when it comes to safeguarding individuals, particularly children and vulnerable adults. If you are applying for a role that brings you into contact with either of these groups, it is a legal requirement that your employer carries out an enhanced DBS check before you start working for them.

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What are the different types of DBS check?

There are 4 different types of DBS check that all provide a different level of information about your criminal record and background. These are:

  • Basic DBS checks
  • Standard DBS checks
  • Enhanced DBS checks
  • Enhanced DBS with list checks

Depending on the nature of your role, a basic check may be appropriate to confirm your suitability as an employee, or you may require a deeper background check.

What is a basic DBS check?

A basic DBS check will show any unspent criminal convictions and conditional clauses you may have. Anyone can apply for a basic DBS check and this is usually required in cases such as if you are being employed in a new workplace, if you are applying for a visa, or even as part of a character reference in other professional situations.

A basic DBS check is the lowest tier of DBS check providing the least amount of information on an individual’s criminal record.

What is a standard DBS check?

A standard DBS check will show any spent and unspent criminal convictions as well as any cautions, reprimands, and warnings that are not subject to filtering on the Police National Computer.

It is not possible to apply for a standard DBS check as an individual; an employer or organisation must make the request for a standard DBS check for you. This is typically required if you are starting a new role in the health sector or a public service environment such as in a hospital, prison, hospice, doctor’s surgery, or a medical clinic.

A standard DBS check gives a deeper insight into your criminal record than a basic DBS check would; however, a standard DBS check provides less information than an enhanced DBS check.

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What is an enhanced DBS check?

An enhanced DBS check will be required if you are hoping to be employed in a role that will involve you working directly with children and/or vulnerable adults. An enhanced DBS check will show any spent and unspent criminal convictions, cautions, reprimands, and warnings. It will also display any other information held by the local police that might be relevant to the role.

It is only possible to apply for an enhanced DBS check as an individual if you are going to be working in certain positions involving children and/or vulnerable adults (such as childminding); otherwise, an employer or organisation must make the request for an enhanced DBS check for you.

An enhanced DBS check gives the most detailed insight of the checks we have discussed in this blog post, helping employers to make safer recruitment decisions.

It is also possible to apply for an enhanced DBS check that includes a check of barred lists to give employers a greater insight into an individual’s background. This enhanced level of DBS check would also show everything listed above about an individual’s criminal history.

How can I or my employer apply for a DBS check?

If you or your employer would like further information on how to apply for a DBS check or where to apply for a DBS check, why not click here to check out our dedicated DBS checks page? We have lots of useful further information about DBS checks including links to apply today.

Do I have to pay for a DBS check?

If you are applying for a DBS check as an individual, you will have to pay a standard fee.

If an employer is applying for a DBS check on your behalf, the employer will typically cover the cost of the DBS check, but you should confirm this directly with the employer before any request is made.

For more information about how much a DBS check costs, please click here to visit our dedicated DBS checks page.

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What other safeguarding checks do I need to work with children and/or vulnerable adults?

DBS checks are a legal requirement if you’re hoping to work with children and/or vulnerable adults, but depending on your job position, you may need to undergo additional checks and safeguarding training to carry out your role effectively.

We specialise in delivering fully verifiable online and face-to-face safeguarding training to individuals working in a variety of professions across the United Kingdom, from teachers to dental staff, nannies to equestrians.

If you would like to get a head start on safeguarding training in preparation for your new role, why not click here now to browse our selection of online safeguarding courses?

Click here now to browse our selection of bestselling online safeguarding training courses.

For more information about safeguarding training or DBS checks, please give our friendly customer support team a call on 01327 552030 or email us at hello@smarthorizons.co.uk today. Alternatively, you can use the live chat feature on this website to chat to us during office hours.

Our offices are open from 9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday. All of our verifiable online safeguarding courses are accessible 24/7 from any device with an internet connection.