What is a DBS Check?

A DBS check, also known as a Disclosure and Barring Service check, is a background check performed in the UK to determine an individual’s criminal history. The check is used to help employers make informed recruitment decisions by disclosing any relevant criminal convictions, cautions, or other criminal record information. DBS checks are widely used across a range of industries, including education, healthcare, social care, and criminal justice. The checks are designed to help employers make informed recruitment decisions, promote public safety, and prevent individuals who pose a risk from working in certain positions.

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Is it the same as a CRB check?

A CRB check was a criminal history check using the Police National Computer (PNC). It was carried out by the Criminal Records Bureau from 2002 until the introduction of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in 2012.

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What does a DBS cover?

There are three levels of DBS checks: Basic, Standard, and Enhanced. The level of check required depends on the nature of the role and the responsibilities involved. For example, roles that involve working with children or vulnerable adults may require an Enhanced DBS check.

Basic DBS

A Basic DBS check is for any purpose, including employment. The certificate will contain details of convictions and conditional cautions that are considered to be unspent under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974.

Standard  DBS

A Standard DBS check is suitable for certain roles, such as a security guard. The certificate will contain details of both spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings that are held on the Police National Computer, which are not subject to filtering.

Enhanced DBS

An Enhanced DBS check is suitable for people working with children or adults in certain circumstances such as those in receipt of healthcare or personal care. An Enhanced DBS check is also suitable for a small number of other roles such as taxi licence applications or people working in the Gambling Commission.

The certificate will contain the same details as a standard certificate but may also contain non-conviction information supplied by relevant police forces,  such as intelligence, if it is deemed relevant and ought to be contained in the certificate.

Must locksmiths have a DBS check?

It is not a legal requirement for locksmiths to have a DBS certificate.

However, you will find most reputable tradespeople carry one for your peace of mind.

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How do you get a DBS check?

An individual can apply for a Basic check directly to DBS online or an employer can apply for a basic check on an individual’s behalf, through a Responsible Organisation, if they have consent. For a Standard or an Enhanced check there must be a recruiting organisation who needs the applicant to get the check. This is then sent to DBS through a Registered Body.