Aaron's Department Criminal Record Bureau Check

by Aaron's Department

  • What is a Criminal Record Bureau Check?

A Criminal Record Bureau check (now called a Disclosure and Barring Service check) is when a criminal record disclosure is requested on potential and current employees to determine whether or not they are suitable to work with Vulnerable Adults or Children.

Why Were CRB Checks Important?

A valid CRB disclosure was needed for people who were working in regulated positions to protect Vulnerable Adults or Children. CRB checking was important because it helps employers make safer recruitment choices by showing them the potential employee's criminal record history.

When Did CRB Checks Come into Force?

Criminal Record Bureau checks came into force in 2002 and replaced checking against List 99. Its role was to investigate the criminal record of any potential worker. More specifically, the CRB check was only used for job roles that required working with children, vulnerable adults, either as volunteers or employed. This check was run by the private company Capita.

What Was a List 99 Check?

This was a list which named all the people who were banned from working with children. Today, this list is called the 'Children's Barred List' and is used for the same purpose, to see if the person is allowed to work with children or not.

What Showed Up on a CRB Check?

It depended on what level of CRB check was carried out. There were three levels of disclosure: the Basic, Standard and Enhanced.

Basic CRB Disclosure

A Basic CRB disclosure was used for any position. It contained information on cautions and convictions which were considered 'unspent' under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (ROA). These cautions and convictions were pulled from the PNC (Police National Computer). Until September 2017 this disclosure was only available to individuals and was performed through the Disclosure Scotland.

Standard CRB Disclosure

A Standard CRB disclosure contained information of all spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings which were contained on the Police National Computer, and were not filtered in line with regulation. This check was for duties, positions and licences included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975.

Individuals could not apply for this kind of DBS checking. Only organisations could apply for the Standard CRB check in an individual's name through CRB Umbrella Bodies.

Enhanced CRB Disclosure

An Enhanced CRB disclosure was required for positions which were included in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 and also the Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records). Examples of these roles would be people caring for, or being solely in charge of children and also people caring for adults through health and social care services. The certificate included information which is stored on the Police National Computer (PNC) plus information which is held by local police forces. Organisations could only apply for an Enhanced DBS check through CRB Umbrella Bodies.

The Independent Safeguarding Authority's Barred Lists

Prior to the Children's and Adult's Barred Lists, there were four existing Barring Lists:

  1. Protection of Children Act list

  2. Protection of Vulnerable Adult list

  3. List 99

  4. Disqualification orders

List 99, the Protection of Children Act List and the disqualification orders list merged to become the ISA Children's Barred List and the Protection of Vulnerable Adult List was replaced by the ISA Vulnerable Adult's Barred List.

What is a Barred List?

The Barred Lists (both Adults’ or Children’s) contain information on whether an individual is barred or not from working with vulnerable adults or children. Individuals can be checked against one or both of the lists, depending on the job position offered. This job position must be included in the ROA 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 and in the Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records).

What Was the Problem with the Criminal Record Bureau?

The service suffered problems from the start. Computer difficulties delayed the official launch and when it was finally operating, it was overwhelmed with applications and the process was very slow. This was down to the computer systems which were not good enough to deal with the number of applications it was receiving and when the computers stopped, so did the processing of the applications.

Eventually, for teachers, the service was suspended and vetting returned to the old system with List 99 and more thorough checks were being carried out when the CRB was back up to speed. In July 2002, a Government Act made it compulsory for all nurses, both new and existing to be checked through the system which added further pressure to the Criminal Record Bureau.

The double system of checks was brought back into play after the murder of two students, Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, to ensure a full check was carried out against people working with Vulnerable Groups.

This wasn't the only thing wrong with the Criminal Record Bureau check. The certificates could be sent directly to the employer and if there was a mistake made on them or the CRB had got people "confused", it had terrible consequences.

Mistakes such as mixing peoples identity up due to another person with the same name living in the area meant that people could be linked to crimes which they never committed. This also worked the other way, allowing for genuine criminals to fall through the net.

If errors with the checks were made, then because the certificate was sent directly to the organisation, people's reputations were damaged despite having a clean record.

What Replaced CRB Checks?

The Criminal Record Bureau check was replaced by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) who now carries out the checks.

The DBS is the result of the merger between the Criminal Records Bureau and the Independent Safeguarding Authority.

What's the Difference Between a CRB and a DBS Check?

