DBS Check


The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) have merged to become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). CRB checks are now called DBS checks.

A DBS check may be needed for:

  • Certain jobs or voluntary work (e.g working with children or in healthcare)
  • Applying for foster or adopt a child

How to get a DBS check:

  • You, the employer gets an application form from DBS or a registered bodyHealth and Safety Training
  • You give the applicant the form to fill in and return it to you along with the relevant documents as proof of identity
  • You then need to send the completed application form to DBS or their umbrella body
  • DBS will then send out a certificate to the applicant and you will need to ask the applicant to see the certificate

You should only arrange a DBS check on a successful job applicant. It is then possible to withdraw the job offer if the results of the DBS checks show anything that makes the applicant unsuitable.

The Disclosure and Barring Service allow you to identify whether a job applicant has a criminal record but this service does not show spent convictions. Until recently is was possible to bypass this restriction by asking the applicants to make a Data Protection Subject Access Record which would return the full criminal record.

In March 2015, a new provision was introduced under Section 56 of the Data Protection Act 1998 which makes this approach unlawful.

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