The construction industry and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks may not seem an obvious combination, but bringing in a process of DBS checks for construction workers can bring significant benefits. A DBS check, which was previously called a CRB check, is a way of looking into someone’s criminal record in England and Wales, with similar schemes operating in the other parts of the United Kingdom. While not legally required for people working in construction or building, conducting these checks is considered a best practice for companies, as it plays a role in contributing to the safety and security of both staff and customers. If you work in the construction industry, or are thinking about employing builders for work at home, what do you need to know?
Why Would Construction Workers Need a DBS Check?
Most people associate DBS checks with people working in schools, hospitals or in other positions which require a degree of financial or legal responsibility. In these sectors, DBS checks are usually compulsory. In other industries, DBS checks often form part of the pre-employment screening process, whereby employers look into a candidate’s past to make sure there is no serious issue which might affect their suitability for the job.
In construction businesses where workers are going into people’s homes or offices to build extensions or convert lofts, clients may like to have the reassurance that the people they are dealing with are reputable and without a long criminal past.
Levels of DBS Checking
For most construction staff who do a wide range of building work in different environments, the level of DBS check which will apply is Basic. A Basic check will show someone’s current criminal record and is a good guide to prove that someone is not constantly in trouble with the police and does not have any serious convictions for sexual offences or violence. If, however someone is employer as a handyman or plumber in a hospital, or by a Council with responsibility for going into schools, a more detailed level of check might apply as the nature of their work means that they are dealing exclusively with vulnerable groups of people.
Getting a DBS Check
If your employer has asked you to get a DBS check, then they should be able to guide you through the application process step by step. If you are working as a self-employed builder, carpenter, or other tradesman, then you can ask for a basic DBS check on yourself. The application process involves filling in an application form online and giving your personal details such as name, date of birth, address history and any previous names you have been known by. You will also need to show some original identity documents to prove who you are or confirm your identity online. The DBS will then ask local police forces to search their records to confirm what information they hold about you and produce a certificate which will be sent out to your home address. You can then use your certificate to show clients or prospective employers.