Enhanced DBS Checks: Everything You Need to Know

There are 4 levels of DBS checks. The most comprehensive and powerful is the Enhanced and Enhanced with barred List DBS.

DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) enhanced checks play a vital role in ensuring the safety of individuals in employment. This comprehensive guide aims to answer common questions about enhanced DBS checks. All while delivering a deeper understanding of their purpose, application process, and importance.

What is an enhanced DBS check?

The Disclosure and Barring Service conduct an enhanced DBS check, which is a criminal check covering England and Wales. It explores criminal records and other relevant information to assess suitability for specific roles like working with vulnerable groups.

What is an enhanced with barred list DBS check?

An enhanced DBS check with barred list includes all the information revealed in an enhanced DBS check. Additionally, it provides information about whether an individual is barred from working with vulnerable groups, revealing if the person is legally restricted from certain roles, such as working with children or adults at risk.

Who needs the check?

Typically, professions such as healthcare professionals, teachers, social workers, and individuals in the care sector, require individuals to undergo an enhanced DBS check. These checks are vital for protecting vulnerable individuals and maintaining public trust.

What information does an enhanced DBS check reveal?

An enhanced DBS check provides exact information about an individual’s criminal history, including convictions, cautions, reprimands, and warnings. It may also incorporate pertinent police intelligence deemed crucial for the applied role.

To ensure a smoother and faster process, it is crucial to submit all the required documentation accurately and promptly. In some cases, employers or companies may choose to use the DBS online service, which can expedite the process by allowing applicants to track the progress of their applications.

How do I apply for an enhanced DBS check?

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 specifically governs the enhanced DBS check. This means you must have a role that authorises you to require an Enhanced check.

Your employer should inform you about the requirement for an enhanced DBS check. The employer will provide you with the necessary application link/forms and advice. The employee needs to provide comprehensive personal details, such as your name, address, Date of birth, National Insurance number, Address history and more as well as supporting documentation to verify your identity.

Once you have completed the application forms and gathered the required documents, you will submit them to the employer or business responsible for initiating the check. They will then forward your application to the DBS for processing.

How much does an enhanced DBS check cost?

The cost of a DBS enhanced check varies from £38 – £90 depending on the provider. The government website direct is the cheapest option but this is a slow and time-consuming process to verify your identity and complete the application form.
EBC Global charges £43 for the check, and it can be applied for within seconds. You can do this depending on the type of check and the company requesting it. Employers often cover the cost of the checks for their employees or volunteers, but some companies may require applicants to bear the expense themselves.

Why do some checks take so long?

The final check is with the police forces. This means a manual check by a qualified member of that Police force’s staff. Some take a lot longer than others. The Metropolitan Police issued an apology on their website that some checks were taking up to 100 days. The current SLA from the Met is up to 60 days!! Other Police Forces have much better turnaround times.

How far back does an enhanced DBS check?

An enhanced DBS check does not have a specific time limit for looking back into an individual’s criminal history. It aims to provide a comprehensive overview of an person’s criminal record, including both spent and unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands, and warnings.

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (ROA) and the Police Act 1997 determine the information disclosed on an enhanced DBS check. The ROA establishes rules regarding the rehabilitation of offenders, specifying the duration for certain convictions to become “spent” and no longer require disclosure. However, an enhanced DBS check may always disclose certain types of offences, such as those related to serious crimes or safeguarding concerns, irrespective of their spent or unspent status.

The decision on what information to include in an enhanced DBS check is based on the police’s professional judgment and any relevant legal requirements or guidance. The police possess the discretion to include additional information that they reasonably deem necessary for the applied position, such as relevant police intelligence.

It’s important to note that the specific details and disclosure periods may vary based on the jurisdiction and the nature of the role being applied for. It is advisable to consult with the DBS or a qualified professional for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding the disclosure periods and requirements for an enhanced DBS check in a particular situation.

Can an individual apply for an enhanced DBS check for themselves?

In most cases, individuals cannot apply for an enhanced DBS check directly. Only eligible organisations/employers with a legitimate need for the information as part of their recruitment or safeguarding processes can request the checks. However, individuals can request a basic DBS check for themselves, which provides a less comprehensive overview of their criminal history.

Find out more about a Basic DBS Check

Can employers request an enhanced DBS check for all job positions?

