The Disclosure and Barring Service helps employers, recruitment agencies, charities, volunteering organisations etc. check potential and current staff criminal records. It was created by merging the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) on December 1, 2012.
A DBS check is a survey of a person’s criminal record and is used to help organisations in recruitment decisions. Depending on the type of the DBS check, it can include information from the Police National Computer database, if the applicant is on either the Children's Barred list or the Adult's barred list, and any information the local police decide is relevant to include.
Generally, a DBS check is used by organisations to make safer recruitment decisions by reviewing a candidate’s criminal record. Regulations require Standard or Enhanced checks before candidates start certain positions, to prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups or in a regulated activity. Basic DBS checks have many purposes; they can provide additional credibility when applying for a position, self-employed people can use them to increase customer confidence, be used for vetting people who are looking for accommodation, and any other purpose.
The final result of a DBS check is a DBS Certificate. It contains personal information of the applicant, including any criminal offence history disclosed on the person (if any exists).
A Basic DBS Certificate contains all unspent convictions, final warnings, and reprimands from the PNC.
A Standard DBS Certificate contains all spent and unspent convictions, final warnings, and reprimands from the PNC of the applicant.
An Enhanced DBS Certificate contains all spent and unspent convictions, final warnings, and reprimands from the PNC; it also includes any information that the local police considers relevant for disclosure. If selected, it will also include the result of a check against one or both of the barred lists.
The Certificate will contain the result of a check against the Children’s and or the Adult’s barred lists. It will also include all spent and unspent convictions, final warnings, and reprimands from the PNC and any information that the local police considers relevant for disclosure.
A Manual DBS Certificate is usually produced (by the DBS) when they experience technical issues when retrieving the data from the PNC for the DBS check.
Before dispatching a DBS Certificate to the applicant, a DBS check can go through up to five stages. Basic and Standard checks go through three of the five stages, while Enhanced checks go through at least four stages. Enhanced checks with barred lists information go through all five stages.
There is no official expiry date of a DBS check; it won’t show criminal record information for offences which happened after printing, so the longer you have it for, the less you can rely on it!
There is no official expiry date of a DBS Certificate. The older it is, the less reliable it is, and it won’t contain any information about offences which happened after printing.
Except for nursing agencies, which are required to do DBS checks annually, there isn’t any official rule or guidance specifying the renewal of a DBS Certificate. It is up to each organisation to undertake risk assessments and decide when a new DBS check is required. If you have one, we recommend consulting a regulating authority such as OFSTED or the CQC.
There are three types of DBS check: Basic DBS check, Standard DBS check, and Enhanced DBS check. When you apply for an Enhanced DBS check, you must also opt for a barred lists check if the applicant is to work in a regulated activity listed in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 (exceptions) Order 1975 (as amended).
If you are an organisation, volunteering agency, employer, charity or licensing body, you must use an Umbrella Body like Aaron's department to perform DBS checks for your staff.
If you are using Aaron's Department, you have a built-in tracking system. You can also track your DBS application via the online DBS tracking service. You will need to provide a DBS Applicant Form Reference Number and date of birth.
Standard or Enhanced DBS checks are used to make safer recruitment decisions, by organisations. They prevent unsuitable candidates from working with vulnerable groups, or in position for which they have previously committed offences. Basic DBS checks, besides this use, can be used for any purpose.
DBS checks can prevent abuse by disclosing the criminal offence history of people when they attempt to work with either children, vulnerable adults or both. Hopefully preventing them working with such groups.
They are necessary when there is a need for help in hiring decisions, and to prevent hiring the wrong people for specific positions for which such people would be unsuitable.
A Standard or Enhanced DBS check isn’t required when a person isn’t directly involved in working with vulnerable groups or working in a regulated activity. Still, you should consider if you need to do a Basic DBS check as a preventive measure because it will show all unspent convictions of the applicant which could assist you in making an employment decision.
Criminal offence information, including:
For a Standard or Enhanced DBS check, you will need to go through an organisation. For a Basic DBS check, you should apply directly to the DBS here.
You will have a criminal record your whole life. But, your offences can become spent and won’t show on a Basic DBS Certificate (only if the sentence didn’t result with more than two years and six months of imprisonment, and wasn’t a sexual or terrorism offence).
The DBS number is the 12 digit number located at the top right-hand side of a DBS Certificate.
