A Guide To DBS Basic

Our extensive guide covers the process and answers all the key questions you have about DBS Basic checks.


What is a DBS Basic check?

It’s a Basic level criminal check. DBS Basic check reviews conditional cautions and unspent convictions in accordance with the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974.  Individuals aged 16 and above residing in or intending to reside and work in England and Wales can apply.

Chart that explains the different checks on DBS Basic, Standard, and Enhanced.

Who sets the rules?

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The DBS is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Home Office.

Who can apply for a DBS Basic?

Any individual can apply for their own Basic check or with the correct consent an organisation can apply for a check on an individual through a responsible organisation.

How can you apply for a DBS Basic?

You can apply via the government or use a responsible organisation such as EBC Global

If you are a candidate you can apply for a DBS via our Employment Check App application route. 

Download from the App Store

Download from The Google Play Store 

Alternatively, if an individual gives consent to an organisation or employer they can apply for a DBS Basic check on behalf of an individual through a Responsible Organisation (RO).

Applying directly via the government website

Registering via the government website is the cheapest way to get a DBS Basic but it’s also the most time-consuming. If you have not applied for a DBS before you will have to verify your identity which takes at least 15 minutes and requires you to correctly answer a few questions about your personal financial affairs. 

These questions sometimes can throw out some tricky questions and if you fail this process you will have to do something like head to the post office and take your passport to get them to verify you. 

Once you have passed this stage you then have to enter all the required personal details, which can take 15 -30 minutes depending on several factors, such as, how many addresses you have lived at in the past 5 years.

How long does the government process take?

It can be 20-30 minutes, or up to 2 hours if you have to verify your identity.

What are the benefits of applying for a DBS Basic via EBC Global? 

·      Modern software designed for a slick user experience.

·      Easy and fast pre-populated application process 

·      Payment options including PayPal.

·      Tracking Page with a clear overview of progress 

·      Status updates every 15 minutes.

·      Digital Result with all certificate data 

·      ISO270001 Accredited / Secure GDPR portal.

What does an individual or employer need?

To carry out a DBS Basic check you will need:

  • Your applicant’s personal data, including a full five-year address history.
  • Identity documents for your applicant, such as:
    • Passport
    • Driving licence
    • Biometric residence permit
    • ID card
  • The applicant’s consent
  • Document Verification

Under DBS regulations the employer must carry out an identity check this is done by manually verifying documents or by using IDVT 

What documents are acceptable?

One form of identification, like a passport or driving license, is required. 

Additionally, you need a document confirming your current address, which may include a utility bill, bank or credit card statement, or a driving licence (provided it displays your present address and hasn’t been used as the primary ID document).

What are the advantages if you use an IDSP to verify the documents?

·      You only need one document from the qualified list

·      You use Home Office-approved technology that also provides ID Verification of the employee/applicant to minimise the risk of human error and identity fraud.

What is checked on a DBS Basic?

What does DBS Basic cover?

What are the 4 stages a DBS Basic goes through when it is being processed by the disclosure and barring service?

1.    Processing

2.    Police National Computer Search

3.    Assemble Certificate

4.    Certificate Issued / Despatched on DD/MM/YYYY

What will the result say?

Either the certificate will contain no information – This means no there is no record.

Or you will receive a notification that reads: ’Please wait to view applicant certificate’ – This indicates that there is a criminal record.

How long does it take to process a DBS Basic check?

When using EBC Global software, 84% of DBS Basic checks are processed within 24 hours.

What causes delays to a DBS Basic?

Some applications are randomly checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service but there can be several reasons that are not disclosed to an organisation or employer.

How can you resolve a delay?

Although a high number of basic checks are processed very quickly the official SLA (Service Level Agreement) is 14 days and there’s nothing you can do at all until you hit this period.

After that due to strict GDPR protocols, the only way to resolve an issue that delays a DBS check from being processed is to get the employee or candidate to phone up the Disclosure and Barring Service.

The DBS Basic Report that comes back 

The DBS Basic certificate that is returned to you will appear as follows, showcasing the applicant’s personal information such as date and place of birth. It displays any unspent convictions and conditional cautions relating to the applicant.

DBS Basic Electronic Certificate from EBC Global

Integrated DBS Basic Perks

Do you get a Paper Certificate?