There is no real difference between a CRB and a DBS check, with the exception of the DBS update service. Put plainly, the DBS checks contain all the same information a CRB check would contain, but it just has a different name. At their core, the checks remained the same.

However, with the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, which brought the merger between the CRB and the ISA, a new definition of what is a regulated activity came into force. Mainly, it was focused to scale back what was defined as a regulated activity to focus on work with involves close and unsupervised contact with Vulnerable Groups. This made positions previously eligible for an Enhanced disclosure with Barred Lists check not eligible for Barred Lists checking.

Other Changes Brought by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012

The following changes took place:

Repeal of Controlled Activity

This covered positions who might have had less contact with vulnerable groups than people working in regulated activity. An example would be people working with records in schools. Prior to the introduction of the Act, these positions were eligible for a Barred Lists check, but after the Act came into force, they lost this eligibility.

Repeal of Registration and Continuous Monitoring

The Vetting and Barring Scheme had plans to continuously monitor anyone wanting to work with Vulnerable Groups for new criminal record information. This never came into force, and the Protection of Freedoms Act completely repealed it.

Repeal of Additional Information

Under the Police Act 1977, police forces provided certain sensitive information about applicants only to organisations without providing them to the applicants themselves. This was known as 'brown envelope' material and was issued separately to an Enhanced CRB check. The Protection of Freedoms Act removed this from the Police Act. Still, the police were given the right to choose to use common law powers to provide relevant information about the position to employers in cases when this was necessary, for example as a preventive measure to prevent crime or harm to others.

The biggest change to this was the actual relevancy of the local police information. With the new Act, the police were to do a more rigorous test before deciding whether to disclose information. This meant that not only information that was considered to be relevant would be included, but information that was 'reasonably believed to be relevant' too.

Minimum Age for Checks

Prior to the Protection of Freedoms Act, there wasn't a defined age restriction for disclosures. After the Act came into force, people who were aged under 16 were no longer eligible for a check.

How Much Does a DBS Check Cost?

With Aaron's Department, the price of all our DBS checks is laid out with no hidden costs.

Disclosure type DBS Application Fees (NO Vat) Administration fees (+Vat)
Basic DBS Check £25 £6.95
Standard DBS Check £26 £6.95
Enhanced DBS Check £44 £6.95
Enhanced DBS Check
+ Adult First Check
Enhanced Volunteer Free £6.95
Standard Volunteer Free £6.95

Aaron’s Department also rewards you with admin fee credit which is put into your account for paying in advance.

Please note: only payments made via bank transfers are eligible for the free admin credit. The free admin credit is based only on the total admin fee of your payment, the DBS Fee is not included.

If the total of your Admin fees in your payment adds up to £600 or more, we will reward you with 75% extra ADMIN FEE CREDIT FREE to your account.

Any "Free Admin Credit" added to your account, can only be used to cover any future administration fees you incur when sending Online DBS applications or Adult First request.

Below is a Guide for Our Free Admin Credit:
Administration fee Deposit From To Credit applied
£0 £49.99 0%
£50 £99.99 10%
£100 £199.99 20%
£200 £299.99 30%
£300 £399.99 40%
£400 £499.99 50%
£500 £599.99 60%
£600 £99999.99 75%

How Long Does the DBS Check Last For?

DBS checks are obsolete from the moment the Certificate is printed.

This is so because the Certificate won't contain any criminal offences which happened after the printing of the document.

There is no written rule pointing out how often should an organisation renew DBS Certificates, so it is up to each organisation to consider when it is appropriate to do renewals.

DBS tracking
Getting a Criminal Record Bureau Check (or a DBS check as it is now known), is easy using our online checking system. We are directly connected to the UK Governments Gateway, allowing us to process DBS checks quickly and efficiently for your company and employees. Our online DBS checking service checks and verifies each step ensuring no errors or delays.

DBS Check Testimonial ".......They are very helpful and efficient, I have been using them for over 13 years..........."
Lorraine Brooks
"After using paper applications for so long I was a bit sceptical about changing, but after looking at how easy and straight forward it is to sign up I would definitely recommend it"
Richard Turner

"Fantastic service for the DBS.

A speedy efficient service.

I will always use this company for my Applications"

Rachel Green
"Brilliant service..... it has definitely helped me get my staff into work faster than before"
Simon O'Donoghue


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