You can find this out only if you do a DBS check on that person (you need their permission). Any organisation can do a Basic DBS check. Standard and Enhanced DBS checks can be requested only in specific instances when the person is to work with vulnerable groups or work in a regulated activity.
The DBS application form is the form that the applicants need to fill in with the required information to apply for a DBS check. It can be filled in online or manually using a paper form. At Aaron’s Department employers register their applicants for a DBS check, and then the DBS application form is sent to the applicant to fill it in. Once completed by the applicant, it goes through the identity checking process and is countersigned. Please read the guideline for filling in the DBS application form.
The DBS check is performed to help employers to make safe recruitment decisions and to hire people adequate for the job position. A DBS check will disclose the criminal convictions and cautions of an applicant. The level of details disclosed depends on the type of DBS check. Employers then have to decide if anything disclosed effects their employment decision.
The type of DBS check you need depends on the job position and sector. Choosing the correct level of DBS check is essential. It is illegal to request a Standard or Enhanced DBS check when you are not entitled to ask an exempted question. If you apply for Basic or Standard DBS when the position requires an Enhanced DBS check, then you could be illegally hiring someone and exposing incorrectly checked applicants to vulnerable people.
There is no official list of job positions and sectors requiring a DBS check, but you can read the eligibility guidance.
It is a valid request for a person to reveal their full criminal history, including spent convictions. An organisation is entitled to ask an exempted question when the individual will be working in occupations, and specified positions or for specific licenses, as covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975.
The term “volunteer” is defined in the Police Act 1997 regulations 2002 by the DBS as: “Any person engaged in an activity which involves spending time, unpaid (except for travel and other approved out-of-pocket expenses), doing something which aims to benefit some third party and not a close relative.”
If the person works and interacts with children or vulnerable adults directly and unsupervised, then they are required to do DBS check.
To be eligible for an Enhanced level DBS check, the position must be included in both the ROA Exceptions Order and in the Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) Regulations.
DBS application form is received, checked for possible errors and empty fields. Form validation is then carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service. If there are any mistakes, the form is returned to the counter-signatory for correction. And if there are not any mistakes, the application is entered into the DBS system. All DBS checks go through this stage.
In this stage, the applicant's information is checked against the PNC (Police National computer) for relevant information. All DBS checks go through this stage.
The applicant's information is checked against the Vulnerable Adult's Barred list, or the Children's Barred list or both. Only the Enhanced DBS check with a Barred Lists check goes through this stage.
The application goes to the local police force or police forces if the applicant has lived in multiple forces areas in the last five years.
The local police then include any information that they consider relevant to the disclosure. Applications can experience delays at this stage. Only the Enhanced DBS check goes through this stage.
The DBS Certificate is printed and sent to the applicant. All of the DBS check types go through this stage.
A criminal record is a record of a person's criminal history it contains information on a person’s offences and convictions.
It depends! For Enhanced DBS checks, the application is forwarded to the local police, and they may disclose arrest information if they decide that is relevant to the position or job role.
It depends on the type of DBS check. The Basic DBS check shows unspent convictions, final warnings, and reprimands. The Standard DBS check shows spent and unspent convictions, final warnings, and reprimands. The Enhanced DBS check shows convictions, final warnings, and reprimands; local police information; barred lists information.
Applying for a DBS check online is quick and easy with Aaron’s Department. You will need to provide the relevant information to complete the application, but the application process corrects any mistakes as you go along. You can apply for a DBS check online for your employees/volunteers here:
If the position you are applying for is listed in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975, then you must disclose your spent convictions before you start working or volunteering.
Individuals cannot apply for an Enhanced DBS check. If you are an organisation, you can request an Enhanced DBS check here:
Individuals cannot request a Standard DBS check. The organisation they are applying to has to request a Standard check in their name. Organisations can apply for a Standard DBS check here:
If you are an individual applying for a Basic DBS check online, you should apply for it directly with the UK Government’s website.
If you are an organisation applying for an individual’s Basic DBS check online, you must use a Responsible Organisation to do a Basic check. Read more information about the Basic DBS check.
An Enhanced disclosure form is an application form for an Enhanced DBS check. There are two types of forms: Paper and Online Enhanced disclosure forms.
