What is Basic Disclosure, And Why is it Important?

What is a Basic Disclosure?

A Basic Disclosure is a criminal record check that is conducted by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). It is used by employers, recruitment agencies, and other organisations to check the criminal records of potential employees or volunteers. It is often referred to as a ‘Basic DBS check’, or simply a ‘Basic check’.

A Basic Disclosure will show any unspent convictions, cautions, or reprimands that the person has on their record. It will not show spent convictions, which are those that have been removed from the person’s record after a certain period of time.

basic disclosure

What Jobs Require a Basic Disclosure Check?

A Basic Disclosure check is not a legal requirement for any job; however, employers are within their rights to request one for prospective employees, and make employment decisions based on the results.

Employers occasionally request a Basic disclosure in situations where themselves or their customers would benefit from peace-of-mind knowing that their employees have an acceptable criminal record.

An example we often see here at Aaron’s Department is Airlines requesting basic DBS checks for their staff, particularly baggage handlers. These workers will be left unsupervised with customers’ valuables, so it’s understandable why employers wouldn’t want somebody with a criminal history involving theft working in such a role.

Employers can only make recruitment decisions based on unspent convictions – which are the only things revealed on a Basic disclosure check. Spent convictions do show up on Standard and Enhanced checks, but employers must not let spent convictions influence their view of the candidate.

What Comes Up On A Basic DBS Check?

A Basic DBS Check only shows convictions and cautions that are unspent.

For more information on spent and unspent convictions, read our informative article, The Difference Between Spent and Unspent Convictions.

The Differences Between Basic, Standard, and Enhanced Disclosures

There are three different levels of DBS checks: Basic, Standard, and Enhanced. The level of check that is required will depend on the job role and the level of risk involved.

  • Basic Disclosure: This is the most basic level of check. It will show any unspent convictions, cautions, or reprimands that the person has on their record.
  • Standard Disclosure: This level of check is more thorough than a Basic Disclosure. It will show all convictions, cautions, and reprimands, regardless of whether they are spent or unspent.
  • Enhanced Disclosure: This is the most thorough level of check. It will show all convictions, cautions, and reprimands, as well as any information that is held on the Barred List, if the Barred List check is required. The Barred List is a list of people who are barred from working with children or vulnerable adults. Take a look at our dedicated page on the Barred Lists for more info.

What Documents Are Needed For A Basic Disclosure Check?

The documents needed for a Basic DBS check depend on two things: which country the applicant is from, and what documents they have available.

Some of the more common documents used for DBS checks are:
– Passport.
– UK Driving Licence.
– Birth Certificate.

If you want to read more about the documents needed for any of the DBS Disclosure checks, we have written an Application Guide – What Do I Need For A DBS Check?

Who Has to Pay For a Basic Disclosure Check?

If you are applying for a job that requires a Basic Disclosure, there is a chance you may be asked to pay for it yourself, but this is unlikely.

Most of the time, the employer will take on the expense as an operating cost. After all, charging prospective employees for the pleasure of applying for a job hardly reflects well on the employer!

DBS Disclosure

SummaryWhat is a Basic Disclosure

A Basic Disclosure is a simple criminal record check. They are a valuable tool for employers and recruitment agencies because it gives employers (and their customers) confidence in their staff.

Aaron’s Department

Aaron’s Department is a leading Umbrella Body – that is, a business that facilitates DBS checks for employers. We offer a fast and efficient service, and we can help you get the checks you need for your employees quickly and easily.

If you want to find out more about our services, we’re happy to take your call on +44 113 877 0171, or email us at contact@aaronsdepartment.com. We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have.

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