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DBS Check FAQs

What is a basic DBS check?

A basic DBS check is the first level of criminal record check in the UK, and is available for any position or purpose. This type shows the details of convictions and conditional cautions that are considered to be unspent under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974. Put simply, these can be termed as anything serious and/or recent.  

The acronym DBS is short for The Disclosure and Barring Service, which helps employees make safer recruitment decisions, and is a government body that is sponsored by the Home Office. A basic DBS check (formerly known as a CRB check) is also sometimes referred to as a basic criminal record check, or a basic disclosure.

What is a standard DBS check?

A standard DBS check (previously known as a Standard CRB check) shows any spent or unspent convictions a candidate may have, as well as cautions, warnings or reprimands held on the Police National Computer.

What is the difference between a basic and standard DBS check?

The primary difference between a basic DBS check and a standard DBS check is that in order to obtain a standard check certain legal eligibility criteria must be met. Whereas, a basic DBS check is available to anyone in the UK over the age of 16 for any purpose.

What is an enhanced DBS check in the UK?

An Enhanced DBS check is the most detailed criminal record check in the UK. This shows any spent or unspent convictions, cautions, warnings or reprimands that an applicant may have, and any relevant details on the application's local police force. This type of check may also include a check of the children’s and/or adults’ barred list, if the applicant is eligible.

How long does a basic DBS last?

A basic DBS check doesn’t have an official expiry date. However, the information provided is only valid and accurate at the time the check was carried out. Some companies may request a new DBS check upon joining or at certain intervals at their discretion - this may form part of a rescreening programme.

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