Standard DBS checks show unspent and spent convictions, final warning, and reprimands. Enhanced DBS checks show unspent and spent convictions, final warning, and reprimands, plus any information the local police force decide to disclose, and if the position requires it, a check against the barred lists.
It depends if you have worked or lived in England or Wales! We only process applications for people who have lived or worked in England or Wales.
Only if you've lived or worked in England or Wales. Aaron's Department only processes applications for people who have lived or worked in England or Wales.
The DBS Barred Lists are lists which contain names of people who are not allowed to work with vulnerable groups. There are two DBS barred lists: Children’s Barred List and Vulnerable Adult’s Barred List.
The Vulnerable Adult's Barred List contains names of people who are not allowed to work with Senior people and people unable to care for themselves, they are placed on this list if they have committed criminal offences which were directly involved with vulnerable adults, or they are deemed to be a risk to vulnerable adults.
The Children’s Barred List contains names of people who are not allowed to work with Children because they have committed criminal offences which were directly involved with children or they are deemed to be a risk to children.
As a further safeguard in addition to the Enhanced DBS check which is required if the applicant is to work with vulnerable groups of people. The applicant's name is checked against the Children’s and/or Adult’s barred list.
You can't get a DBS check quicker than with Aaron’s Department, a DBS Umbrella Body. Our direct connection to the UK Government's Gateway and unique error checking system ensures your DBS application is processed as quick as possible and your certificates are printed promptly.
Our fastest DBS result for 2018 was returned in just 1 hour and 34 minutes!
You must contact the DBS directly, and meet criteria which would make you eligible for a DBS Certificate reprint. More information can be found on the UK Government's website.
Read the guideline of documents and information that the DBS application form should contain.
From the 17th June 2013, the only person who will receive the DBS Certificate is the applicant. If the applicant agrees, the Nominated Signatory assigned to their application can also view a clear result online.
The DBS can’t access criminal records held outside the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. If an applicant has lived outside the UK, you may need to apply to the country of residence. You can find further information here.
The minimum age at which you can apply for a criminal record check is 16 years old. These rules are covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975.
Minor offenders get a second chance with ROA 1974. It gives people with spent convictions and cautions the right not to reveal them when applying for most job positions.
It is an act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom introduced by Kenneth Marks, receiving the royal assent on the 31st July 1974. Its long title is “An Act to rehabilitate offenders who have not been re-convicted of any serious offence for periods of years, to penalise the unauthorised disclosure of their previous convictions, to amend the law of defamation and for purposes connected therewith.”
The rehabilitation time depends on the actual sentence. For more information about the criteria, please click on this link.
After a certain amount of time (called rehabilitation time), the conviction can be ignored under the terms of the ROA 1974, meaning it has become spent.
Spent offences are convictions and cautions that, under Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974, have reached the point where the person is to be considered, for most purposes, as if they had not committed the offence. Unspent offences are convictions and cautions that have not reached this point and will appear on Basic DBS checks. Spent and unspent convictions will appear on Standard and Enhanced DBS checks.
Because it is the humane thing to do. Everybody makes mistakes, and as long as it is a minor offence, it makes sense to give offenders a second chance.
The ultimate goal of sentencing and imprisonment of people is to rehabilitate the offenders into law-abiding citizens. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 gives minor offenders a second chance by not including spent convictions on their Basic DBS Certificates; This allows them to find work in a non regulated activity.
Organisations can register with the DBS to process paper applications if they do more than 99 checks per year. If the organisation can’t meet these criteria, then they must use an Umbrella Body to process the organisation’s checks in their name.
PNC is short for Police National Computer - a record database system used in the United Kingdom. It consists of several databases which give access to information of both local and national significance.
The Police National Computer (PNC) is among the main sources of information necessary to conduct a DBS check. It holds exhaustive records of a person’s convictions and cautions.
Conditional cautions are statutory, out-of-court disposals and provide an effective and abrupt resolution in appropriate cases. Conditional cautions are first introduced for adults by the Criminal Justice Act 2003 and for youths by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and are operated under Statutory Codes of Practice.
In cases where the offender admits the offence and accepts the given conditions, a conditional caution can be issued. The prosecution of the offence in a court depends on whether the given conditions are complied with or not.
Identity Document (ID) checking is a background check of a person used for ensuring the validity of a document and the personal information it contains.
