Is An ACRO Police Check The Same As A DBS Check?

Is An ACRO Police Check The Same As A DBS Check?

Put short: no! While the two types of check disclose similar information to the recipient, they are used for entirely different purposes.

Is An ACRO Police Check The Same As A DBS Check?

The Differences Between DBS Checks And ACRO Police Checks


While ACRO checks tend to be used for international purposes such as visa & citizenship processes, DBS checks are used internally within the UK to assess whether applicants are suitable for working in certain roles.

Who can request the check?

Anyone can request an ACRO police check for themselves. However, only organisations and employers can request Standard and Enhanced DBS checks – and only then if the applicant’s role at the organisation makes them eligible for those levels of check. If you want a DBS check for yourself, it is only possible to apply for a Basic check.

Information Disclosed

Both checks disclose the same information: any convictions, cautions, and warnings the PNC (Police National Computer) has about the applicant. However, different levels of DBS check disclose different amounts of information. Click here to read more about what each level of DBS check shows.


Broadly speaking, DBS checks are accepted within the UK, and ACRO checks are accepted internationally. Although some countries accept DBS checks, the highest level (an Enhanced DBS check) is impossible to access for situations other than employment within the UK. It is recommended to get an ACRO police check for use abroad.

Summary – Is An ACRO Police Check The Same As A DBS Check?

To answer the question, Is an ACRO Check the same as a DBS Check? The answer is no. They are entirely different checks, and while they disclose similar information, the purposes of the checks are very different.

Is An ACRO Police Check The Same As A DBS Check?

Do You Need DBS Checks For Your Staff?

If you found this page while searching for what kind of background check your staff need, then Aaron’s Department offers fast and affordable DBS checks. Have a browse of our site for more information, or get in touch at, and we’ll get right back to you.

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About The Author

Kellie Dawson

Kellie Dawson

Kellie is our in-house legal expert when it comes to DBS checks. With a background in the legal sector, she has become a recognised authority in this area.

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