What Does a DBS Check Show? – Your One Stop 5 Minute Guide for 2024

What Does A DBS Check Show?

It is important when asking, What does a DBS Check show?, to first understand what a DBS Check is. A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is a crucial document used to reveal an individual’s criminal history. Employers, volunteer organizations, and other relevant entities use the DBS check to assess the suitability of an individual for a particular role. Therefore, it’s crucial to know what shows on a DBS check, including the different levels of checks and the types of information disclosed.

The table below represents a simplified view of what shows up on a basic DBS check, what shows up on a Standard DBS Check and what shows up on an Enhanced DBS Check. After, we’ll explain what all these terms mean.

What does a DBS Check Show 2023

A DBS Check comes in three different levels and to ensure you apply for the correct one for yourself or employees, it is especially important to understand what is included at each level when you ask, what does a DBS check show?

The role for which the individual in question is being hired will also impact the level of DBS Check needed. Basic, Standard, and Enhanced (with or without barred list checks) are the three levels available.

What Does a DBS Check Show? Basic Checks

As the name suggests, this is the most basic level of checking, what shows on a basic DBS check are details of any unspent convictions or conditional cautions the applicant has.

This level of check can be requested by any individual as well as an employer.

What Does a DBS Check Show? Standard Checks

This check contains information about cautions, warnings, and reprimands, as well as any spent and unspent convictions. Unlike a Basic DBS Check, this can only be applied for by an employer for an employee.

What Does A DBS Check Show? Enhanced Checks

This is the question we are asked the most, What shows up on an enhanced DBS Check? The Enhanced DBS Check includes all the previous checks from a Standard DBS: cautions, warnings, and reprimands, as well as any spent and unspent convictions.

Local Police Forces can also add any information that they feel is relevant to the applicant and the application. On top of this, the Enhanced checks can also include a search of the DBS’s Children and/or Adult Barred List, depending on the job role – this is known as an Enhanced DBS check with Barred list.


Spent and Unspent Convictions

We have created a separate article on Spent and Unspent Convictions, which you can read here

Cautions, Warnings and Reprimands

The above all relate to various types of warnings (both verbal and written) from the police towards an individual. They are usually given when they have committed a minor offence.

DBS Check with Children’s Barred List

If a role includes Regulated Activity under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, the individual must be checked against the Children’s Barred List. The check will bring back offences (if any) that would stop someone engaging in regulated (or unsupervised) activities with children.

DBS Check with Adult’s Barred List

Like the Children’s Barred List, this check will bring back offences (if any) that would prevent someone engaging in regulated (or unsupervised) activity with vulnerable adults.

Local Police Information

Each Police Force around England holds a local record of information on individuals that fall under their area. This local police information DBS can be disclosed on an Enhanced DBS check in the “Other Relevant Information” on the check. For more detail on local police information, take a look at our dedicated article linked here.


In summary, To answer the question, What does a DBS Check show?, The DBS check comes in three levels: Basic, Standard, and Enhanced, each with varying levels of information disclosed, including spent and unspent convictions, cautions, warnings, and reprimands. The chart below helps to explain what shows on each DBS check

Chart showing what does a dbs check show

Get Started Today

At Aaron’s Department, you can apply for a DBS Check from as little as £5.45 in admin fees.

If you would like to take advantage of our fast and affordable, error-proof, online system for your DBS checks, you can register your company here.

About The Author

FAQ: How Often Should DBS Checks Be Renewed In Schools?

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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