The ID checking process is different for organisations applying for a person’s DBS and for individuals.
If you are an organisation applying for a person's Basic disclosure, you will need to check their ID documents - ID card, Passport, Driving Licence etc. Our system will take care of informing you which combinations are acceptable making sure that you don't break the rules.
When individuals apply for a Basic check through the Disclosure and Barring Service, they need to use an ID Checking service such as the Post Office ID Checking Service and provide confirmation that the ID Checking was performed. Additional information can be found here.
Individuals that apply for a DBS check must have their identity verified by the registered body. The registered bodies must follow the identity checking process to validate the personal information provided by the applicant. This checking may involve using DBS-3 route.
Adult First is a service available to organisations who can request a check of the Adults’ Barred List. Depending on the result, a person can be permitted to start work under supervision with vulnerable adults, before receiving a DBS Certificate. It is a temporary solution to staffing problems, until the issue of an Enhanced DBS Certificate. The DBS Adult First check is not applicable for someone working with both children and adults.
The DBS Adult First is a part of the Enhanced DBS check and cannot be applied for separately. Once the Enhanced DBS application form has passed DBS Stage 1, an Adult First request can be requested by the employer. If you are registered onto the Aaron's Department system, simply tick the Adult First box when you first create the application, and our system will automatically request one at the appropriate time.
The Adult First check service can be used in cases where a person would be permitted to start working with vulnerable adults but needs to wait until an Enhanced DBS Certificate is obtained. It applies to adult services where a DBS Certificate is required by law.
If there is a mistake such as wrong or irrelevant information, incorrect convictions or personal information on the issued DBS Certificate, then the applicant can appeal. The problem should be reported within three months of the date on the Certificate. If there is a mistake in the records, the police may ask for your fingerprints to prove your identity.
You can withdraw a DBS check application, but the application fee cannot be refunded. Once it reaches its printing stage, the DBS check cannot be cancelled.
An exempted question is a valid request for a person to disclose their complete criminal history. However, protected cautions and convictions which are to be filtered from a criminal record are excluded.
The exempted question applies when the person is preparing for work in certain occupations, for certain licenses and specified positions which are all covered by the ROA 1974 Order 1957.
While you are legally allowed to apply for both Standard and Enhanced DBS checks, please remember that you should only request the highest level check available for the job role. The Internet might offer some misleading advice, so if you represent an Organisation and have a specific question, or would like further guidance, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Aaron's Department provides Basic DBS checks, Standard DBS checks, Enhanced DBS checks, Enhanced DBS checks with Barred List information and the Adult First checks to organisations located in England or Wales. The online system is a very effective one, and it allows us to provide a very cost-effective and fast service. Registration is free, and our support team are friendly and will answer any questions you might have about completing a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, or on our Online DBS checking system.
Standard disclosures are available within regulated activities, where the applicants are to work with Children or Vulnerable Adults but do not qualify for an Enhanced check. The Standard disclosure reveals details of any spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings the applicant has received and is primarily for positions of high responsibility. Some of the main categories for which a Standard DBS would be required are those involved in the administration of law, checked in the interests of national security, applying for firearms, explosives and gaming licences but also professional groups in health and pharmacies as well as senior managers in banking and financial services. For job positions such as a prison officer, a security officer or a doctor’s receptionist would be eligible for a Standard DBS check.
Registering for a DBS check with Aaron’s Department is fast and easy. Just click the button below and fill out the form.
Yes, Aaron’s Department process both Online and Paper DBS check applications.
Online is better in every way. Compared to using paper DBS application forms, the reduction in time spent doing paperwork and the length of time waiting for certificates has been staggering, and we would encourage you to try our Online DBS system for yourselves.
Some of the reasons to have a Basic DBS Certificate are:
An Umbrella Body in the business world refers to an organisation that provides resources and often an identity to the smaller organisations which are linked to it.
Using a DBS Umbrella Body takes a lot of workload of your back, by processing your applications. You benefit by gaining time to concentrate on other matters. Without a DBS Umbrella Body, you would need to register with the DBS directly, paying the yearly application fee, register your counter-signatories and put in place the policies, processes and systems required. Then you would need to either design and build and get approved a digital system or resort to wasting time processing paper forms.
"Fantastic service for the DBS.
A speedy efficient service.
I will always use this company for my Applications"