DBS checks are legally mandated by many types of employers across the UK. Consequently, there are millions of such checks carried out every year. Certain businesses and organisations like education and healthcare are legally required to do so. The purpose of these checks is to prevent the hiring of unsuitable staff that may become a cause for legal, reputational or criminal damages. These checks are necessary for the well-being of vulnerable adults and children.
We look at some of the essentials of DBS checks in this blog:
What is DBS?
The full form of DBS is Disclosure and Barring Service.
What does a DBS check involve?
A DBS check confirms if an individual has a criminal record of any kind. During the process, if a criminal record is revealed it will reflect cautions and convictions if any. These are necessary for those individuals that work in healthcare or teaching sectors or those organisations where there is access to vulnerable adults or children.
What are the kinds of DBS checks?
There are 3 kinds of checks: Basic, Standard and Enhanced.
Basic: Most common and can serve multiple jobs and professions. They have a history of cautions and unspent convictions that are covered by the ROA 1974 legal bill.
Standard: A complete history of any warnings, cautions, reprimands and convictions as found on the PNC. These are done for private security personnel, prison employees and court officials.
Enhanced: As with a standard check, enhanced DBS involves checking the Barred List of children or DBS Adults (for those that will work with vulnerable adults). Mostly these are done for those that seek employment where they will come into contact with kids or vulnerable adults.
How many stages are in a DBS Check?
Standard DBS check is divided into 3 stages.
Stage 1: The application is received and validated by the DBS
Stage 2: There is a check carried out on the PNC
Stage 3: The disclosure is printed and mailed to the applicant. They then share it with their employer at the business or company.
The Enhanced DBS check is divided into 5 stages:
Stage 1: The application is accepted and validated by the DBS
Stage 2: A check is carried out on the PNC
Stage 3: Another check is done on the Barred List of Children’s and/or Vulnerable Adults
Stage 4: A search is done at the local police station
Stage 5: The disclosure is printed and mailed to the applicant. They then share it with their prospective employer.
Most applications get delayed at the fourth stage especially if the applicant has changed his address frequently in the last 5 years. It can also be due to a large number of applications to be processed or other limitations of those involved in clearing the application.
What is the duration of a DBS check?
In most cases, the DBS check gets issued within 24 hours. However, in the case of standard checks, it will take 48 hours. Although, this could take longer up to 14 working days depending on the situation. The certificate will arrive by post within 5-7 working days but may be delayed for as long as 4 weeks in some cases.