A paper certificate is still available however, The DBS has run consultations to review this and the EBC Global team believes that the days of paper are numbered!

Who can / needs to complete the check?

An individual can apply for a DBS Basic check directly to DBS through our online application route, or an employer can apply for a DBS Basic check on an individual’s behalf, through a Responsible Organisation (RO), if they have consent. There are no legislative or eligibility requirements to have a DBS Basic check, so anyone aged 16 or over can apply at any time and you can request this as part of your recruitment process.

Compliance and Legal 

The certificate has no official expiry date and any information included on the certificate is accurate when the check was carried out.

Although it is advised to carry out DBS Basic checks on your employees, it is not a legal requirement (unless industry-specific). 

Information about the candidate must be true, consensual, and in line with the DBS Identity Guidance or you will experience delays.

If a DBS certificate comes back with cautions or convictions it is at the employer’s discretion whether they want to employ the candidate unless there are disqualifying offences for the specific job role or sector.

EBC accreditations

EBC is a DBS Registered Responsible Organisation, hence why the results are so quick with secure applicant tracking for every step of the process. You will be able to quickly apply for multiple DBS basic checks within minutes and view your progress.

EBC Global - Responsible Organisation (RO) number

EBC Global’s DBS basic takes away the hassle of endless admin and tedious chasing of applicants. As a DBS Registered Responsible Organisation (RO), we can add prepaid credits to your account to cover the costs of the DBS Basic fee.

For further information or questions please contact: info@ebcglobal.co.uk, our dedicated team will be able to assist you. 

To find out how our DBS Basic solution can benefit you and your business, please book a meeting with our sales team. 


Who are common users of DBS Basic checks

·       Uber Eats

·       Tesco

·       Amazon

·       National Express

·       Wincanton

·       Manchester Airport

Who are common sectors using DBS Basic checks

·       Construction

·       Aviation

·       Finance and Legal

·       Leisure and Hospitality

·       Logistics and Transport

Can you use a DBS again?

Easily reuse your DBS certificate with another organisation; however, if it’s outdated, they might request you to obtain a new one. In the Aviation sector, a DBS is only valid for 10 weeks from the date of issue.

How are DBS Basic checks paid for?

By card mostly. EBC Global offers 

1.    Securely send a link to the candidate via PayPal.

2.    An employer can purchase credits to pay via EBC Global.

3.    Card (via EC App only)

Can a candidate fail a DBS Basic check?

No, there is no passing or failing, it is simply part of the employment vetting process. It will however produce a clear result which will show a clear record or a criminal record.

Under the Rehabilitation Of Offenders Act 1974, an employer can’t refuse to employ someone because they have a spent caution or conviction.

Can I apply for a DBS Basic for myself?

Yes, you can use the Employment Check APP. You can download it via the App Store or Google Play Store. 

Download from the App Store

Download from The Google Play Store 

Can an employer apply for a criminal check for an individual?

Yes, if you have provided your consent and you apply through a Responsible Organisation.

What are the recent changes?

Recent rule updates mandate the automatic disclosure of all unspent conditional cautions and convictions as per the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA). Any records revealed in a DBS basic check will also be visible on standard and enhanced checks.

Additional Resources

Basic check ID checking guidelines – This guidance explains what Responsible Organisations need to do to verify the identity of individuals applying through them for DBS basic checks.

Disclosure and Barring Service to Reduce Fees – This article explains the prices for each level of EBC Global’s DBS checks.

Find out which DBS check is right for your employees – Use this resource to identify which DBS to use.

DBS Basic check – Online application route for DBS Basic checks.

DBS Basic check guidance – Guidance on DBS Basic checks including how to apply, the cost, and what information is disclosed on a DBS Basic certificate.

DBS checks detailed guidance – A collection of guidance documents and information about DBS checks and processes.

DBS checks guidance for employers – Guidance for employers about DBS checks, including how to apply, and register with DBS, and the code of practice.

DBS eligibility guidance – A collection of documents that you can use to decide whether a role is eligible for a Basic, Standard, Enhanced or Enhanced with Barred List(s) DBS check.

Rehabilitation periods – A table of rehabilitation periods for the most common sentences and disposals, and example scenarios.

Transgender applications – Guidance and information regarding the sensitive application route for transgender applicants.

DBS Annual Report – Overview of the organisation’s activities, achievements, and key performance indicators throughout the year.

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