FAQ: What Is a DBS Certificate? And More!

What Is a DBS Certificate?

DBS Certificates are a physical record issued by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) that shows convictions and cautions on an individual’s record. The information shown on the certificate can vary depending on what level of DBS Check is carried out: Basic, Standard or Enhanced.  

What Is Shown On DBS Certificates?

The information shown on a DBS Certificate can vary depending on which check is undertaken. On every DBS check, there is a record of the applicant’s personal details such as name, date of birth, place of birth, gender, position applied for and name of employer.

Regarding criminal record information, each check will show a different amount of information. Basic DBS Certificates show the least information, and Enhanced DBS Checks, the most. Below is a detailed breakdown: 

Basic DBS Certificates: This level of DBS Check looks into a person’s criminal history and reveals any unspent convictions or conditional cautions that may exist. 

Standard DBS Certificates: This level of DBS Check will show an applicant’s criminal history including cautions, warnings and reprimands as well as spent and unspent convictions. 

Enhanced DBS Certificates: Show a complete record of someone’s criminal history. An Enhanced DBS check shows an applicant’s criminal history for cautions, warnings, reprimands and convictions (both spent and unspent).

Local police forces will also add any extra information they hold on the applicant, if they deem it relevant to the applicant’s role/job/position. 

An Enhanced DBS Check will also show information from the Barred Lists if requested.

DBS Certificates

Can I Access My DBS Certificate Online?

You can see a summary of your results on the Government DBS website, but this is not your certificate and is not an acceptable legal document. Your employer will need to see the physical copy of your DBS certificate to be able to confirm the information.

For more on this topic, why not read our recently updated article, Can I Download my DBS Certificate?

Where Do I Get A DBS Certificate From?

After your DBS Check is completed, your DBS Certificate will be printed and posted to the address given as a current address on your application.

We have further information on DBS Certificates and their delivery, including information on getting a reprint of a certificate if needed, in our article, Can I Get A DBS Reprint of My Certificate?

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