No, employers cannot request an enhanced DBS check for all job positions. The requirement for a DBS enhanced check is specific to roles that involve working with vulnerable groups, where it is necessary to ensure the safety and well-being of those in the care or custody of the company. The decision to request an enhanced DBS check should be based on a thorough risk assessment and compliance with relevant legislation and guidelines.

What is the difference between a standard DBS check and an enhanced DBS check?

The main difference between a standard DBS check and an enhanced DBS check lies in the level of information disclosed. A standard DBS check reveals unspent convictions, while an enhanced DBS check provides a more comprehensive view by disclosing both spent and unspent convictions, as well as cautions, reprimands, and warnings. Enhanced checks also encompass pertinent police intelligence information that is reasonably deemed necessary for the applied position.

Can overseas residents or non-UK citizens apply for an enhanced DBS check?

Indeed, overseas residents and non-UK citizens who seek employment or volunteer positions in the UK may need to undergo an enhanced DBS check. The process may vary depending on individual circumstances, and additional checks or documentation may be necessary to validate identity and criminal records from the individual’s home country.

How long is an enhanced DBS check valid?

An enhanced DBS check does not have an official expiry date. However, its validity is subject to the policies and procedures of the company or employer requesting the check. Many employers mandate regular updates of DBS checks, typically every three to five years, to guarantee the ongoing suitability and safety of their employees or volunteers.

Can an enhanced DBS check be transferred between employers?

No, an enhanced DBS check cannot be transferred between employers or businesses. Each employer or company must carry out their own individual check, even if a recent check has been conducted by another party. This ensures that each employer has access to the most up-to-date and relevant information specific to their role and the vulnerable individuals they are responsible for.

What happens if there is information disclosed on the check?

If information is disclosed on an enhanced DBS check, it is essential for the employer or company to carefully consider the relevance and implications of the disclosed information. Having a criminal record does not automatically disqualify an individual from employment or volunteer opportunities. The employer must follow their internal policies, legal obligations, and regulatory guidelines to assess the nature, circumstances, and recency of the disclosed information before making an informed decision.

Can someone with a criminal record still get a job with an enhanced DBS check?

Yes, it is possible for someone with a criminal record to secure employment even with an enhanced DBS check. The decision lies with the employer. They must assess the context of the role, the nature of the offence, the individual’s rehabilitation, and legal restrictions. In some cases, employers may have specific policies in place regarding hiring individuals with certain types of criminal records.

Can I appeal the results of my DBS check if I believe they are incorrect or unfair?

Yes, individuals have the right to appeal the results of an enhanced DBS check. However, they must believe the information disclosed is incorrect, incomplete, or unfairly impacting their employment opportunities. The process involves contacting the Disclosure and Barring Service and providing evidence to challenge the accuracy of the disclosed information. The DBS will review the appeal and decide based on the available evidence and legal requirements.

Enhanced DBS checks are integral to safeguarding vulnerable individuals while ensuring a safe environment in various employment roles. By understanding the significance of these checks, organisations can navigate the process more effectively, and make informed decisions. Always consult official sources and seek professional advice for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding enhanced DBS checks.

A Few statistics on Enhanced DBS

infographic detailing DBS (per year) statistics

Employment Check Pro

Employment Check Pro is a hub that automates all your required background checks and references from one location. It will simplify your business’ DBS screening and expedites the process saving time and effort. With our software, you effortlessly collect candidate data, including personal information, identification documents, and consent forms for DBS checks.

Once you have the necessary information, choosing the appropriate DBS check is easy. Employment Check Pro supports various check types so you can choose the level of screening based on the candidate’s role. Applying for Basic, Standard, and Enhanced checks takes just a few seconds.

Employment Check Pro significantly reduces waiting time for results, with fast digital delivery in 84% of cases. Our live status update process (every 30 minutes) allows you to make informed decisions promptly, ideal for time-sensitive recruitment. You can move forward quickly with hiring are making decisions. Pro automatically receives and uploads electronic results.

Additionally, Employment Check Pro offers recurring DBS checks on an annual basis, ensuring regular updates on employees’ criminal records. By automating the scheduling of these checks, you maintain compliance and a safe working environment.

Simplify your DBS screening with Employment Check Pro, eliminating manual paperwork, reducing administrative burdens, and Increasing GDPR. Whether you’re a small business or a large company, our reliable and user-friendly solution optimises your screening procedures.

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