CRB check is the process of checking the criminal record data of current or potential employees. It helps the employers, organisations and charities in the recruitment process. It is required by law to perform a Standard CRB check, or Enhanced CRB check for certain job roles.
CRB is an abbreviation of the Criminal Records Bureau which has now merged with ISA to become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
Launched in 2002 the Criminal Records Bureau was a Department of the Home Office that took over the administration of requests for Criminal Record checks from the individual police services. Using a paper-based system, they checked the criminal record data of candidates applying to work with children or vulnerable adults. As technology developed, it also helped this process evolve and start the criminal records check online in 2010.
Potential candidates working with children would also be checked against List 99.
List 99 was the confidential register of people that were barred by the DfES (Department of Education and Skills) from working with children. It contained their personal details such as name, alias, date of birth, national insurance number, etc.
List 99 was replaced in October 2009 with the Children’s and Adults’ Barred lists as a part of the Vetting and Barring Scheme. After replacing the List 99, the Criminal Records Bureau started performing the checks together with the ISA.
The ISA is an abbreviation of the Independent Safeguarding Authority.
The Independent Safeguarding Authority was a non-departmental body which maintained a list of people barred from working with children. In 2012 it merged with the Criminal Records Bureau forming the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
One of the reasons the CRB failed was because of the slow progress of digitalisation. The manual CRB system struggled to cope with the volume of checks required. The waiting lists were long, and there were many complaints. In what it called a common sense approach and to improve the situation the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) merged to become Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
DBS is an abbreviation for the Disclosure and Barring Service.
The Disclosure and Barring Service formed as a result of the merger between The Criminal Records Bureau and the Independent Safeguarding Authority.
The CRB checks are now called DBS checks (Disclosure and Barring Service checks). Still, it is still common practice to referer to a DBS check as a CRB check. There are three types of the CRB checks, depending on what is checked.
The Basic checks (formerly known as Basic disclosure) are not required by law for any job position but can be requested for any job role or purpose. The Basic certificate will contain information on convictions and cautions from the Police National Computer considered as unspent according to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974.
Organisations can apply for a Basic CRB through Aaron's Department.
A Basic CRB is the only disclosure that an individual can request without going through an organisation.
The Standard disclosure (now known as Standard DBS check) is required for job positions included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975. It contains information on the spent and unspent convictions and cautions, reprimands and final warnings from the Police National Computer.
Individuals can't apply for this kind of CRB check. Only organisations can apply for the Standard CRB check via umbrella bodies such as Aaron's Department.
An Enhanced disclosure (now known as Enhanced DBS check) is required for job positions included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions Order 1975) and the Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records). The certificate will contain information checked against the Police National Computer and information held by the local police.
Organisations can only apply for the Enhanced CRB check via Umbrella Bodies such as Aaron's Department.
The Enhanced disclosure with barred list checks is a check that contains the same information as the Enhanced CRB check plus additional checks carried out against the Children's barred list and the Adult’s barred list.
The Criminal Records Bureau, as a Department of the Home Office, was introduced in 2002. It helped the employers to find more information about their potential future employees and making the right decisions when hiring new staff. The CRB worked together with the Independent Safeguarding Authority to create the Vetting and Barring Scheme from 2009, but this was suspended after a review following the 2010 General Election. The review recommended merging of the CRB and ISA into another non-departmental public body. That is the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service). After the merging, the different types of checks are now called: Basic DBS check, Standard DBS check, Enhanced DBS check, Enhanced DBS check with barred list and Adult First check.
You can find all of the necessary information regarding the different types of disclosure on this site. You need to understand the differences between each type of checks, so the possibility of making a mistake is avoided. If you don’t apply for the right type of disclosure required for the job position, then you could be wasting your money on the wrong type of check, and you might make the bigger mistake of employing a person that is not appropriate for the job position. Aaron's Department offers you an eligibility guidance.
The manual CRB checks normally took at least four weeks to be processed and then returned and sometimes, many months. Now with the DBS checks, things have changed. Using Aaron's Department's online system, it is possible to get a result back in less than a day.
The processing time of CRB checks varies with the different applications. Factors that can affect the time taken can be how many addresses a person has resided at, the type of check required or the popularity of a person name. However, because our system is connected directly to the UK Government’s gateway, using Aaron’s Department’s online system guarantees that your application will be processed quickly, so you can get your staff into work as soon as possible.
You can check the progress of your application and what stage it is at using our online tracking service.
If you are an individual and need to apply for a basic CRB check, you should do it directly on the UK Government's website.
If your an organisation applying for CRB checks, your best choice is applying with Aaron's Department online system.
Officially, the CRB checks don’t have an expiration date but they disclose information on criminal activities and convictions that happened before the certificate was issued. Effectively the checks become obsolete as soon as the certificates are printed.
There are some suggestions from authorities to renew the CRB checks every three years, but each organisationcan decide on that individually depending on their needs. However, Nursing Agencies are required by law to renew the DBS checks yearly.