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Aaron's Department Frequently asked questions

by Aaron's Department

   
  • Frequently Asked Questions

DBS Guarantee
For all your DBS Disclosure needs, speak to one of our professional advisors today on 0113 344 0171.

  •   What Is the DBS?

    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.

  •   What Is a DBS Check?

    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.

  •   What Is a DBS Check Used For?

    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.

  •   What Is on a DBS Certificate?

    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).

  •   What Is on a Basic DBS Certificate?

    A Basic DBS Certificate contains all unspent convictions, final warnings, and reprimands from the PNC.

  •   What Is on a Standard DBS Certificate?

    A Standard DBS Certificate contains all spent and unspent convictions, final warnings, and reprimands from the PNC of the applicant.

  •   What Is on an Enhanced DBS Certificate?

    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.

  •   What Is on an Enhanced DBS Certificate with a Barred List Check?

    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.

  •   What Is a Manual DBS Certificate?

    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.

  •   What Are the DBS Check Stages?

    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.

  •   When Do DBS Checks Expire?

    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!

  •   How Long Is the DBS Certificate Valid For?

    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.

  •   How Often Should DBS Checks Be Repeated?

    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.

  •   How Many DBS Checks Are There?

    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).

  •   How Do I DBS Check My Staff?

    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.

  •   How Do I Check the Progress of a DBS Check?

    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.

  •   How Are DBS Checks Used?

    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.

  •   How Can DBS Checks Prevent Abuse?

    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.

  •   When Are DBS Checks Necessary?

    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.

  •   When Is a DBS Check Not Required?

    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.

  •   What Will Show Up on My DBS?

    Criminal offence information, including:

    • Basic DBS check – unspent convictions, final warnings, and reprimands from the PNC
    • Standard DBS check – spent and unspent convictions, final warnings, and reprimands from the PNC
    • Enhanced DBS check – spent and unspent convictions, final warnings, and reprimands from the PNC; local police information;
    • Enhanced DBS check with Barred Lists information – spent and unspent convictions, final warning, and reprimands from the PNC; local police information; adult’s and/or children’s barred lists information
  •   How Much Is It for a DBS Check?

    There are different prices for Online and for Paper DBS checks. Also, the prices for a DBS check depend on the type of DBS check performed. Read more details about our prices here: Online DBS checks price and Paper DBS checks price.

  •   How to Get a DBS Check when Self-Employed?

    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.

  •   How Long Do You Have a Criminal Record For?

    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).

  •   Where Can I Find My DBS Number?

    The DBS number is the 12 digit number located at the top right-hand side of a DBS Certificate.

  •   How Can I Find Out if Someone Has a Criminal Record?

    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.

  •   What Is a DBS Application Form?

    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.

  •   What Employers Look For In a DBS Check?

    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.

  •   Which Type of DBS Check Do I Need?

    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.

  •   Do You Have a List of Positions Requiring DBS Checks?

    There is no official list of job positions and sectors requiring a DBS check, but you can read the eligibility guidance.

  •   What Is an Exempted Question?

    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.

  •   Do Volunteers Need a DBS Check?

    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.

  •   What Is DBS Stage 1?

    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.

  •   What Is DBS Stage 2?

    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.

  •   What Is DBS stage 3?

    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.

  •   What Is DBS Stage 4?

    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.

  •   What Is DBS Stage 5?

    The DBS Certificate is printed and sent to the applicant. All of the DBS check types go through this stage.

  •   What Is a Criminal Record?

    A criminal record is a record of a person's criminal history it contains information on a person’s offences and convictions.

  •   Do Arrests Show Up on a DBS Check or Just 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.

  •   What Comes Up in a DBS Check when I Apply for a Job?

    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.

  •   How Do I Apply for a DBS Check Online?

    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:

  •   Do I Have to Disclose Spent Convictions?

    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.

  •   How Do I Apply for Enhanced DBS Check Online?

    Individuals cannot apply for an Enhanced DBS check. If you are an organisation, you can request an Enhanced DBS check here:

  •   How Do I Apply for Standard DBS Check Online?

    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:

  •   How to Apply for a Basic DBS Check Online?

    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.

  •   What Is an Enhanced Disclosure Form?

    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.

  •   What Is the Difference Between Standard and Enhanced DBS Check?

    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.

  •   What Are the Criteria for a DBS Check?

    • The individual is 16 years old or more
    • The individual lives or works, or has lived or worked in the UK
    • The individual has permitted you to apply for a check in their name
  •   Can I Get a DBS Check from Aaron's Department if I Live in Scotland?

    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.

  •   Can I Get a DBS Check from Aaron's Department if I Live in Northern Ireland?

    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.

  •   What Are the DBS Barred Lists?

    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.

  •   What Is the 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.

  •   What Is the Children's Barred List?

    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.

  •   What Is the Barred Lists Check?

    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.

  •   I Need a DBS Quickly?

    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!

  •   How Can I Request a DBS Certificate Reprint?

    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.

  •   Which Documents Must the Applicant Provide?

    Read the guideline of documents and information that the DBS application form should contain.

  •   Who Will Receive the Disclosure?

    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.

  •   Can the DBS Access Criminal Records Overseas?

    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.

  •   What Is the Minimum Age for a DBS Check?

    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.

  •   Who is Covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act of 1974?

    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.

  •   What Does Rehabilitation of Offenders Mean?

    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.”

  •   When Does a Common Assault Conviction Become Spent?

    The rehabilitation time depends on the actual sentence. For more information about the criteria, please click on this link.

  •   What Does it Mean when a Conviction is Spent?

    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.

  •   What Is the Difference Between Spent and Unspent Criminal Convictions?

    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.

  •   Why Should Offenders be Given the Opportunity of Rehabilitation?

    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.

  •   Why Change the Status of the Offence to Spent for Minor Crimes?

    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.

  •   What Are the Requirements for DBS Registration?

    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.

  •   What Is the Meaning of PNC?

    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.

  •   What is the Police National Computer?

    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.

  •   What Are Conditional 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.

  •   When Is a Conditional Caution Issued?

    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.

  •   What Is an ID Check?

    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.

  •   How Does the ID Checking Work?

    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.

  •   Do I Need an ID Check for DBS Application?

    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.

  •   What Is a DBS Adult First Check?

    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.

  •   How Do We Apply for an Adult First Check?

    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.

  •   When Is DBS Adult First Check Applicable?

    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.

  •   What if there Is a Mistake on My DBS Certificate?

    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.

  •   Can I Cancel a DBS Application?

    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.

  •   What Is an Exempted Question?

    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.

  •   When Does the Exempted Question Apply?

    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.

  •   Do I Need to Apply for More than One Type of DBS Check?

    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.

  •   What is Offered by Aaron's Department?

    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.

  •   Which Positions Require Standard DBS Check?

    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.

  •   How Do I Register for a DBS Check with Aaron's Department?

    Registering for a DBS check with Aaron’s Department is fast and easy. Just click the button below and fill out the form.

  •   Does Aaron's Department Process DBS Check Paper Applications?

    Yes, Aaron’s Department process both Online and Paper DBS check applications.

  •   What Is the Difference Between Online and Paper DBS Check Application?

    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.

  •   How Can People Use the Basic DBS Certificate?

    Some of the reasons to have a Basic DBS Certificate are:

    • Increasing the customer confidence in case of self-employment
    • Gaining additional credibility while applying for a new job
    • Helping the visa application process for UK citizens
    • Vetting of prospective employees or tenants
  •   What is an Umbrella Body?

    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.

  •   Why Should I Use an Umbrella Body?

    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.



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