Working in Healthcare: NHS DBS Checks – Quick 2 Minute Read

Working in Healthcare: NHS DBS Checks

The NHS is a colossal organisation with hundreds, if not thousands, of different roles, many of which require a NHS DBS check. But who is eligible? And what level of NHS DBS check do they need? This blog aims to address these questions and provide links to any useful resources.

NHS DBS Checks: Who is Responsible?

At times, the NHS can seem like a mess of contractors and subcontractors. Before we can look at what type of NHS DBS check you need, we have to find out who should be providing it!

Most employers arrange and pay for their employees’ DBS checks, as it gives them control over the situation rather than leaving it up to the individual to get things done. If an employee requires anything more than a Basic check, the employer will have to do it themselves, as individuals may only request a Basic check.

However, this is the employers’ choice. They’re free to choose whether the employee should pay for their own Basic check.

Since the responsibility for the check can fall at the feet of a few different parties, it will end up being decided on a case-by-case basis. All we would add is that if you are an employee worrying about having to do your own check, the likelihood of this happening is very low indeed.

NHS DBS Checks: What Level of Checks Are There?

There are 3 levels of DBS checks – Basic, Standard, and Enhanced. Each level of check is more detailed than the last, but can only be requested when you are actually entitled to it. For example, if you are only entitled to get a Basic DBS check, you cannot get a Standard or Enhanced.


A Basic DBS check contains a filtered list of convictions and conditional cautions from the Police National Computer (PNC) that are considered unspent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974.


A Standard DBS check contains both a list of spent and unspent convictions, final warnings and reprimands contained on the Police National Computer (PNC).


An Enhanced DBS Certificate contains all spent and unspent convictions, final warnings, and reprimands from the PNC. It also includes any information that the local police consider relevant for disclosure. It will also include the result of a check against one or both barred lists, if necessary.

NHS DBS Checks: What Level of check do I Need?

This question is a bit easier to answer. Any employee who will be working around patients is eligible for a Standard and in most cases an Enhanced NHS DBS check – even if their work doesn’t directly relate to healthcare or require interaction with patients.

For roles away from patients, a DBS check is not legally required, but employers may request a Basic DBS check if they consider the position to be a “Position of Trust”. Examples of such positions would be having access to sensitive documents & information, or being responsible for patients at a logistical level.

However, if the individual will be looking after vulnerable adults, or children, then it is more than likely that an Enhanced DBS check with the relevant Barred List will be required.

As we say, there are thousands of jobs and roles within the NHS, and we can’t discuss each one on a case-by-case basis. The NHS Employers website has a very useful tool built in to help you decide what NHS DBS checks your staff.

Getting NHS DBS Checks With Aaron’s Department

Getting DBS checks for NHS workers done couldn’t be easier with our simple-to-use, online DBS service.

To read more, you can do so on our employer page, or if you want to get straight to it, you can use the sign-up button below to get started.

Registration is fast and free. You could be getting your results back in just a few hours if you sign up today!

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