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Category: Background Checks

How a DBS Check Works

How a DBS Check Works

Are you about to start a job search and keep seeing the term DBS being bandied about? Not sure what it means, what you need to do, why it’s even being mentioned? Then this post is for you!

What DBS means: DBS (short for Disclosure Barring Service) check also used to be known as a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check. The CRB became DBS after a merge with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (or ISA).

What a DBS check does: When a DBS check is carried out, a search of the applicants’ criminal record history takes place and anything that appears on their criminal record is then provided.

The types of DBS checks: A Basic DBS will provide evidence of ‘unspent’ convictions and can be applied for by individuals or companies. Only companies can request an enhanced DBS check and this will provide information regarding unspent convictions, spent convictions and cautions (for offences on the never filtered list). In addition to the Standard DBS check the Enhanced DBS also confirms if an applicant has been banned from working with vulnerable people or children in the past. Also unlike a standard DBS check, an enhanced check provides some ‘other’ information that may be held on police record which may include factors such as mental health issues if they have related to police contacts.

How DBS checks are used: The checks tend to be carried out for employment purposes and by an employer on behalf of an applicant or current employee. A common reason for an employer to carry out a Standard DBS check is as part of the recruitment process in order to get a good idea of the history and make sure they are making sound decisions about their potential candidates. For some industries an Enhanced DBS check must be carried out and is a legislative requirement, although not required by Law they are usually required by governing and regulatory bodies for these industries as part of best practice. The most common reason for this is for the safeguarding of vulnerable and young people.

Why would you need a DBS check? You will need a DBS check if a prospective employer conducts it as part of a recruitment process if you will to progress to the next level. You will certainly need an enhanced DBS check if you are working in an industry such as teaching, social care or health care and a number of other industries may also request this.

How do I get a DBS check? Usually you will only need to follow instructions from your employer or current employer and provide any information that they request to start the process. Employers might apply to the Disclosure Baring Service directly or they may use an online DBS check website to perform their searches, either way the same information would be returned to them.

How long does a DBS check take? This depends on the company processes and the way they aquire their DBS checks. If they go directly to the Disclosure Barring Service, then it can take between 2 weeks and several months but usually it is a maximum of 8 weeks. However, if they use a service like uCheck’s DBS check website it can dramatically reduce the waiting time down to just over an hour in some cases!