DBS Check Guide: Basic, Standard, and Enhanced

When doing a DBS check, it is important that you can understand the differences between the three types of DBS checks, especially as an employer. So, we’ve created a DBS check guide to the three types of DBS check, Basic, Standard and Enhanced DBS Checks.

Applying for the wrong type of check for your employees will either waste time and money when it inevitably gets rejected, or result in you breaking the law if the required DBS check is not requested.

DBS Check Guide – What Does DBS Stand For?

So, what does DBS stand for? DBS stands for the ‘Disclosure and Barring Service’. The DBS is a non-departmental public body of the Home Office. They aim to help employers make safer recruitment decisions, in return protecting themselves and others. 

Prior to 2012, the DBS was known as the Criminal Record Bureau (CRB). This chart shows the main differences between CRB and DBS checks, but for more detail it’s best to visit our dedicated page, CRB Check.

DBS Check guide

DBS Check Guide – What Is a DBS Check?

A DBS check, depending on the level selected, is an official document that states an individual’s criminal convictions. They are used by employers to ensure that when hiring someone, a well-informed and suitable decision for the role in question can be made. The higher the type of DBS check requested, the more information is included on the certificate. 

As we will discuss later, DBS checks are also essential in keeping children and vulnerable adults safe.

DBS Check Guide – What Are The Types Of DBS Checks?

There are three types of DBS checks: Basic, Standard, and Enhanced (with or without the barred list checks).

Depending on the role you are recruiting for will depend on the level of check you need. The following table shows what information is included on each type of DBS check – for more details on the terminology used, visit our dedicated page: What Does a DBS Check Show?

DBS Check Guide

DBS Check Guide – What Is A Basic DBS Check?

This type of check will only show:

– An individual’s unspent criminal history.
– Convictions and cautions that are held on the Police National Computer. 

A Basic DBS check is a criminal record check that shows an individual’s unspent convictions. Anybody can request this – either an individual or employer. 

It is usually requested for positions such as builders, couriers, and call centre workers – often used as a reference to help aid the recruitment process.

DBS Check Guide – What Is A Standard DBS Check?

A Standard DBS check is a criminal record check that shows both spent and unspent convictions. It can only be requested by employers. This will show an individual’s: 

– Spent and unspent convictions.
– Cautions.
– Reprimands. 

It is used to ensure that the applicant is suitable for a position of higher responsibility, such as lawyers, security guards, and accountants.

DBS Check Guide – What Is A Enhanced DBS Check?

The Enhanced DBS check shows spent and unspent convictions, as well as any relevant information held by the local police force. It can only be requested for specific roles that are included in ROA 1974 (Exceptions Order 1975) and the Police Act 1997 regulations.

What Do Enhanced DBS checks show?

– Spent and Unspent Convictions.
– Cautions.
– Reprimands.
– Any other relevant information held by the local police force. 

If necessary, a check of the Barred List (Children and/or Vulnerable Adults) can be requested.

DBS Check Guide


We hope you found our DBS Check guide helpful. Below we show you how you can get your DBS Checks through Aaron’s Department.

How Can Employers Get DBS Checks?

Employers can get their DBS checks online through Registered Umbrella Bodies, like Aaron’s Department. 

Should you want further information, please feel free to give our team a ring on 0113 877 0171, or email contact@aaronsdepartment.com where we will be more than happy to help. 

Want to start applying for your DBS checks using our online system? Just hit the button below!

For further reading on DBS checks, you can read one of our latest articles, Martyn’s Law, What Businesses need to know, or our article about viewing your DBS Status.

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