Can You Fail a DBS Check? 2024 Quick Read

Introduction – Can You Fail A DBS Check?

Can you fail a DBS check? When it comes to employment in certain industries or professions, a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check may be required. This check is designed to disclose any criminal records that an individual may have on file. However, it is important to note that a DBS check is a record/summary of your criminal history, not a test which can be passed or failed, so it is not possible to fail a DBS check.

What Is A DBS Check?

A DBS check is a type of background check that provides information about an individual’s criminal record. This check is often required for jobs that involve working with vulnerable individuals, such as children, elderly people or vulnerable adults.

The purpose of the check is to help employers make informed decisions about the suitability of an individual for a particular job. Here at Aaron’s Department, we provide different levels of DBS Checks to employers:

Basic DBS Checks

Standard DBS Checks

Enhanced DBS Checks (With or Without Barred List Checks)

Fail a DBS check

What Information Does A DBS Check Provide?

It is important to understand that a DBS check does not determine whether an individual passes or fails a DBS check, rather, the check simply provides information about an individual’s criminal history. This means that an individual can still be hired even if they have a criminal record, depending on the nature of the offence and the requirements of the job.

Does Every Offence Show On A DBS Check?

It is also worth noting that not all offences will necessarily show up on a DBS check. Only certain types of offences will be disclosed, and the level of disclosure will depend on the type of check being conducted. For example, a standard DBS check will disclose any unspent convictions, while an enhanced DBS check will also include any relevant information held by local police forces.

Can I Be Disqualified From The Recruitment Process For A Criminal Record?

The decision of whether to hire someone with a criminal record will ultimately depend on the employer’s own policies and risk assessment. While some employers may automatically disqualify candidates with criminal records, others may take a more nuanced approach, considering factors such as the nature of the offence, the time since the offence occurred, and the individual’s rehabilitation.

fail a DBS check

What Other Factors Will Be Considered?

It is also important to note that an individual’s criminal history is just one factor that employers will consider when making hiring decisions. Other factors such as education, experience, and references will usually also be considered.

So while a criminal record will be a red flag for some employers (e.g. if there is a conviction for a sexual offence or a conviction for violent behaviour and the role you are applying for is to be working with children or vulnerable adults) it is not necessarily a deal-breaker if your criminal record does not relate to the role you would be undertaking, or is a minor offence. Employers do, however, have a legal responsibility to keep the workplace safe – and that decision is up to them to make. It is usually not as simple as asking, Can you fail a DBS Check.

Can You Fail a DBS Check? A Summary

In Summary, a DBS check is not a pass or fail test, so it is not possible to fail a DBS check. Rather, the check simply provides information about an individual’s criminal record, which employers can use to make informed decisions about the suitability of a candidate for a particular job.

While some employers may be hesitant to hire candidates with criminal records, others may take a more nuanced approach and consider a variety of factors before making a hiring decision. Ultimately, the decision of whether to hire someone with a criminal record will depend on the individual employer’s policies and risk assessment.


About The Author

FAQ: How Often Should DBS Checks Be Renewed In Schools?

John Schofield-Antoncich

John has processed more applications than days he has been alive, and has become the DBS expert. Got a question? He knows the answer!


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Christopher Kramer
4 months ago

More employees should give 2 chances to more people with criminal history. We all make mistakes for them to follow u until u die is not right.

Janet Gibson
Janet Gibson
3 months ago

Will a custodial sentence from 29 years ago be on a enhanced dbs check

John Schofield-Antoncich
Reply to  Janet Gibson
3 months ago

Hi Janet,

Both spent and unspent convictions, cautions and reprimands will always show on a Standard and Enhanced DBS check, and they cannot be cleared. However, if it is now classed as “spent”, employers should treat it as if it never happened.