FAQ: Which DBS Is The Best?

If you are an employer looking to get checks for your staff, asking which DBS is the best is a good question to start with. However, DBS checks aren’t like Economy, Business, and First Class – where one is better than the next, and they’re all interchangeable.

Each level of DBS check serves a different purpose and (other than Basic checks) can only be requested in specific circumstances.

Let’s have a look at why you’d get each level of check:

Which DBS Is The Best? – Basic Checks

Basic DBS checks are available for anyone to apply for, and are the cheapest of the 3 tiers. They disclose only unspent convictions and conditional cautions.

If you have no legal or regulatory requirement to get checks for your staff, then this is the only DBS check available.


  • The cheapest level of DBS check.
  • No eligibility requirements, so anyone can apply.
  • Basic DBS checks are usually completed within 48 hours, making them the fastest DBS check.


  • Discloses the least information of the three types of DBS check.
  • Illegal to use a Basic DBS check for a role that requires an Enhanced DBS check.
FAQ: Which DBS Is The Best?

Which DBS Is The Best? – Standard DBS Checks

To get a Standard DBS check for an employee, the role they perform must be eligible. Standard checks disclose spent & unspent convictions, cautions, and reprimands. You can find some basic guidance on which roles are eligible here.


  • Still not the most expensive DBS check
  • Despite only being available for specific roles, it isn’t technically a legal requirement for any of those roles – although industry regulators have their own requirements, which must be adhered to.


  • Only available for a limited range of roles.
  • The certificate takes longer than a Basic DBS check to arrive, on average.

Which DBS Is The Best? – Enhanced DBS Checks

Enhanced DBS checks show everything that a Standard does, as well as any extra information that the police hold on the applicant, that they consider relevant to the role being applied for. For more guidance on what this entails, click here.

Enhanced checks can also include a check of the Barred Lists, to see whether the applicant is barred from working with children or Vulnerable Adults.

If you have any staff eligible for an Enhanced DBS check, you can forget about Pros & Cons! If an employee is eligible, then they are required to have one by law.

FAQ: Which DBS Is The Best?

Summary: Which DBS Is The Best?

Because each DBS check serves a different purpose, there is no “best” DBS check. You’ll just have to look at the options and see which level your staff legally require or are eligible for.

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About The Author

FAQ: Which DBS Is The Best?

John Schofield-Antoncich

John has processed more applications than days he has been alive, and has become the DBS expert. Got a question? He knows the answer!

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