Wednesday, April 30, 2014

An Overview of DBS Checks and What They Are Used For

Brought to you by our friends at Personnel Checks

There are many types of job which require certain legal checks to be carried out on you prior to you being offered the role. Previously known as CRB checks (completed by the Criminal Records Bureau), these now fall under the responsibility of the Disclosure and Barring Service (or DBS). The Independent Safeguarding Authority has also become part of new governmental department.

When might you need to have one?
Generally, DBS checks would need to be carried out if and when you are applying for a job role which has a particular level of sensitivity or risk involved in it. For example, those who want to work in a care home, teachers wanting to take a role in a new school, or those looking to become foster parents would almost certainly be required to have a DBS check done on them.

What if you are unsure if you need one?
In most cases an employer will tell you if they want you to have a DBS check done, and will usually provide the relevant information on how to get this done. However, if you have any concerns about what this entails, or think you are being asked unnecessarily to complete one, there is a list of the roles which are eligible for DBS checks on the Government’s website.

How the DBS checking process works
Whilst it may sound daunting, the process for getting a DBS check done is actually very straightforward. In most cases, your employer or potential employer will provide you with an application form to complete at your earliest convenience. Along with your filled out form, you will also need to provide some form of identification - usually in the form of a passport or driving licence (your employer will take a photocopy of it so you don’t lose your original document).

The employer will then send your forms and documentation to the DBS themselves, before a certificate is issued to you if and when you have passed the assessment. You’ll be required to provide this to your employer before a date that has been agreed with you. It’s also possible to sign up to an online service to view your certificate online - this can be sent to the employer in a digital format - great if they are a company keen on ‘staying green’!

DBS check prices
Unfortunately it does cost a bit of money to have a DBS check done, but as it’s a legal requirement for a surprisingly large number of job roles, it’s well worth the money. The amount you will need to pay depends on the level of checks that your employer requires. For basic DBS checks, which include information on spent and unspent convictions and cautions, it costs £26, and takes approximately two weeks for the certificate to be issued.


You can also get an enhanced check - costing £44, which will look into any information that could have an effect on you getting a specific job role. For example, it’s very likely that those who are planning on working in a school with children will need to have an enhanced check done due to the sensitive nature of such a position.

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