What is a DBS Countersignatory? – 2 Minute Quick Read

So what is a DBS Countersignatory?

A DBS countersignatory is an individual who acts as a witness to the identity verification process during the application for a DBS check. Their role is to verify and confirm the authenticity of the application, ensuring that the information provided is accurate. Here at Aaron’s Department, our countersignatories are well-trained at spotting errors on applications, and giving guidance on how to correct them.

DBS countersignatory

In many organisations and sectors, ensuring the safety and security of employees and service users is of paramount importance. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) in the United Kingdom plays a crucial role in this regard, providing information on an individual’s criminal record to prospective employers and organisations. One key aspect of the DBS process is the involvement of countersignatories.

The purpose of having a countersignatory is to help prevent identity fraud and ensure that the information submitted in the application is genuine. This added layer of verification strengthens the integrity of the DBS process and helps maintain the credibility of the checks. A result of this, aside from preventing identity fraud, is that experienced Countersignatories are able to easily spot mistakes in applications. There are a lot of forms to be filled in, and along with strict eligibility criteria mandated by the DBS, applicants won’t always get it right – and who can blame them, really?

We all make mistakes sometimes. Thankfully, at Aaron’s Department, our Countersignatory team will intervene if they suspect something isn’t right and get that mistake corrected. This step is extremely important because the DBS can reject incorrect and ineligible applications without refund, so avoiding this is our top priority.

Roles and Responsibilities of a DBS Countersignatory

  • Identity Verification: The primary responsibility of a countersignatory is to verify the DBS application form of the applicant.
  • Compliance and Confidentiality: Countersignatories must adhere to the DBS Code of Practice and handle all applicant information with utmost confidentiality. They should understand the legal obligations surrounding the use and storage of sensitive personal data.
  • Providing an Official Declaration: Once the identity verification process is complete, countersignatories are required to sign a declaration on the DBS application form. By doing so, they certify that they have verified the application and that the information provided is correct to the best of their knowledge.
DBS Countersignatory

The Importance Of A DBS Countersignatory

Countersignatories play a vital role in maintaining the integrity and effectiveness of DBS checks. By personally verifying an applicant’s identity and documents, they help prevent individuals from assuming false identities or using fraudulent information. This is particularly crucial in professions that involve working with vulnerable groups, such as children or vulnerable adults, where safety and trust are of utmost importance. DBS Countersignatories can spot errors in applications, and work with the evidence checker to correct these.

Furthermore, the involvement of countersignatories instils confidence in employers and organisations that the individuals they are hiring or engaging with have undergone a thorough and reliable vetting process. It ensures that the information received from the DBS check can be trusted to make informed decisions regarding recruitment or engagement.

What DBS checks can a DBS Countersignatory verify?

A DBS Counter Signatory verifies all DBS checks, Basic, Standard, and Enhanced, before they are sent to the DBS for processing.

DBS Countersignatory


In conclusion, A DBS countersignatory is an individual who acts as a witness to the identity verification process during the application for a DBS check. A DBS countersignatory is instrumental in the DBS checks process, and they provide an essential layer of verification and authentication. Their responsibilities are critical in upholding the safety and security of employees, service users, and the community at large. By ensuring the accuracy and legitimacy of applicant information, our countersignatories play a crucial role in helping to create a safe, trustworthy, and error-free environment within organisations and institutions that require DBS checks.

To find out more, simply give us a call on 0113 877 0171, and one of our experienced team members will be happy to discuss it with you! Or you can register for free below.

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