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A DBS check is a type of background check which confirms an applicant’s criminal record, and by extension, their suitability for working with children and/or vulnerable adults. DBS certificates are physical copies of a person’s suitability. The DBS will check the applicant for any previous spent or unspent convictions, cautions, warnings, or reprimands, and in some cases be checked against the Children’s or Adults’ Barred Lists.
There are three types of DBS checks all of which disclose various levels of a person’s criminal record.
An employer can request:
- a standard check, which shows spent and unspent convictions and cautions;
- an enhanced check, which shows the same as a standard check plus any information held by local police that’s considered relevant to the role;
- an enhanced check with barred lists, which shows the same as an enhanced check plus whether the applicant is on the list of people barred from doing the role.
To check which type of DBS you are legally entitled to request, please use the Government tool and follow the instructions. https://www.gov.uk/find-out-dbs-check
What does it cost?
Service Members Non Member
Enhanced Check £56.80 £62.80
Standard Check £39.80 £45.80
Volunteer Check £14.40 £14.40
When to repeat a check
A DBS check has no official expiry date. Any information included will be accurate at the time the check was carried out. It is up to you to decide when a new check is needed, good practice is every 3 years. If the applicant has signed up for the DBS update service, you as the employer can check whether their certificate is up to date online. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dbs-update-service-employer-guide/dbs-update-service-employer-guide
DBS Update Service
The DBS Update Service was introduced to keep DBS check applications up-to-date and costs £13 per year, which benefits both applicants and employers. Over several years, many people are likely to work for various organisations. This service helps employers get round any delays in processing applications by carrying out a status check on the Certificate.
If the employer is satisfied with what they see on the applicant’s file currently, employers can make a judgment call on the individual’s job application.
If you carry out criminal records checks, you must have a policy on employing ex-offenders and show it to any applicant who asks for it. To obtain a sample policy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org